Usta News

Getting to know USTA Professional member Lisa LaMonica( Mon, Apr 12 00:04:AM)

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

Lisa LaMonica is a USTA Professional member and judge who now lives in Florida. But her career in baton twirling began in New York when she was just nine years old. She recently talked with USTA's Inside Loop and here's what she had to say. 

Inside Loop: As a USTA judge, what is the first thing you look for when judging novice and beginner athletes?

LaMonica: When judging novice and beginner athletes I am really looking for proper technique of the fundamental twirling skills. At this level, routines should be well balanced and serve as a foundation for many other skills they will learn. It is critical that they are taught correctly so they can build from there. While blending of the body and baton, along with showmanship are important, at this level I do expect that the athlete is more concentrated on performing the skills in the routine successfully.

Inside Loop: It’s always fun for our members to hear about our judges’ backgrounds in our sport. Can you tell us about yours?

LaMonica: I was first introduced to baton twirling by going to a friend's private lesson when I was nine years old. I watched her and I told my mother, "I have to do this."  It was January, so mid-year in the twirling world. I started with private lessons since teams had begun, and instantly fell in love. Anabel Clark was my coach, and she must've seen potential in me, because she placed me on a team and I went to NY State & Regionals that June. I stayed with the Clarkettes for my entire competitive twirling career, and later started coaching privates and teams. For the last few years of my competitive career, I was also coached by Sharon Rubin and focused on my two favorite events – Dance Twirl (now Artistic Twirl) and Strut. Along with that, I was lucky enough to earn a spot on one of her awesome Dance Twirl teams. I could hardly breathe at the end of that routine and I recall feeling like I was going to pass out when exiting the floor! After I stopped competing, I continued coaching for The Clarkettes in New York, and continued to do so until I moved to Florida in 2016. I currently fulfill my love for twirling by judging and providing athletes with feedback that will help them grow and develop as athletes!

Inside Loop: What are three things the baton twirling world would not know about you?

LaMonica: I am a HUGE Rocky fan!  I love all of the Rocky movies, especially Rocky IV, where he fights the Russian. I have adored these films since I was a kid.

I have been teaching fifth grade for 10 years. However, this was not my first career choice! I attended University of Delaware where I majored in Finance & Marketing.  I worked as a financial analyst for four years but followed my dream of teaching and never looked back! I believe that you must love what you do, because chances are you will be working for a long time, so why not be happy?!

My family is the most important thing to me. My husband Jamie and I have been together for 20 years, and we have two daughters - Nikki (12), Kali (9), as well as a cockapoo named Lucy (who is my fur-baby). In our free time, you will find us traveling, boating or at cheer and volleyball competitions!

Thank you, Lisa! It's nice getting to know you!