After four years perfecting her craft the at University of Central Arkansas, Vilonia High alumna Rachel Albat has returned to be the head majorette coach at VHS.
More than a decade ago, Albat began baton twirling in the fifth grade on the school grounds and in private. The future majorette coach cited a trip to a football game as the beginning of her interest in baton twirling.
"My parents took me to a high school football game, where I saw the high school band perform," Albat said. "I saw the line of majorettes and I told my parents that I wanted to be one of those girls."
Under the tutelage of coach Carrie Hawkins and later Janice Jackson-Seamans, she transitioned into competitive baton twirling, a career choice that yielded Albat success in later years at the Arkansas version of the National Baton Twirling Association competitions.
"I was Ms. Majorette of Arkansas at the NBTA Arkansas state competition for three years," Albat said. Her run with the Ms. Majorette title spanned from 2009-11.
After graduating from Vilonia High in 2010, Albat made the near 14-mile leap from Vilonia to UCA, where she stayed for a few years to pursue her dream.
"I wanted to be a feature twirler out of college," she said.
In the four years she was a UCA student, she acclimated to the style of feature baton twirling that was absent from when she was a Vilonia student.
"At Vilonia, everybody twirled in a line, and for it to work, everybody had to be in sync," Albat said. "At UCA, however, twirlers’ routines were separate from each other."
With Albat’s return to Vilonia, her goals as majorette coach are to build unity on her team and to act as a mentor to her students.
"It is very encouraging and fun for me to see aspiring feature twirlers and to be a mentor to them," Albat said.