‘Fire Girl’ dazzles with twirler artistry

She moves lithely around the marching band field, twirling her batons, tossing them high in the air, performing all sorts of acrobatic maneuvers, catching the batons skillfully without even glancing at them. She weaves in and out among the instrumentalists and the color guard. And that’s just for starters. She disappears behind a set piece and reappears a moment later, now spinning and tossing flaming batons. 

For 13 years of her young life, Appomattox County High School junior Autumn Will has been practicing the art of baton twirling. Once known as majorettes, feature twirlers combine dance, gymnastic, acrobatic and juggling skills to provide an artistic, athletic performance either as a solo act or as part of a marching band show.

Autumn recalls how she happened upon this uncommon but graceful activity. 

“Thirteen years ago, my mom saw majorettes in a parade. I was already taking dance and wasn’t enjoying it. She said, ‘why don’t you try this? It’s something you don’t see everyday.’ I joined a group at Tomahawk Elementary School, and it’s been me and my baton ever since,” she said. 

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