Some facts about baton twirling:
Many successful women were baton twirlers in their youth. Notable examples include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and actresses Debbie Reynolds and Sissy Spacek. Also, Lynne V. Cheney, senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute and wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, was a Wyoming baton twirling champion in 1958.
Twirling is by no means a strictly Southern phenomenon; it's also popular in California, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Maryland.
No baton twirler has been crowned Miss America. Last year, Miss Iowa Theresa Uchytil, a 24-year-old baton twirler born without a left hand, sought the Miss America crown.
Men occasionally twirl. The president of the National Baton Twirling Association International is Don Sartell, 72 and a former twirler. NBA Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy also twirled a baton.
Sources: National Baton Twirling Association International; Lynne Cheney staff; Miss America Organization; Associated Press research.