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Baton Twirling Across Cultures

Different forms of twirling can be seen throughout the world and across many different cultures. Each tradition combined together to form the sport to how it’s practiced today. One country that has a rich history of twirling is that of Switzerland. Back in the Middle Ages, it was custom for urban guilds to perform flag throwing. This practice continued on throughout the years and eventually morphed into the Swiss Yodeling Association. The Swiss Yodeling Association introduced rules and regulations to flag throwing and began hosting competitions. Flag throwing in Switzerland is highly regulated. The size of the flag needs to be precise. There are also 90 regulated swings necessary when performing, which includes many different types of swings. These swings all involve throwing the flag up into the air and catching it by the staff. Another culture that holds twirling in high esteem was that of the Aztecs. They were known for their fire dancing. In Bali, a Fire Dance is regularly performed, which has its origins in this ancient ritual. These fire shows are performed in a variety of ways. Some are performed to drums while twirling batons or sticks with both ends lit on fire. These performances are sometimes done while the performer is on hot coals or jumping in and out of a pit while kicking up embers. Fire twirlers can use a staff, flaming poles, fire spinning poi, fire knives, fire hoops, or regular fire batons. Some of these traditions live on today, weaving ancient culture into the modern practice of baton twirling. Check out our blog for more information on the history of baton twirling or to learn more about fire twirling.

Posted: 6/8/2018

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