Page 3 - Chehalis Tribe Newsletter in December, 2015
P. 3
Tribal Member Freshman Becomes Only WSU Twirler
By Edmund “Frazer” Myer whoever qualifies may move on to the
national competition. Western Regionals is
If you’ve watched any of the Cougar football always held in California, while Nationals
games this fall, chances are you’ve seen WSU is hosted by a different state every time.
freshman Valea Higheagle, the only “feature Higheagle said her favorite is when Nationals
twirler” in the WSU marching band. is in Florida.
Higheagle, 18, of Olympia, Washington, is a
member of the Chehalis Tribe, and a descendant The judges base their overall score on artistic
of the Nez Perce Tribe as well. Her parents Billie
and Tony Higheagle, Jr. are both WSU alumni. measure and technical merit. Competitors can

She graduated from Olympia High School receive a score ranging from 1-10 (10 being
in 2015, and is in her first semester at WSU.
Higheagle is undecided about what major a flawless performance).  After the judges
she wants to pursue; she is considering either
pharmacy or athletic training. Higheagle began configure a score, they then subtract .75 for Valea Higheagle twirling at halftime of a
twirling at five years old. She learned from her each drop-penalty.
mother and older sister. recent WSU football game.

“I can remember back when I would always When Higheagle is competing as part of a Photo courtesy of Shelly Hanks/WSU Photo Services.
watch my mom and sister twirl, and how I
wanted to join and do what they were doing,” team, they choose a song and a routine, a routine it because it gives her a better grip and it lasts-
said Higheagle.  She grew-up performing and that she said, “includes a lot of choreography and longer.
taking twirling lessons for 13 years with a private exchanges.”
group called Fantasia Twirling Corps, since her When asked about when she gets most nervous,
school didn’t have an official “twirling” program.
This year at Nationals, her team placed third. Higheagle responded, “I would say that right
There are many different events twirlers compete
in: Solo, Dance-Twirl, Strut, Two-Baton, Three- She said that was a major accomplishment, before I start my routine is the most nervous
Baton, and Freestyle. Each dance has their own
kind of music. In Freestyle one can choose any since other teams had six to eight members part for me. Right when the music starts I start
song they like. There are also partner routines
referred to as “Pairs.” and her team only had four. She has won a twirling as fast as I can. When I start to go into

In addition to local competitions, her group lot of state and regional awards, she said, the autopilot is when I’m no longer nervous.”
competed in Regionals and Nationals. They also
performed for fun-fairs/other events. most memorable was in 2014 Regionals when She followed that by stating, “I do not twirl for

Each region has their own competition, and she placed first in “pre-trials” of the Junior AA the sole purpose of winning; I twirl because I

Division, which qualified her for Nationals. love what I do. I go out there and I twirl to the

Another celebrated moment was when she won best of my abilities. I always congratulate the
the State Title in the “Strut” in 2012. She said the other athletes in my division, if they won or not.
trophy was almost as tall as her and she received It’s all about sharing the same passion and lifting
a certificate Starline gives you for a free baton. each other up.”

Higheagle explained that Starline is the main For the rest of the story...go to the Washington

brand used by twirlers and that Starline carries State University website or use the following

various twirling necessities, such as tape and html:

all types of merchandise. However, she prefers

the tennis tape by the Wilson brand. She likes valea.html

Tahown continued from Page 1

A new playground was also put in the Tahown neighborhood. The playground features toys for little kids and elementary school
age kids.    Page 3
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