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20th Annual Patsy Hamilton Memorial Contest

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments · Baton Competitions and Contests, Moms (& Other Grown Ups) Who Were Twirlers, Where is that Twirler Now?

This year marks the 20th Annual Patsy Hamilton Memorial Contest, a wonderful and important baton twirling competition that commemorates my mother. The USTA California Baton Council asked me to share some thoughts and memories about my mom for the contest program. I wanted to also share here on Twirl Planet’s blog.

The 20th Annual Patsy Hamilton Memorial Contest. I have such appreciation for the California Baton Council for continuing to honor Mom with this important end-of-the-season competition. My entire family is thankful for this ongoing legacy to her, which includes the essay competition. And Mom is no doubt looking down with pride at what today’s California twirling athletes are now accomplishing!

Patsy was a native San Franciscan who grew up studying baton twirling, dance, and music. She was a baton student of the legendary Robert Olmstead. Her performances included San Francisco 49er half times, local live television, and the Ed Sullivan Show. She was the featured twirler with the Half Moon Bay Spanishtown Dons precision drill team.

Patsy and my Dad, Bud Hamilton, founded the Hayward Twirlettes Baton and Drum Corps. They later were very involved teaching and managing at the Danville Music & Dance Center, and eventually established their own business in San Ramon, the Hamilton Studios of Dance & Music.

Patsy loved teaching and judging baton twirling. She loved watching twirlers improve, mature and develop. So many of her former students have told me how she impacted them with her positivity and support. So many twirlers have commented that she was a favorite judge because she smiled back and was encouraging.

Patsy was also a wonderful and classic “baton mom”. She kept on top of those entry deadlines, stayed up late to stone costumes, woke my sister and me up early to get in the car and drive to contests, and when not judging, sat in the stands recording scores and cheering us on.

She also loved language and the written word. She took writing classes and traveled to writer’s workshops. She wrote about her childhood, our childhoods, motherhood, being a wife, being a grandmother. She loved observing human nature and writing about it. She would be thrilled that the essay contest is on ongoing part of PHMC, giving twirling athletes an opportunity to show another type of skill.

You can read more details about Patsy’s life at this earlier blog post.

Cindy Hamilton

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