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Getting to know USTA Professional Member Stacy Forbess( Thu, Dec 19 00:12:AM)

Getting to know USTA Professional member Stacy Forbess

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

In continuing our popular “Getting to Know You” feature, we are excited to share with you an interview with USTA Professional member Stacy Forbess from Alabama. Here’s what Stacy shares regarding her participation in both USTA and NBTA.

1.  Being involved with both USTA and NBTA, how do you balance that involvement with your students?  What are the pros and cons of such a situation?

Stacy: I would like for my competitive students to be more involved in USTA but since there are no contests in our area, I strive to bring USTA experts to us. Jackie Stewart came to Fairhope a few years ago to judge my students in compulsories and movement technique. She was amazingly patient with me, as I was new to USTA, and she stayed up until midnight judging. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was brutal. Mark Nash came to Fairhope shortly after that and I learned so much from him as he ran a small USTA contest so my students could experience first hand the difference in NBTA and USTA. I see the value in both organizations. Some excel in the pageantry of NBTA and some don't, so competing in USTA gives them more opportunities to thrive.
2.  How do you keep baton twirling fresh and relevant among your students?
Stacy: For my recreational classes, we do four performances and have two parties throughout the season, so they always have something to work towards and look forward to. Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter with each generation, so during rec classes I must find ways to have fun and move quickly. I don't just hand out stickers for newly mastered skills, I put them on their forehead so they can proudly be inducted into the "forehead sticker club", we play follow the leader and other games, or I suddenly start speaking in a crazy accent which usually ends up in blank stares and giggles.
3.  Tell us three things that the baton twirling world doesn’t know about you.
Stacy: I have seven junior coaches under me and I couldn't manage Eastern Shore Twirlers without them.  They are my older students who teach private lessons to the younger ones, help with my larger rec classes and one, Sydney Belyeu, teaches her own rec class. All combined, we have 130+ twirlers. Coaching young people is a big responsibility in leadership and I pray every day that I'm a good example, a positive role model and that my words and actions push my students to be better people, whether or not they become world champions, college twirlers or twirl for the fun and joy of the sport. They all matter and that's what I want them to take away from being an Eastern Shore Twirler.  
I grew up twirling in Florida and California and now live in Alabama. Thank you mom for taking me to Bev Johnson for lessons. Thank you Bev and Debbie Simek for being the most encouraging coaches and mentors. And thank you Shirley DeVenney for always saying you're proud of me and what I'm doing for twirling.
Thank you, Stacy, for sharing your story! It was great getting to know you a little better!