For the first time in the four-year history of the Twirl Girls organization, the brainchild of Wendy Seay Oliver, daughter of District 34 state Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale, who now helps guide the organization, the coveted Twirl Girl Princess crown has been handed down from one sister to another.
According to Seay, whose daughter was the premier baton twirler at her alma mater, Savannah State University, and is now the mother of two and a speech therapist in Riverdale, last year’s Twirl Girl winner, Aniyah Thomas, 8, has been succeeded this year by her sister, 6-year-old Anasiah Thomas.
Seay added the Thomas sisters have not only shown the love and skill enhancement necessity to be talented twirlers in the organization but have also maintained strong academic performances in school and are advocates and volunteers in their community.
The girls also had to be good at selling ads for the Twirl Girls Baton Twirling publications, such as its summer camp magazine.
“I liked crowning my sister with the Twirl Girls title,” said Aniyah Thomas, daughter of Carla Thomas of Riverdale.
Her sister described it as a “great feeling” to have her sister place the Twirl Girls Princess crown on her head.
“I like twirling and marching at the same time because it is fun but you have to really pay attention all the time,” Anasiah said.
Although skill enhancement at baton twirling, marching and cheerleading is the focus of the organization, it is not its main purpose.
“We want these girls, ages 6 to 12, to know full well that they are beautiful and that they are intelligent,” Seay said.
“We want them to also know that, through twirling, they can do something that requires just as much skill, training and practice as any sports endeavor that their male counterparts in school would do,” the senator said.
Using Twirl Girls as a way of helping give back to the community, Seay would like to see former Twirl Girls return to assist with instructing the young ladies now in the program.
“What better way to make an impression on a young girl now in the Twirl Girls program to have as an instructor one who has come before her and reached the goals our present young ladies are seeking?,” Seay added.