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Meet USTA Professional member

Emily Cooper

New Jersey resident Emily Cooper, a recently retired USTA athlete, is now a respected USTA coach and judge. Her life has been enriched by the sport of baton twirling and by children. INSIDE LOOP recently talked with Cooper about her life as an athlete and professional and all that she’s experienced. Here’s what she had to say.

Inside Loop: As a recent athlete, what do you feel you can bring to the professional ranks as a USTA judge and coach?

Cooper: Empathy! (LOL) I still remember the heartbreak of working so hard to prepare my routines then not being able to execute them fully all the time. However, as a recently retired athlete, I still remember the joys of being able to participate in a variety of events. I competed in nearly every event and did so because I wanted to prepare for my future judging and coaching career. In doing so, I learned the intricacies and effort required for each event thus making it easier for me to professionally evaluate the athletes.

Inside Loop: Who or what has been your greatest source of inspiration in the world of baton twirling?

Cooper: Ginnette Groome. She is and always has been my greatest inspiration. As a coach she has stressed the correct technique in everything- baton twirling, dance movement and being respectful to all staff, judges and athletes. She has the ability to create new and innovative material for each of her athletes and is forever pushing new boundaries. She does this, always mindful of her athletes’ safety and individual physical needs or restrictions. Now, I look to her as a judging mentor because of her long dedication to the highest ideals of this sport.

Inside Loop: What are three things the twirling world probably doesn’t know about you?

Inside Loop: Tell us three things about you that the twirling world probably doesn’t know.

  • 1. I’m a special education teacher and hold a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.

  • 2. I can knit! Thanks to Ginnette Groome! But I still don’t know how to purl.

  • 3. At 22 I became a foster parent and I have had 18 foster children. And yes, I’m only 31!