How to Convince Your Students That Flashy Tricks Must Be Balanced With Solid Technique

As coaches and judges, we all know the importance of proper training. We spend virtually our entire career on reinforcing this important aspect of our sport. We also know that our students find the tedious technique work to be boring as they would prefer to only work on the cool stuff!

I came across this article from the dance world that speaks exactly to this issue. You’ll find this article applicable to baton twirling……ENJOY!

How to Convince Your Students That Flashy Tricks Must Be Balanced With Solid Technique

Julie Diana for Dance Magazine – Jul. 11, 2017

Dale White

His pageantry career began as a baton twirler under the tutelage of Fred Miller, director of the famed Miller’s Blackhawks. Mr. White won numerous State and National championships as a competitive baton twirler. His teaching career in the sport of baton twirling has spanned some 30 years, producing a multitude of National and World champions. In addition, his membership with the United States Twirling Association, as well as the World Baton Twirling Federation, has taken him to some 15 countries instructing and judging. Currently, he serves as USA Judges Rep for the World Baton Twirling Federation and is contributing to the development of the new judging system. As an adjudicator, Dale is currently on the roster of Winter Guard International as well as the Ohio Music Educators Association. His focused area of adjudication is General Effect, Color Guard, and Visual captions where he has over 20 years of experience. In the 2009 season of WGI, he served as Chief Judge Administrator. In addition, Mr. White mentors young judges.

One thought on “How to Convince Your Students That Flashy Tricks Must Be Balanced With Solid Technique

  • February 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Great article Dale and with the many dance competitions on TV recently it’s quite obvious that technique is valued by the ones making it onto the live shows.
    If you watch any reality competitions like Top Chef or Project Runway, whenever it gets down to the final choice and they are both great, it always comes down to the training because that’s where the details are learned and mastered correctly.

    I had a huge emotional experience this past summer with the WBTF World Competition.
    The fact that such a young girl could go every round without a drop, and she HAD all the big tricks too. The split leaps were SPLIT fully, and she floated through the routines. She was dripping in professionalism and perfectionist technique. You never wondered if she would catch it, but the tell-tale sign was the “fluidity of her baton”!!! Her “TWIRLING” ability was mesmerizing and that is something that can only be learned.
    Of course, I’m referring to Laney Puhalla, the first Jr. Woman Gold Medalist in 24 years. Anyone who watched World’s had already guessed that. From the triple walkover to the end of her final routine, I sobbed. I watched her imagining the coaches, her Mom and family, the rest of the village it took, and of course, Laney’s dreams AND hard work. She didn’t look like someone who wanted the big tricks at any expense. Laney was the living example of dedication, consistent paractice, tons of competition experience, a positive attitude, teamwork AND, what none of it would have been possible without, “PROPER TRAINING!”
    I admire Laney and #TeamLaney (because it takes a village) and I was reminded by Laney that week that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. It all starts by building a proper foundation.
    So Dale, as always, you inspire and teach just by sharing and I’ve always been amazed by you.
    Today, I want to thank you for giving me another opportunity to praise Laney Puhalla. I will forever be in awe of the summer of ‘18 when she walked into the World’s and showed us what her hard work and training produced. It produced her dreams and we got to watch. Laney, you have inspired generations of future champions.
    I think you are AMAZING and I am cheering always with #TeamLaney!!!

    Brian Champagne


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