Most teenagers aren’t awarded titles ranking them as number one in the state or in the Midwest, but Kambri Scott, of Walkerton, isn’t like most teenagers. A baton twirler by nature, Kambri picked up the sport when she was just three years old.
“I am a fourth-generation twirler, so it was just in my blood to start,” she says. “On my third birthday, I asked my aunt if I could start twirling.”
Now, 12 years later, Kambri is still at it. She has been traveling the country with two different competition teams for the last decade, earning titles left and right. Currently, she holds the titles of Junior Miss Majorette for Strut and Solo in the State of Indiana. In 2018, she was the reigning Junior Miss Majorette of Indiana and the Midwest. She recently competed in two National competitions, one in Ohio for the group Twirling Unlimited (TU), and then the National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) in South Bend. She also competed in the World Qualifying competition for the American Youth On Parade (AYOP) competition in late July.
Each competition consists of multiple events, and Kambri competes in three of them: strut, solo and modeling. Each event focuses on a different aspect of twirling. For the strut competition, participants must exhibit superior flexibility and jumps.
“You have a minute and 30 seconds to two minutes to show the judge how flexible and how great you can stand and do your jumps. You have an x-shaped pattern that you have to do,” she explains.
For the second portion, solo, participants try to show off their twirling abilities. Kambri explains it as “how many spins you can do or how many twirls.” The final competition is modeling. For modeling, participants must complete a walk on stage, and then they go into an interview with a judge. Competitors are expected to speak eloquently, constructing good, logical answers.
Kambri loves her competitions for more than just winning, though. The team aspect and the educational aspect are both important to her.
“I also love meeting girls from all around the country, at different competitions, and we all stay in contact. I love having a family behind me, even if it’s not my true family, it’s my team,” she says.
The educational part of twirling teaches her a lot, too. From time management to proper speaking to accepting losses, Kambri recognizes the impact that the sport has had on her.
“[Twirling] has taught me to organize my time because I get up and practice at 6 am every morning because I have school and other activities, so that’s the only time to do it,” she says. “[I love] the things that it teaches me, for modeling we have to go to a judge and actually sit down and have a conversation, and so we have to answer properly.”
Kambri cites handling criticism and discipline as another important impact of twirling. Receiving feedback from coaches teaches her how to not only have the discipline to adjust what she is doing, but it teaches her how to take the feedback without getting upset. She has to exercise that discipline when she doesn’t achieve a goal she has.
“It has impacted me on if I lose or if I don’t get what I aimed for, that that’s okay and there’s always next time,” she says.
Twirling is absolutely something Kambri plans on keeping up in her future. She wants to continue throughout high school as the featured twirler at football and basketball games. After that, she plans on going out to Iowa to become a featured twirler there. Competitions are certainly staying in her future, too.
“I plan to keep competitively competing, and I plan to try and keep both my titles for Junior Strut and Solo Champion,” she says.
Kambri wants people to know that twirling is not all just looking pretty — it is hard work. Between an intensive practice schedule, the physical toll it takes is a big one.
“I want everyone to know that baton is not just about looking pretty. I have gotten so many bruises. I think it’s more of a contact sport than football, personally,” she says, laughing.