Saline Twirlettes Compete InternationallyFebruary 06, 2020
SALINE, MI - - The Saline Twirlettes Baton Twirling Team competed in the National Baton Twirling Association’s (NBTA) Grand National Baton Twirling Championships last week and earned a position on the USA’s World Team 2020. Team USA will compete at the Olympics of World Baton Twirling Championships held in the Netherlands next April. A tremendous honor for the team and our whole community!
The Saline Twirlettes (24-member) National’s Team clinched their spot by winning the Grand National Show Corps Championship. This is their 21st national title and consecutive year as the overall Grand National Champion. To achieve this level, the team had to win their division of Senior, Small Show Corps and then compete again to win the overall Grand National Championship. During the national title competition, the team again swept all specialty awards, including teamwork, execution, movement, and production. Show corps is one of the most challenging categories because it includes choreography of baton and props with dance movements, both stationary and traveling maneuvers, creativity, high-level of difficulty, and originality.
Each year, the NTBA hosts American Youth on Parade (AYOP), a weeklong athletic event, featuring more than 4,500 competitors. This event, held at the University of Notre Dame, attracts the best of these athletes from across the US and Canada. World competitions are held every three years and Grand National winners are invited to compete for gold medals on the world stage representing their home country. In 2017, 19 countries were represented.
Only a few athletes from Michigan have earned placements on Team USA. The shortlist includes Saline Twirlettes’ Hanna Alvarez (2018, Norway) and Nathan Magyar (2000 England and 2006 Netherlands). Others include Gillian Brooks (2014 Italy), Moriah Muscaro Forster (2015), Stacy Leatherberry Rehmann (2003 France), Tiffany Reicosky Miller (2003 France and 2006 Netherlands). This is the first time a team from Michigan has been selected to compete in the world championships.
Aside from the importance of a world qualifying year, the timing is special as the Saline Twirlettes celebrated their 50-year anniversary in December 2018! It is Saline’s longest-running youth organization. Director Susan Usher said, “Despite our team attracting athletes across Michigan and even Ohio, it is important that we keep the heritage and the founding community in the name of our program.” Usher added, “Beyond twirling, team members are taught confidence, responsibility, discipline and most importantly, how to become one team.”
The Saline Twirlettes National’s team representing the USA is comprised of 24 girls, ages 11-20. Twirling experience ranges from 4 -15 years. The team practices 6-12 hours weekly during the school year and 35 hours per week mid-June through July to prepare for AYOP. Team members represent the communities of Saline, Ann Arbor, Grass Lake, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Milan, Howell, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Davison, and Sylvania, Ohio.