HISD award-winning twirling team has its own show on TLC

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Dazzling Divas, a team of elementary- and middle-school baton twirlers, will be featured during a one-hour special on TLC after being discovered by Sirens Media, a production company based out of New York. “Twirl Life” will air on TLC on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m. CST following the popular show “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

Crystal Evans, now a teacher at Emerson Elementary, launched the baton-twirling team when she was a teacher at Whidby Elementary. The very first year, her team of 14 girls won first place in their team division at the National Baton Twirling Association’s competitions in The Woodlands and Corpus Christi. They traveled to Dallas, where they won a state title, and then on to America’s Youth on Parade, the national competition at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. (See related story from June 2014.) The Dazzling Divas range in age from 5-13 and attend various schools in HISD.

“My girls were the first African-American team to win a state title in Dallas and move on to nationals, which is essentially the ‘world series’ of twirling,” Evans said. “Competitive baton twirling is virtually unknown in the African-American community, and my group of girls, none of whom had ever been outside of Houston, competed in Indiana, going head-to-head with hundreds of competitors.”

The Dazzling Divas placed fourth overall at nationals.

This team particularly stands out because they are the only African-American team competing in their twirling league, and they mix the traditional style of formal twirling with their urban roots. A film crew from Sirens Media came from New York to Texas to create a short film that was pitched at Realscreen in Washington, D.C., and was picked up by TLC. The premiere will highlight the Dazzling Divas at the Texas State Competition in San Antonio. See the TLC schedule here.

The Divas, who now hold four state championships, will compete at “Twirl Mania,” the International Championships at Disneyworld in February 2017.