YSU feature twirler shines in competitions

Melanie Walent

Youngstown State University junior Melanie Walent, feature twirler for the YSU Marching Pride, took home a solo title – Miss College Majorette of Ohio Royalty – at a state competition in Columbus this summer.

The achievement qualified her to compete in the College Miss Majorette of America Pageant in South Bend, Indiana. “That was my highest level of competition so far,” she said of the national event. “It’s fun, but it takes a lot of practice and perseverance.”

Walent, a Biology major from Canton, is also making plans to compete internationally as a member of a Canton, Ohio-based twirling team next March. She is part of the 20-member Jazz Dolls Baton Twirling Corps that earned the opportunity to perform in the World Championship of Twirling in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Canton group qualified for the international competition by earning the title of 2017 Grand National Twirling Corps Champion this summer. Walent said the group would be one of several competing as part of Team USA.

A Canton South High School graduate, Walent began studying baton at age three and has been head twirler for the Marching Pride, YSU’s marching band, since she came to the university as a freshman in 2015.