Bel Air baton twirlers earn top awards

August 17, 2008

Individuals and teams from Applause of Bel Air Baton Twirling Corps recently earned several top awards at America's Youth on Parade Baton Twirling National Competition in South Bend, Ind.

This Super Bowl of baton twirling attracts thousands of twirlers and hundreds of teams from all over the United States, Canada and Europe.

Applause's Senior Large Beginner Dance Twirl team won first place to become the National Champions in its division. Melanie Baker, Michelle Cvach, Ashlee Gilliam, Emily Hogan, Maria Kopalchik, Kat Murphy, Rachel Occhionero, Caitlin Ortolani, Allison Reichart and Erin Rice are team members.

The Junior Small Beginner A Dance Twirl team placed third, while the Junior Small Beginner B Dance Twirl team placed fourth. The Juvenile Large and Small Dance Twirl teams both placed eighth, and the Tiny Tot Dance Twirl team placed fifth.

Some of the girls won in the individual competition: Emily Hogan placed first in Show Twirl, Maria Kopalchik placed first in Novice 13 Two-Baton, Kaitlyn Opperhauser placed first in Novice 11 Two-Baton and Janie Seitz placed first in Beginner 9 Two-Baton.

Most of Applause's members placed in the top 10 of their respective events.

This spring at the Maryland State Championships, Applause teams won the Beginner Tiny Tot, Beginner Juvenile, Beginner Junior, Beginner Senior and Primary Pom Pon divisions.

Applause of Bel Air holds classes Wednesday nights from September to June at Bel Air Middle School for ages 4 and up. Recreation classes and team opportunities for beginners and experienced twirlers are offered.

Registration for the fall session will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Sept. 16 and Sept. 18 at the McFaul Activities Center, 525 W. MacPhail Road.

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