This month, it is the turn of BSB Year 10 student Eva Beranova to share with us her amazing achievements in Baton Twirling. Eva fell in love with Baton Twirling at the age of 10 and managed to balance her studies with ongoing training, practices and competitions. She has won many awards including the recent WFNBTA 2018 World Championships Twirling Bronze medal. Let’s find out more about Eva and Baton Twirling.
1. When did you start Baton Twirling? Why did you decide to start twirling? What are the rules of this event?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to perform. It has always been my dream to make an influence in my country and I am more than happy to say that I did. I just wanted to do something that I would love forever. Not many know but I used to be a swimmer and for a little while, a dancer, but nothing got stuck with me as much as Baton Twirling.
At about the age of 10, I have started to twirl full on and I have fallen in love with it ever since then. I have always accepted difficulties and challenges because without them, I wouldn't be the person I am today. In my 'normal' life I am usually very shy especially around people I don't know but when I perform, I just go for it. I feel like a totally different person, I feel reborn. The make-up and costumes are amazing. I love it because I can express myself to the audience and judges without the need of talking. I find it very breath taking what a person like me can do just by having a passion for it.
Each event has a different rule, it is important to have a great and difficult choreography with a suitable costume and try to catch every high toss, but the main thing is to enjoy each and every performance you have.
2. What do you like about Baton twirling?
I love everything about it. Baton Twirling gave me the opportunity to travel the world and meet new people who have become my friends for a lifetime. Of course, the one thing that I love the most is performing. I can show what I have been working really hard on and enjoy every moment on stage - hear the crowds cheering, see the spotlights shining, feel the rhythm of the music playing...
3. How long do you practice each week?
I practice as much as I can. I have to combine school, homework, practice as well as finding time to spend with my family. My training includes workout, dance, gymnastics lessons and practicing the baton so my moves and routines are ready for competitions and I can make them look flawless as much as I can. Each detail matters because one silly mistake and it can cost you a gold medal. I practice everywhere and every day, at home, outside and in the BSB school gym where I spend a lot of time.
4. Do you feel nervous before big events?
I always get nervous before I go on any stage. But I always remind myself that I have worked really hard for it and I will do my best. Now is the time to show everyone what is inside me and even if I didn’t win, I always know that it is OK, everyone makes mistakes. I always perform my heart out and that is what matters.
5. What is the biggest event you have competed in? What is your fondest twirling memory?
Every single competition is a new experience. Every moment on stage is very special to me therefore I don’t have a favourite performance. What always stands out for me is the moment when I realize that I did a 'no drop' solo. I run off the stage with tears in my eyes and jump into one of my two national coaches' arms, that is just irreplaceable. Both of my national coaches are very special for me. I wouldn't be able to go on the stage without their support. Even though all this is unforgettable, I still have a moment when I found out that this could be my life's career.
In my very first world competition, I won 5th place and it was a moment when I found out that I am the very first Czech twirler to ever get a place in the Juvenile category and I have achieved something that was thought to be unachievable, something that no-one has done before and it definitely changed who I am today.
I am the Bronze medallist (Preteen) of the 2018 World Championships Twirling held at Lillehammer, Norway organised by the World Federation of National Baton Twirling Association (WFNBTA) .
It is a huge honour to represent the Czech Republic and The British School of Beijing as a person who made it to the Top 3 in the Preteen category. I have participated in two of the biggest World Championships in my Baton Twirling career and I cannot wait to see what awaits for me next. https://wfnbta.com/
6. Have you been awarded with any medals in Baton Twirling?
I have been awarded with a lot of medals and trophies as well as memories. It is really rewarding. All the hard work I have put in finally paid off and for me, there is no better feeling. Every step I take, I feel more experienced and stronger in Baton Twirling.
It is not all about the medals or trophies I get, but about the fun I have and I know that when I look back in 20 years, I will be glad I always go for it and performed my personal best. Like others, I love to win and I don't think there is anything bad about it, but even if I didn’t win, I am happy that I did my best.
"Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow."- Mary Tyler Moore
7. Do you have any sporting heroes? Who are they?
I have a lot of sporting heroes but my main inspiration is my coach Ms. Jackie Stewart along with my very good friend Adaline Bebo who is a huge role model for me. Both of them helped me along my journey and they keep on inspiring me. They help me with my solos and support me in everything that I am doing. Even though they are both from the USA and we see each other only twice a year, we appreciate our time together.
8. What do your friends think of your success?
Most of my friends in BSB are very supportive who support me and help me when needed. I also have very supportive teachers who not only help me with school but also support me throughout hard times, including Ms. Duckworth, Mr. Planchant, Mr. Sheridan and everyone in the PE department. I also know that I wouldn't be able to achieve this much without practicing in the school's gym and BSB’s support overall.
9. How do you handle missing out on activities with friends because of your schedule?
It is something that I am used to, but I have to admit that I really miss it. But if you want to be successful, you have to make sacrifices. My day is always super busy with school and trainings it’s not easy to combine both. Every time I get to spend with my friends is very special for me. The only time I really see them is at school and after competitions where I see my friends from all over the world.
10. Are your parents supportive?
Yes both of my parents support me in everything I am doing. My mum always goes with me to the gym and helps me with school if I need and my dad always chose my music for my solos and cheers me up on competitions. I am really glad that I have my parents with me because without them I wouldn't be where I am today. And besides all this, they still find time to design my costumes and buy flight tickets to my competitions so that I can see my coach. My mum always does my hair and make-up where as my dad is more of the prep-talker. Both of them are amazing and I know that they are always there for me.
11. Do you have any words of advice or encouragement to share with younger students?
Make sure you love everything you are doing. Don't be afraid, just go for it and try it. Make sure you are having fun and never take things too fast so you don't overwork them because everything takes time and never give up. Nothing comes natural right in the beginning. Stay true to who you are, no-one else is like you. So just be yourself and let someone else see how cool and unique you are. That is the best thing you can do.
12. What are your plans/personal goals for the future?
I definitely want to see improvements in every performance I do and I would like to place better and better. I also want to keep on twirling for as long as my body allows me and of course to get recognized more and more. One of my future plans is to start coaching as I get older because I really love it. Around 3 years ago I started to coach my little sister and I am very proud of where she is today and she keeps on improving.
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Please see a video of Eva below