AMSTERDAM – The first qualifications at the ECH Twirl 2013 are over. Many people came to the event to cheer the athletes on. Supporters came to enjoy the qualifications of rhythmic twirls in the age categories juniors and preteen.
Each participating country had its own supporters in the stands. Dressed up in fun outfits with banners, flags and everything else that produces sound or colour. The mood is great and gives you goosebumps. For the young twirlers the pressure is on. They have to perform for the judges and a huge audience. They have to display a routine with a combination of baton technique, dance and gymnastic elements. There was a variety of routines, some with many drops and stops, some with less.
In total 51 athletes performed. In each category three Dutch twirlers tried to qualify; Lindsey Driessen, Danielle Bergman, Celina Vogelaar, Evy Reijers, Femke Janmaat en Romy de Cuba. All girls performed a routine that made the crowd go wild. Vogelaar performerd surprisingly strong and stable with few drops. De Cuba impressed in presentation and she worked very well with the music, which is very good for someone her age.
In rhythmic twirl a routine is presented on music picked by the performer. Often ballads from a musical, these are great to choreograph with regards to emotion and expression. It was great to see the Spanish twirl to French icon Edith Piaff’s ‘Je ne regrette rien’ while the French girls twirled away on, for example, ‘New York, New York’. The often imaginative outfits of the competitors where a real eyecatcher. Especially when it fitted well with the choreography. The clownlike doll was a very good example of this.
The basics of the sport are the control over the baton in combination with gymnastic and dance elements. Strength, flexibility, body and muscle control. Besised that Twirl is also a sport with a judging panel, next to the baton technique, presentation, body work, choreography, variation, combinations, use of the floor and difficulty are being judged.
Beautiful clean moves and leaps, being able to combine elements, precision and timing but also effectiveness in moving on the floor in combination with the music, and last but not least, style and charisma. It is all part of twirling.
Practised many times, performed a lot, constantly working on it. Working hard to qualify to be on this stage. And the drop(s) at the moment suprême. Why? Because mistakes happen unexpectedly, just like in gymnastics with falling from the apparatus, not because they cannot do it, just because they have a moment bad luck.
The tension rises, the finalist will only be announced later in the evening. First 72 other twirlers with two batons in four laned will vie for a spot in the final. More information as well as the live stream van be found on the website of the tournament.