Twirling Glendale girl goes for gold

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz


Trina Catterson will try to “twirl” her way to gold at the World Baton Twirling Championships in England next month.

Catterson, a Glendale resident, earned her way to the United States national team to represent the country in the international event, which is equivalent to the Olympic Games for twirlers, by finishing in second place at the national tournament in early July. At only 13 years old she is nervous yet excited to have such an honor bestowed upon her.

“I’m very grateful to represent the junior women and my country in this event,” Catterson said. “It’s great to see all the practice and dedication put in by me and my family pay off.”

Catterson started twirling at age 4 and won gold at her first national competition at age 7. She tested her skills at her first international competition two years ago in France and came home with a bronze medal in the junior pair’s competition. Since Catterson first picked up a twirling baton her mother knew she had something special.

“She has a natural gift for this sport,” Kathlene Catterson said. “From the start she could do certain tricks as a 4-year-old that many kids can’t do until they are 7 or 8.”

Twirling is an aerobic sport that incorporates dance and gymnastic moves while swinging a baton in the air or around the body. Trina first learned about the scarcely publicized sport from her mother, who was once a twirler herself.

There are numerous routines that make up the sport and Trina has nearly mastered every one of them. She credits this achievement to daily practices on her own, practice with her Elite coach, Alaine Robbins, about twice a week, and her work ethic.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” she said. “This sport taught me what hard work really is, and I know that no matter what you do you will always be successful as long as you work hard.”

Catterson will be competing for gold in the solo and freestyle portions of the international competition in Nottingham, England from August 4 to the 10. She said this competition will be the peak of her season but has bigger dreams for the future.

“When I’m done with twirling I want to start my own studio to teach young kids how to twirl,” Catterson said. “It taught me so much about life and what could happen when you dedicate yourself to something.”