Luke Sawyer | Contributor
As a 6-year-old, it was soccer or dance that interested Waco senior Adaline Bebo. She knew she wanted to be a baton twirler. What she didn’t know was that the decision she made as a child would affect her future in remarkable ways.
Bebo is the captain of the Baylor Golden Girls, the group of twirlers that performs alongside the Golden Wave Band. They perform at basketball games, football games, pep rallies and other campus assemblies.
“I can’t begin to express how thankful I am for the sport of twirling,” Bebo said. “This sport has turned me into a better person and competitor, and I am so grateful.”
Before college, Bebo did not suspect she’d twirl for Baylor, let alone become team captain. In fact, she thought she would be dawning the purple and white of one of the school’s foremost rivals.
“I was originally planning on twirling for TCU,” Bebo said. “But after meeting with the coach, things didn’t really work out. I traveled down I-35 and found Baylor and just knew this was it. This was my home.”
Bebo said twirling isn’t a very well-known or appreciated sport, and said she believes Baylor has done an outstanding job in recognizing all the hard work, time and energy the Golden Girls put into twirling at the university. Bebo said she can’t even begin to express the gratitude she feels for the support people at Baylor have shown her over these four years.
Although Bebo said she has fond memories of her time on the team, she said being a twirler at Baylor isn’t an easy task, particularly when studying neuroscience and intending on studying law as she is. Trying to find the time to manage all of her responsibilities is difficult, Bebo said. She must keep up with her upper-level neuroscience classes, studying for law school entrance exams and keeping up with her captain duties.
“I have to keep a planner for about everything I do,” Bebo said. “Trying to juggle all these responsibilities is tough, but I love what I do and that makes everything that much simpler.”
Bebo’s involvements expand beyond the sport of baton twirling. She also competes in the pageant circuit. Most recently, Bebo won the Miss Dallas pageant. That win will give Bebo a chance to compete in the 2019 Miss Texas Pageant this summer.
Jackie Stewart, Bebo’s lifelong twirling coach, said she is very a good advocate for their sport. Stewart said she believes that Bebo has done a tremendous job showing people what the sport is all about.
“Bebo is an amazing athlete,” Stewart said. “When she walks into a gym she demands respect from the other athletes because of her work ethic and talent. Her actions help her advocate for the sport more than anything else.”
Bebo said she believes that her greater calling is to be an advocate for all girls, although she’ll always be an advocate for the underappreciate sport of baton twirling.
“I hope when it’s all said and done that I am not remembered by all my accomplishments,” Bebo said. “But that I would have made an impact in the lives of the little girls.”
Beyond the baton and pageant stage, Bebo said she is looking forward to a future in a legal field.
“I am one semester away from graduating with my neuroscience degree, and I hope to go to law school and eventually work toward bridging the gap between policy and science through Neurolaw,” Bebo said.
Neurolaw is an emerging field the addresses the relationship between neuroscience and law. Bebo said she looks forward to using her influence and the platform she started, No Limitations Waco, to positively impact the community.
“My mission is to use my elevated voice to champion the importance of inclusivity, advocate that communities embrace adaptive playground projects and visit schools to perform and share my social impact: No Limitations — The Power of Yet, serving our population with disabilities and anyone who may experience limitations in a different capacity — physically, mentally or socially,” Bebo said.
According to the website, No Limitations seeks to help those with physical and developmental challenges by giving them opportunities “to participate in social activities, including team sports, while giving their families the pleasure of sharing in their joy, accomplishments and growth.
Regardless of what the future holds, Bebo said the lessons she’s learned from her time in baton twirling have been invaluable and will have a lasting impact on her life.
“Twirling has taught me so much about discipline, balance and flexibility in life. Competing internationally allowed me to work alongside individuals from around the world, but has also continued to provide me with so many opportunities to travel the world and teach,” Bebo said. “Ultimately my twirling career allowed me use my vision for creativity and perseverance as inspiration for generations of twirlers to come, and I am so excited to capitalize on that moving forward.