If you have been around the twirling scene this summer you may have noticed a new series of Twirling DVDs that have hit the market. Recently TwirlZone had a chance to interview Susan Orr, the creator of Baton Twirling Unlimited’s DVD Series, to talk about the videos.
TwirlZone: Susan, describe your twirling video series?
Susan: Baton Twirling Unlimited on DVD is a complete series of baton twirling lessons. Volume I starts at the very beginning. "This is a baton." This volume emphasizes wrist twirls and basic throws. The toughest trick is a one turn. Volume II begins with finger twirls and basic rolls, then progresses through a variety of throws with various releases and catches. The toughest trick is a two turn. Volume III is for the more advanced twirler and runs 1 1/2 hours. A huge variety of rolls, aerials, low flips and flats are included and are taught by the National Champions. Also included are complete championship routines and a very fast paced "Top Twirls" section.
TwirlZone: What gave you the idea to put these videos together?
Susan: Years ago I wrote a book that seemed quite helpful to twirlers as they learned new twirls. Now I think the magic of DVD makes this a much better way to show twirlers how to twirl. I've also noticed through the years that when I'm coaching and judging, I see that twirlers really need help on the homefront! You can't always have your coach with you to see proper technique.
TwirlZone: Who are the videos most useful for? Twirling students? Instructors?
Susan: Twirlers can practice twirls they already know but need to improve. Twirlers are also inspired by seeing new twirls and by trying them when they're ready. Coaches have about 7 years of lesson plans when they have the whole series. Think how nice that is for student teachers and new instructors. Having been a school teacher for many years, I wrote the script for the DVDs sequentially so they could serve as lesson plans. Parents love the series because now they can better understand what their twirler is trying to do.
The DVD eliminates confusion about what the right way is. Correct technique makes twirling easier and prettier!
TwirlZone: Who are the instructors on the videos and what is their level of experience?
Susan: On Volume I and II, I do all the instruction with a class of wonderful twirlers behind me. On Volume III, I asked 8 National Champions to come together and teach the most important twirls. From ages 10-22, these are the best twirlers teaching the best twirls!
TwirlZone: Do you see these as a replacement to an instructor or an additional tool to learn more twirling skills?
Susan: Twirling has stepped into the modern age. Baton Twirling Unlimited on DVD is designed to be the newest tool for the baton enthusiast to enhance her skills.
TwirlZone: Will there be more videos in the future?
Susan: I would love to produce more DVDs. This project was truly a "labor of love". However, it is an expensive "love", so first we need to promote this first series.
I would really appreciate twirlers letting other twirlers know that this exists. Once the dollars spent on this series has been recouped, Baton Twirling Unlimited will support a twirling scholarship. Then I'd love to think about a strut series or 2 baton or judge’s discussion, etc.
TwirlZone: Has NBTA and the other twirling organizations been supportive of your efforts on this project?
Susan: Jim Sharp of Sharp's Baton Company and SCORE, The Service Corps of Retired Executives, have been the most supportive and have offered the most encouragement in bringing this DVD series to life. Without their constant enthusiasm, this would have been a much tougher assignment.
TwirlZone: What has been twirlers response to the videos?
Susan:Exciting! From all over the world, twirlers have been ordering and then writing back to give their compliments to entire production team!
From Dublin, Ireland: "Congratulations on this great DVD...it looks like we really have our work cut out for us."
From Iowa: "I was very impressed with the final product and I know it will inspire twirlers all over the world."
From Michigan: "My daughter has not put her baton down since her DVD arrived. I've had to buy a second DVD player just for her."
From PA Judge: "what a wonderful teaching tool this will be for both experienced teachers and those new to baton twirling."
We want to thank Susan for talking with us about her new Twirling DVD Series. For more information on Baton Twirling Unlimited’s DVD Series you can visit the Baton Twirling Unlimited website at: http://www.batontwirlingunlimited.com/ or contact Susan Orr at Stroble@aol.com.
Photos and information provided by: Baton Twirling Unlimited