Dec 01, 2010 04:00PM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print
Photo by Dante Fontana
For a nine-year-old, Sophia Barden seems confident, but not conceited, and mature, yet pleasantly innocent.
Her determination to succeed in both baton twirling and in life is apparent by her willingness to practice as much as it takes, and to always have a goal for the future. Barden’s current goal of winning the World Baton Twirling Championships has been on her mind since a very young age.
“I practice for one and a half hours each day – sometimes at my house outside and sometimes at the gym,” says Barden. “I was five when I first started and this is my fourth year. I got interested in baton because my mom talked about it all the time, because she was a world champion and my coach was, too. I’ve won the [US Twirling Association] Nationals twice, but you have to be 12 to do the World Competition, which is what I really want.”
Regardless of her love for baton, though, Barden is no “girlie-girl.” In fact, in her spare time she enjoys hiking around her family’s property searching for tadpoles and lizards by their creek, which has led her to set a career goal.
“I love our community because it’s all woodland. We have privacy and there’s lots of animals,” says Barden. “This is perfect for me because when I’m older I want to become a veterinarian and work on pets and wild animals at a wildlife preserve.”
Whether or not she sticks with her current career goal, it seems pretty obvious that Barden will succeed in anything she puts her mind to. When asked what her favorite thing is about being a batonist, she says it helps her with “being determined and having more confidence and leadership.” Oh yes, and the true sign of a future leader, she remembers to be grateful by adding, “and I’m thankful that my mom spends so much of her day helping me with baton.”
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