The Twirling

The one who creates twirling, in 1978, is Marc-Arthur FREDERIC. This sport was recognized in 1985 and was framed in US for the first time. The twirling is practiced in Europe and worldwide by 3 million people in 23 member countries of the WBTF (World Baton Twirling Federation). In Asia and especially in Japan, it is one of the most popular sports. There are about 2 million followers.


“A demonstration of twirling was carried out during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has indeed proposed to make it an Olympic sport.”

This discipline is based on gymnastics, dance and stick handling. It is a sport that combines stick movements sorted by category (rolling, throwing, handling) and rhythmic gymnastics movements. Then you have to present choreography with music in solo, duo or group. Visually the baton twirling differs from majorette through sportsmanship and the competitive side, while mixing with the art of dance. Thus, it became much closer to the gym even if it emerged with cheerleaders. Athletes dance and handle the stick simultaneously for a minimum time (between 1 minute and 3 minutes 30), depending on the category: primary, juvenile, junior, senior or adult.

This sport requires real ambidexterity and an important motivation to evolve in competitions. This is an artistic sport, as well as gymnastics or figure skating. It requires dynamic qualities, harmony and agility. Indeed, twirlers will need to combine those skills with the stick handling. As in figure skating or rhythmic gymnastics, a jury notes each performance. Each federation has its own rating scales, its own requirements and its own categories. However in all cases a penalty is applied in case of fall of the stick.



The twirling is a sport involving the handling of a majorette stick, gymnastic moves, juggling techniques and dance. This discipline is derived from the activity of majorettes.

A cheerleader is dressed in a costume parade and stylish caps or hats, marching in the street in groups. They are often followed by beautiful flower processions throwing some confetti. Cheerleaders groups traditionally precede the parades during carnival and local celebrations on the rhythm of brass bands, dance music or other rhythmic music. They can also top the opening and the closing of several circus shows. Cheerleaders handle a metal stick that is used in an artistic way.

The choreography mostly consist in twirling the stick and make shots, especially when the cheerleaders are part of a larger show. But it can also include real dance moves and acrobatics while continuing to wield the stick that is in itself an essential element of a cheerleader.

There are a lot of cheerleaders’ federations. Cheerleaders are grouped in associations which organize galas and participate in championships. Their discipline is very close from the “poms” (cheerleaders with pompon instead of stick).


The goddesses of fire

There is a group in Montpellier in the South of France called “Imperial Majorettes Montpellier” which was created in September 1975. The captain Jeanne BROTINI which is also the artistic director, costume designer and choreographer, is part of the troupe since its creation. The group Is formed of 15 girls 14-30 years. The reputation of the group is due to his performances in the streets, as on stage or in stadium. The specialty of this company and what distinguishes it from others is the night parade with flaming torches, indeed they are among the few groups to have this expertise transmitted by Jeanne BROTINI.

Therefore, the company is known by the local newspaper “Goddesses of fire” and their captain “Jeanne the torch” through her solo with two flaming torches.

IMG_4849 parade-des-chars2015_01089

By Cyrielle

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