Local skater is California-bound
A local Sonic car hop, who goes by the name of "K. Swizzles," is one of eight finalists in the annual Sonic Skate-Off, taking place Sept. 16 through Sept. 19 in San Diego, Calif.
"I love the thrill and the fun," said Kaitlyn Sewell, a senior at Cassville High School. "I get to deliver food, skate and I get paid for it! Who else gets to do what they love to do at such a young age?"
And that skating enthusiasm has paid off. K. Swizzles is heading to sunny California to compete against seven other finalists who hope to win the top prize in the nation, a golden pair of $1,000 Vanilla skates.
As a finalist, she will also receive a pair of traditional Vanilla skates, valued at $1,000, which will be used during the competition.
Sewell has only been practicing her skating skills for a short period of time.
"I've been working with Wes [Wesley Waters, general manager and current #3 top skater in the nation] for about two and a half months," she said. "We go to a skating rink every week and practice new moves, free skating and tricks for the competition. I've been skating at Sonic for about six months total."
The skating delivery of food is an option for car hops, not a requirement.
"But I love to do it," Sewell said. "Delivering food on skates helps get customers excited about the upcoming competition."
To enter the competition, Sewell submitted a video of her skating skills, which includes hand-stands and break dancing, for consideration. Of the 300 or so clips submitted, she and seven others were chosen to compete at the convention for the gold, silver and bronze trophies and a host of other prizes.
She will be accompanied on the trip by her mother, Tammy, and Waters, who acts as her skating coach.
"I've been there twice and know the ins and outs of the competition," Waters said. "I can kind of guide her along.
"But we also plan to take some time to surf at the beach," Waters continued. "That's a must on the list."
Sewell grinned and agreed.
"There will be a lot of stuff going on, but we are definitely making time for the beach."
K. Swizzles said she is nervous about the competition, but looking forward to the event.
"This is the biggest thing I've ever done," she said. "I'll be competing against the best of the best. But I love dancing to music on skates. It's like getting two birds with one stone."
Other finalists include: Ja'Vonta Blue, of Hempstead, Texas; Heidi Gerrish, of Phoenix, Ariz.; Beth Kempf, of Beatrice, Nebr.; Austin Soriano, of Topeka, Kan.; Joseph Butler, of Greensboro, N.C.; Autumn Green, of Whitehouse, Tenn.; and Timmy Villars, of Baton Rouge, La.