Phoenix Superstar Twirlers keep up tradition

Left to right: Gabi Anaya, a 6th grader at Black Mountain Elementary School and Rachel Rodriguez who just graduated from Cactus Shadow HS where she was the feature twirler for 4 years and is now a freshman at the University of Arizona. Both girls are members of the Phoenix Superstar National Award winning twirl and dance twirl teams and came home with 13 medals between them.

South Bend, Indiana was the sight of the 71st Annual World Open Baton Twirling Championships, and this was Arizona Coach, Becky Hewitt’s 42 year to take her twirling team to compete. Thousands of baton twirlers gathered together this past month to compete in America’s Youth On Parade, baton twirling’s most prestigious event of the year. Twirlers from the USA as well as foreign countries competed in nine different solo events including: one-baton, two -baton, three -baton, duet, flag, strut, rhythmic and show twirl. The Arizona team competed in both the Dance Twirl and Twirl division against some of the best teams in the country.

Left to right: Alexis Mendez, Rachel Rodriguez, Madelynn Cleis, Abbey Ruffell, Eric Barndt, Madelyn Barndt, Alyssa Yocabet, Madysin Hewitt & Gabi Anaya. The twirlers represent 8 different schools in the valley. Coaches in front row left to right Sarah Ewart and Becky Hewitt-Director.

Arizona was well represented by nine young ladies ages 9-17 called the Phoenix Superstars, directed by Becky Hewitt of Phoenix and assisted by, Sarah Ewart of Gilbert. The twirlers spent many hours perfecting their routines this past year preparing for this event, and were well rewarded for their efforts by winning 40 medals and trophies and 7 Team Plaques placing them in the top ten of their division in the country. The Arizona Twirling Athlete non-profit youth organization is looking for boys and girls to learn this great sport of twirling a baton and will offer instruction in four different school districts beginning in September. For more information email or call 602-997-0522.