Liezel Efaw: Award-winning Baton Twirler
Ten-year-old Liezel Efaw, a fifth grader at University School, is already a champion baton twirler. She competes in America’s Youth on Parade, the National Association of Baton Twirling’s national championships. Held every year at the University of Notre Dame, twirlers from across the U.S. compete in open events and for the title of Miss Majorette. At the 2022 event, Liezel was the only Novice 7-9 participant from Oklahoma. She was awarded second place for her Open Solo and fourth for Open X-Strut.
TK: How did you get involved in baton twirling and how long have you been doing it?
Liezel: I got involved in baton twirling by seeing a twirler at a TU football game. I instantly thought it was a cool sport but found out it was not well known in Oklahoma. I decided I wanted to do it, and my mom found a coach in Owasso. I’ve been twirling for almost three years.
TK: How much do you practice?
Liezel: I practice almost every day and have lessons twice a week with my twirling coach, Shawna Hart.
TK: What’s the hardest thing about baton twirling? How did you overcome it?
Liezel: The hardest thing about baton twirling is memorizing every routine (solo, x-strut, two baton and modeling). I overcome this by practicing a lot!
TK: Does baton twirling help you in other parts of your life?
Liezel: It’s helped me be more confident because in twirling your confidence is seen in your interview skills with modeling and your showmanship.
Liezel’s mom, Ashely Efaw, says that twirling “has offered opportunities to develop persistence and work ethic.”
TK: How many competitions have you been in? Do you get nervous? If so, how do you calm your nerves?
Liezel: I’ve been in too many to count! Maybe around 20? I do get nervous. I bring a Pop It (fidget toy) to keep me focused and distract me from my nervous feelings.
TK: Do you have any role models or people you look up to or are inspired by?
Liezel: I look up to Stephanie McBurnett. She is the feature twirler for Texas Christian University. She is a great twirler and is so supportive of me!
TK: What is your favorite thing about baton twirling?
Liezel: My favorite thing is the competitions because I can show off all my routines I’ve been practicing.
TK: What are some of your other favorite things to do beside baton twirling?
Liezel: I love baking and swimming! I also play competitive golf.
TK: What do you think you might want to do when you grow up?
Liezel: I’m still undecided about it. But I probably want to twirl for the University of Tulsa and study business so I can use that to open my own bakery.
TK: Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
Liezel: A fun fact about myself is that I have memorized a lot of commercials and jingles.