Studio X-Treme Senior Twirlers Participate in MSU Honor Band Day – Franklin County Times

The senior twirlers from Russellville’s Studio X-Treme traveled to Starkville to participate in Honor Band Day in the first SEC game of the year at Mississippi State on Saturday.

Participants included Addy Fikes, Macie Bishop, Carlie Blaker, Malorie Pace and Abby Boyd. They participated in the entrance parade with the Famous Maroon Band and also at halftime at Steve Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

Pace and Fikes are the cheerleader captains of Russellville High School. Blaker is the captain of the cheerleader in Hamilton and Bishop is the co-captain of the cheerleader in Hamilton.

The Russellville twirlers were among 283 students who joined the honor band and were able to attend the group’s halftime exhibition in the first home game of the season.

They performed the fight song and “Go State”, both Mississippi State chants. They were also able to rehearse in the university’s new training centre.

Heather Davis, owner and instructor of Studio X-Treme, said it was an enriching experience for the girls.

“They incorporated one and two sticks into a swirling dance routine,” Davis said. “They were well equipped with the skills they learned in the studio which made it easy for them to handle the choreography they were taught to be ready for this performance.

“I twirled for four years at Mississippi State, and I’m very proud that they have the experience to see what it’s like.”

Davis said the event is being held to generate interest in potential college recruiting. “It gives them the opportunity to see what it’s like to be part of a bigger group at a big school and lets them see if that’s something they would like.”

Davis said that since Hamilton’s band was 35, playing in a band larger than 400 was a massive adjustment for Blaker and Bishop, but they handled it well.

Pace, Fikes and Boyd, students from Russellville, are used to a group of about 150 people, still much smaller than Mississippi State’s honor group.

Fikes described the environment as welcoming, noting that everyone was “very down to earth”.

“It was fun spending the day with the band and the twirlers. I enjoyed being out in the field with their band – something you normally don’t do unless you go to school there,” she said.

“I liked the way they were ringing the cowbells. The fans were loud, and all that made it more exciting.

Fikes said she thought she would be nervous about performing in front of thousands of people, let alone those watching the live TV show, but it was “really not that bad.”

For Pace, the experience of twirling on SEC terrain was a welcome opportunity. “It was a great experience,” Pace said, “and I would love to do it again.”

Blaker agreed. “I loved it when we walked with the parade and everyone was ringing their cowbells and shouting for us. It was such a cool experience.

“I really didn’t feel nervous at all when I went out on the field,” Blaker added. “I just kind of zoned out and didn’t focus on the crowd.

“I plan to try to go to college there.”

Bishop said she also hopes to enroll at MSU. “It was a beautiful day and an exciting, friendly atmosphere,” she said. “They had a really nice training ground and I enjoyed watching their display. You feel very supported and welcome there.

Davis said current Mississippi State twirler Channing Perrett came to Studio X-Treme a few weeks ago to work with all the girls to help them get ready. “She was very helpful and welcoming.”

“Saturday’s event was bigger and better than anything we’ve done before,” Boyd said. “I didn’t expect to be nervous, but when I came out and saw how many people were watching, it took some getting used to.

“It was pretty fun, though – definitely something I would do again.”

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