The Twirling American Beauties have become a tradition at
As the first group to beat a
This year will mark the 13th year for the TABS to march in the parade, which begins at 8 a.m. in
As she approached the milestone, Miller decided to do something she loved doing when she was young — twirling.
“I grew up in the small Mayberry-like town of
Miller was one of eight majorettes her senior year, but she never let go of the beat and baton.
“There aren’t that many majorettes anymore, and I thought it would be fun to get together and twirl our batons in the parade,” she said.
Joining her that first year to relive the past and help her celebrate her birthday were four former majorettes from
The Beauties wanted first place and next year, they brought out the big guns in the form of their "secret weapon” Benny Campbell, Alabama State Twirling Champion in 1969, who possesses the admirable talent of being able to twirl two batons at once.
The twirling champ, in his drum major hat, was enough to put them over the top. The Beauties took home the first-place prize in year two.
Following that win, the Beauties had to return to defend their title. Since then,
With a little help from Miller’s friends, The Twirling American Beauties have placed first every year but one.
The faces of the Beauties have changed over the years as have the routines and costumes. Since that first year, two of the Beauties have died. The only constants have been Miller, Campbell, and Miller’s best friend of 30 years, Dixie Minatra.
Miller's fun tradition has also become a family affair as her daughter-in-law, Michele Ezell, and Michelle's three daughters have attended the parade every year to show their love and support. One year, Ezell and her daughters even joined the fun and danced with Miller.
Although her family won't be dancing with her this year, a young friend will.
Miller invited Piper Norris, daughter of Realtor friend Nancy Norris to join and she accepted. Piper is a high school junior and a good twirler, said Miller.
Music has become a challenge for the Beauties through the years. One year, their CD skipped because of the humidity. It would not play, so
After that, Dixie called a friend in
The music for this year's performance will be MC Hammer's "Too Legit to Quit" and Taio Cruz's "Dynamite!"
Miller and friends will perform their twirling and dance routine combo in front of the judges' stand in their new silver dance outfits specially ordered from
Another constant Miller has relied on through the years has been the expertise of Libby Fillingim, who has decorated the Beauties’ float every year. From the float, Miller and friends throw beads and Moon Pies to the crowds.
"Doing this is a way to honor my friends and thank them for doing this with me and helping me celebrate my birthday,” said Miller. “I want my children and grandchildren to say I taught them to have fun. It's all about family, friends and fun.”
When she is not twirling, Miller is the broker at Rosemary Beach Realty and is known as “The Smile of 30A.”