Twirl Planet header image 2

In Memory of Baton Twirling Icon Cecilia Cruz McLean

September 29th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Baton Twirlers In The News

Cecilia Cruz McLean passed away on September 24, after a 2 year bout with breast cancer. I was saddened to hear this news of losing Cecilia much too soon. I was ironically visiting a long time baton twirling friend, Shanon Barker in Oregon, and we received the news in an email.

Cecilia Cruz McLean (pictured on the right)

Cecilia Cruz McLean (pictured on the right)

Cecilia was a performer I looked up to and was influenced by, while competing in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I particularly remember her championship strut performances and was inspired. Her twirling style was elegant and strong, full of athleticism much before baton twirlers were referred to as athletes. We were extremely proud of her here in California, as she won title after title at the state level, as well as nationally.

Cecilia coached many elite baton twirling athletes. She guided “The Cruzers” to their winning performance as the first World Team Champions, and also coached the Italian National Team. Cecilia was a board member for the USTA (United States Twirling Association) in the 1990’s. She was known and respected on the state, national, and international baton twirling circuits. Her daughter, Marissa McLean, is also a twirling champion and former World Team athlete.

Cecilia and her brother, Michael Cruz, were both champion competitors and were coached by Jerry Alvarez. The quality of their skills and performances set the bar high for the sport of baton twirling. I was also part of a “baton twirling family” with a sister who competed and a mother who coached and judged. I remember “The Cruzes”, Cecilia, Michael, and their mother in the gym at innumerable baton competitions in years past.

Our thoughts go out to all of Cecilia’s family.

You’ll find a short tribute to Cecilia written by her brother, Michael, at the WBTF (World Baton Twirling Federation) site.

Tags: ······

8 Comments so far ↓

  • allisonmcmeeking

    i am sorry too her of the news of Cecillias Death my name is allison i come from scotland i was once a member of the scotland team i had the great pleasure of meeting cecilla and have her coach me

    • Nancy DeCosmo Locke

      So many times do I remember the summer I went home from nationals in Milwaukee with CeCi and Micheal Cruz to teach rolls. We had such fun and went up and down the coast teaching at camps. Mama Cruz kept an watchful eye on us ! I had one of my best summers. Being far from Massachusetts ,the whole family treated me like family. I was so sad when I saw this about CeCi’s passing. She was the best and her family was as well. My heart goes out to them. With love and many fond memories….Nancy DeCosmo Locke

  • Cindy Hamilton

    Thank you for sharing your comment, Allison, and for checking in from Scotland. So many of us were very sad at Cecilia’s passing. You must have some wonderful memories of working with Cecilia…she was such a talented coach!

  • Michael Siaweleski

    I am deeply shocked to hear that our friend Cecilia Cruz Mclean had passed away. Cecilia was the most giving person I have ever met. She was always honest and very loving and respectful to all that knew her. I will always have a special place in my heart for her and her family. I am very blessed to have had such a wonderful woman come into my life. I want to share with everyone the three things Cecilia helped teach me. One, never take yourself to seriously. Two, never be afraid to laugh at yourself. Three,(and most important) ALWAYS TREAT THOSE WITH THE RESPECT THAT YOU YOURSELF WISH TO BE TREATED WITH. I promise to ALWAYS remember these three teachings. I love you Cecilia, may god bless you and your wonderful family. Love Mike Siaweleski

  • Mary Minjares

    Im so shocked to see this. Although it has been quite a few years since I last saw Cecilia. I first met Cecilia at Valley Baton Club where my daughter Vanessa twirled with Marissa. I really admired Cecilia. My heart and my prayers go out to Marissa and all the family.

  • Faith micco

    I know it has been a long time since this was posted. But I had not heard and am still saddened nonetheless. I was a dancer with the San Jose State University marching band and Cecilia was the star twirler. As a high school majorette, I was enthralled with her performance. And everyone loved her, both on and off the field. So sorry to hear of her death.

  • Jennifer Thompson Gonzales

    I grew up in Campbell and would watch Cecila teach all the twirlers in front of my house! They were so mesmerizing! I took lessons from her for a few years in grade school! ! Not only was she a total professional. ..she was a wonderful person who took care of me!! She would sew me clothes and take me shopping,and treated me like a daughter!!! I think of her often and am sooo glad she was a part of my life! !!!! I miss her!!

Leave a Comment