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Getting to know USTA Professional member Cassandra Broadway( Thu, Oct 8 00:10:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Cassandra Broadway

 
“Getting to know you……… getting to know all about you.”
 

Professional member, Cassandra Broadway, is a newly-appointed member of the USTA Coaches Department. Inside Loop sat down with her to talk about her career in baton twirling, especially how her group, Titanium, came to be as a spin-off from her roots with the Clarkettes.  Here’s what she had to say:

 

Cassandra: Allison Alvarado and I co-direct Titanium Twirlers. We have twirled together with the Clarkettes since we were five and six. We competed in the first International Cup in 2005, where we won a gold medal, went to our first Nationals in 1995 in Daytona Beach, performed on various teams (many parade corps!), twirled in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2000, were pairs partners for many years and then started coaching together in high school under the leadership of Anabel Clark. While I left for college and to travel, she stayed and continued coaching

for the Clarkettes. After I settled back in New York in 2009, I went back to coaching for Mrs. Clark and involved myself more with our sport. I got my judges certifications, became a board member for the New York Twirling Council, attended meetings for NER and organized Mrs. Clark's 50th Anniversary Celebration. 

 

Years before Mrs. Clark retired in 2017, Ali and I talked about creating our own organization and continuing everything she has instilled in us and more. We didn't know what the name of our organization would be but we knew when she was officially ready to hang up her baton that "her name would go with her" (merely because she wanted us to create our own legacy and program). So, we tossed around a few different names and  kept coming back to Titanium Twirlers. Funny backstory, my dad is a precision machinist and Ali's dad is a welder, so aside from flying batons, we have both been around metal our entire lives. I also worked for a company in California called Tattooed Steel where I worked with artists to put their art on various steel jewelry accessories, so Titanium really is so very fitting.

 

When the news broke, the Clarkette members and their families were understandably upset. We weren't sure who would stay and who would go, so we have been extremely lucky and grateful to have the support of the Clarkette alumni, their families and the community. Aside from a new name and new attire, the transition was pretty seamless since we were able to use all of the same schools and locations.

 

Mrs. Clark has always said that her greatest achievement would be if her former students started their own organization, and that's just what we did. 

 
Inside Loop: What is your philosophy of baton twirling as a community activity as well as promoting individuality?
 
Cassandra: We do a lot of fundraising and community service, which is really when you feel the sense of family within our organization. We are together to support our sport without the pressure of practice and competition. We get out in the community by performing at festivals, parades, homecomings and school events, so it's nice to see the athletes truly enjoying our sport. I think taking the sport outside of the gym is so important. I always tell the athletes that they won't remember every win or every loss, but the time we spend together building character and friendships are the things they will always remember. 

 

We really enjoy celebrating our athletes and their achievements. We continued the Clarkette tradition of an end-of-the-year party where we acknowledge the athletes for their hard work, but have also added special awards. One thing we decided to do was award a Twirler of the Month each month to one member from our competition team and one member from our performance team. They get surprised with a special lawn sign, a Twirler of the Month pin, certificate and trophy. Twirlers are selected based on their attendance, participation in events and overall character, so sometimes they might not always be front and center or featured, and sometimes they are, but we want them to know that we appreciate their dedication and drive regardless of current skill.

 

Inside Loop: Finally, Cassandra, the twirling world always wants to know three little-known facts about our Professionals, so what can you tell us about YOU?

 

Cassandra: Three things the twirling world wouldn't know about me is that I work in a machine shop with my family. My parents started their shop over 30 years ago and my brother and I work there. My sister is a math teacher and wants no part of the metal equation.


I can honk like a bike/clown horn. It's a weird talent and I have no idea how I do it, but next time you see me, ask me to honk!

 

And the last is that my husband and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage next month. For our honeymoon, we went to Dubai for a few days. We ended up missing our flight to Bali by an entire day. After we finagled our way to over to Bali (the day before Christmas Eve), we decided to explore the "local town" and got chased down by a motorcycle ninja gang…. Oh and our phones were dead, we didn't have  our passports on us and our driver was scared and called his family to let them know where he was. Nothing like a bit of adventure on your honeymoon!


Lastly, a few months ago I got a text from Jackie Stewart that just said "Cassy, can you call me?" My first reaction was that I was in trouble for something, so I was a little nervous to call. I was beyond ecstatic and honored when she asked if I was interested in being part of a new Coaches Committee that she was heading up. No hesitation, YES! Alongside two other amazing women, Paige Campbell and Corey Kinyon- Cruz, the four of us, along with Sandi Rios, have been meeting virtually every week to discuss exciting changes and initiatives to USTA's Coaches Department. I will also be working with the Technical Department, and with Jennifer Marcus Schwartz on a few other exciting projects. You will have to check back on Knowledge Central to see what we have going on!

 

Thanks, Cassandra, for letting us “Get to Know You” and congratulations on joining the Coaches Department!