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Mikayla Schuller on Twirling at FSU and on an International Stage

The World-Renowned Florida State University Marching Chiefs are the sound of game days at FSU. From shows themed after movies to shows that highlight some of music’s best, they bring their A-game to Gameday. The Marching Chiefs are made up of a lot of different sections that help make their sound and one of those sections is the Majorettes. Within the Majorettes are three Feature Twirlers. These girls are the best of the best and I had the opportunity to sit down with one of them to get some insights on life as a twirler. This is Mikayla's second year with the Marching Chiefs but her first year as Feature Twirler. 

Her Campus (HC): I feel like the best place to start is with how long have you been a baton twirler? 

Mikayla Schuller (MS): I have been twirling for 12 years. 

HC: What got you into twirling?

MS: I started taking dance classes at a studio in my hometown. The dance studio started offering baton classes, so I decided to try it. My family then moved to another city. I decided I really enjoyed baton, so my mom found a baton studio and I have been twirling competitively ever since.

HC: So why FSU? 

MS: FSU offered me everything I wanted for my undergrad degree. It is a large university with a highly ranked education system. The Marching Chiefs are highly renowned with a history of talented twirlers. I am honored to be one of the feature twirlers, twirling for the amazing Seminole fans and alumni. FSU also offered me a home to be close to my wonderful coaches and twirling family. I fell in love with the campus and the weather (I am from Ohio). I cannot imagine being anywhere else for my undergrad degree.

HC: Do you have a favorite memory from your first two years in Chiefs?

MS: My favorite memory with the chiefs would have to be the pregame of the FSU v. Notre Dame game last year where I took the field for the first time as a college majorette. I will always remember marching down the field to our fight song in front of a sold-out stadium. Another favorite memory would have to be traveling to NOLA this season and performing in the Superdome. Experiencing the game with the Chiefs made it so much better, especially celebrating with one another when we won.

HC: Switching gears a little, I know that this summer you competed at two different national championships. What was that like? 

MS: Nationals is typically a stressful week because of the nerves of competing. Having back-to-back nationals was difficult because there was no break in between to recover physically and mentally. However, both nationals were exciting and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed competing as well as seeing my twirling friends from all over the country. My favorite memories from both nationals would have to be college night because it is a little more relaxed and it is such a fun routine. It is so exciting to see everyone's routines from colleges across the country. Being able to represent FSU is such an honor and dream come true.

HC: On top of those two competitions, you traveled to Italy this summer to compete for Team USA and Worlds. Give me all the details of that experience! 

MS: I have dreamed of representing the USA at the world level since I was 10. Being able to live that dream was surreal. It was such an honor to compete against the best twirlers in each country. Although I was extremely nervous, it was really exciting to compete on the world stage. Additionally, I really enjoyed cheering on other members of Team USA as well as meeting and watching the other fantastic twirlers from other countries. Even though I spent a lot of my time twirling while in Italy, I really enjoyed touring Turin and eating a lot of pizza and pasta. I really enjoyed my time in Italy and representing the US for the sport I am really passionate about. Competing at the highest level in my sport and representing the school and my country is such an honor. I am very thankful to receive this opportunity and I will never forget the feeling of competing on the world stage.

HC: Jumping back twirling to with the Marching Chiefs, you guys traveled to New Orleans a few weeks ago for the game against LSU. What was it like performing in the Superdome in front of a sold-out crowd? 

MS: Twirling in the Superdome was such a great experience. Marching down the field for the pregame was another moment I will never forget. Halftime was so much fun being able to twirl for the audience and it was really exciting when people would cheer for me when I caught my tricks. Additionally, I had so much fun with halftime because the music was such a fun selection. I would have never imagined I would have the opportunity to twirl in such a big arena and it was an experience I will never forget.

HC: I know that the trip to the Superdome will probably be a highlight of the season but is there anything else you are looking forward to? 

MS: The rest of the season, I am looking forward to experiencing game days with everyone in the Marching Chiefs. The atmosphere of the Chiefs and Majorettes makes game days 100 times better. I am happiest when I am twirling with the chiefs.

HC: Finally, do you have any advice for someone who wants to come to FSU and be a part of the Majorettes and Feature Twirlers?

MS: If you are looking at attending FSU and being a majorette, I would say do it. Remember that working hard and loving what you do will result in making your dreams come true. The time I have spent with marching chiefs has been some of the best moments of my life. I look forward to 4:00-6:00 every day because that is the time I get to spend at Chiefs. You will make lifelong memories and friends during your time with the Chiefs. The best advice I can give is to continue to pursue what you love and surround yourself with people who love and support you.

Mikayla and the Marching Chiefs take the field on Sept. 24 during the Family Weekend game against Boston College. Kick-off is set for 8 pm. Make sure you get there early to see the Marching Chiefs' pregame performance!

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Peyton Gay is a junior double majoring in Communications and Editing, Writing, Media. She is a member of the Majorette Line with the Marching Chiefs and she hopes to one day be a sports reporter.
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