Baton Twirlers


Elle R, Journalism I Student

Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary for anyone. Going on a rollercoaster, deep sea diving, or even performing in front of your classmates. 

The Baton Twirling team here in Papillion helps students build confidence and make life long bonds all at once. 

The team’s coach is living proof that people have made relationships that last a long time. 

“I grew up twirling here in Omaha and as I got older one of the girls approached me about becoming a coach and I’ve now been coaching for 10 years,” Mrs. Jennifer Palomaki said.

The girls have to do most of their routine perfecting at home as they get little to no time in practice. 

“The girls meet every other Sunday for 2 hours to practice, we put together a routine during that time which is usually only 1 or 2 practices,” Palomaki said. “They usually get 1 extra practice to memorize the routine and their tricks but most of the work they put in is done during their own time at home,” Palomaki said. 

The team’s hard work almost always pays off as the highs of the season often outweigh the lows.

“We twirled for the color of hope game and the pep rally where we got to use light sticks which made it all the more exciting,” Sophomore Kara Haffke said. 

Being part of a group like this only works if the girls can work together, in this case it’s not a problem as all the girls are friends and spend time with each other in and out of the studio.

“We’re from different schools but everyone on the team is so nice and we all support each other,” Haffke said.

The team has more benefits than just making friends and putting on performances.

“It’s a good experience and it prepares you for the real world,” Haffke said. “You have to go in front of the whole school and go out of your comfort zone.”

Palomaki believes she has never had a bad experience with any of her teams but this year’s team really stands out.

“This year’s team has a lot of fun but they also know how to work when they need to, it’s a lot of laughing and outgoing personalities,” Palomaki said. 

There is a lot of time and work that goes into the team’s dynamics and performances but there is no doubt they always come to impress and get the job done. 

“Practice makes perfect, it’s the only way our group can do what we do,” Haffke said.