State High’s Majorettes: The Most Glamorous Group in Marching Band

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Matt Freeman

The State High Majorettes standing before their performance.

Sophia Reutzel, Staff Writer

With the school year’s first marking period finishing up, many sports teams have finished and their seasons yet the excitement around school-run activities has never been higher. Along with activities, going to football games is a key social experience for students. With the entire marching band, football team, and the hundreds of people in the student section, the games – and the atmosphere around them – are a staple of fall at State High. 

The excitement of the game itself, the half-time, pre-game, and post-game performances put on by the marching band are some of the most important parts of these Fridays. Although there are only four baton twirlers, their uniforms, glittering eyeshadow, and most importantly, their skills with a baton, complete an already eye-catching performance with a dash of glamour. 

The team is made up of two junior co-captains, Kara Johnson and Abigail Sparrow, sophomore Elana Collens, and freshman Sylvie Olsson. All the girls have twirled for years but hadn’t met each other until the marching band started, where they quickly formed friendships. 

“We basically hang out every practice,” Sparrow said. The team has created a lot of inner bonds with each other through everyday practices, performances, and band camp during August. 

When they met at the required summer band camp, they quickly became friends. 

“The first week of band camp, I didn’t know them at all. By the second week, it was like we were already best friends,” Olsson said. With the constant practices ranging from 2-6 hours long, strong relationships forming between the teammates were inevitable. 

Through practicing with the band, and specific sectionals, the four of them have to work and practice outside of scheduled rehearsals for up to four hours weekly. Before they work on individual tricks, they have to spend enough time practicing in order to memorize which areas to put more time into. 

For co-captains Johnson and Sparrow, rehearsal starts before summer band camp even starts, where they have to work together to come up with a routine unique to the band’s music that year. They started working to form a routine around July, one for the State College Jonas Brothers’ concert in 2019, and the other for the homecoming game and beyond. Some of the hardest tricks have to be practiced many times, with batons being dropped and bruises being earned. 

With all of the practices at home and with the team, being a majorette can be a large time commitment. Johnson is a star example of how to manage time with school, activities, and even a job. Keeping up her grades, starring on the field on Friday nights, and a job to add to her various other activities keep Johnson incredibly busy. 

Sparrow stressed the workload they get when missing classes for away games.

“I’m the one who hates missing class because of the workload required to be made up,” Sparrow said.

During games, parades, and performances, the team switches from a casual group of friends to a well-oiled machine. With their group at the front of the band, it’s important to align with the music, and together the entire time. 

“If you are a majorette you can’t miss a beat,” Olsson said. 

While some people have more room for mistakes, since there are only four twirlers, it is important to match up perfectly with the music, and each other. Complicated tricks such as ground rolls and illusions can be hard to pull off on time, but with the frequent practice sessions, the team gets better every day.

The majorettes encourage people of all ages to join in the coming year. With baton and/or dance experience, the group is excited to introduce more people to the team in the summer of 2022. 

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