Girl On Fire: Meet Arielle Comellas, FSU Feature Twirler

As soon as she picked up a baton, Arielle Comellas knew that twirling was what she was meant to do. Today, as a FSU Feature Twirler, her childhood dream has become her reality. I sat down with Arielle to find out what it was like to twirl from eight years old at a local parade to today, where she twirls along with the FSU Marching Chiefs and Majorettes in front of almost 80,000 people at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

Courtesy: Michael Ewen

Her Campus (HC): What does a daily practice look like for you? 

Arielle Comellas (AC): I practice with the Marching Chiefs every day Monday through Friday from four to six but I usually get there about 45 minutes early or late to make sure my routines are gameday ready. The first thing I do is run to get my muscles warmed up, then I stretch. Then I start with small baton tricks and build up to bigger tricks and I work on my consistency with all of them- I do every trick five times in a row. I choreograph my routines for each performance and I have to figure out where I stand and where and when I’ll perform with my fire baton.

HC: What would you say is your role as Feature Twirler? 

AC: My role is really to get the crowd involved and engaged- we’re at a football game so everyone’s really excited, so my goal is to get them even more excited. I aim to get their spirits high and get them pumped so we can all cheer on the Noles!

Courtesy: Arielle Comellas

HC:What made you want to start twirling/become a Feature Twirler for FSU? 

AC: I was about eight and I was supposed to hold a banner at a parade for a baton twirling team. When I got there, I saw a baton on the ground, so I picked it up and learned the routine right there. I ended up getting to perform with them and someone else held the banner. I fell in love with the sport instantly and since one of the highest achievements as a twirler is to become Feature Twirler at your university, that became my goal. I had no idea where I wanted to go to school but the Florida State marching band is so well known and respected and as soon as I stepped foot on campus at a college visit I knew this was where I was meant to be.

HC: What’s your favorite memory twirling? 

AC: Definitely hearing my name announced at Doak for the first time.


Courtesy: Arielle Comellas

HC: What is the biggest thing twirling has taught you? 

AC: Perseverance. One time when I first started twirling I was at the state championship in Florida and I drew a complete blank in the middle of a routine. I ran out of the gym floor while the music was still playing and sat down with my coach. I told her I didn’t know the routine and I didn’t want to keep going- I didn’t know what to do. She told me to just go back out there. So I ran back out and completed the routine even though I already missed over half of it. I thought I completely ruined it but then I made it to the next round and ended up winning the state championship. So every time I’m having a rough practice or competition I just remember the little girl who picked herself up and kept going. That was such an important life lesson to me: We’re human, we can’t always be perfect but we can just keep going and still achieve great things.

HC: Okay, last thing: Do you have any funny stories? 

AC: Most of them just involve me hitting myself with my baton. One time I was twirling to the song titanium and I hit myself right at the part where the lyrics say “sticks and stones may break my bones. 

And then another time when I lived in Iowa I was practicing at my studio and decided to twirl in socks. I was doing a routine where you don’t toss the baton you just hold it in your hand and I completely fell on my face and chipped my tooth. I had to perform at the homecoming parade the same day, so we had to run to find a dentist.”

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