Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
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Ready to Perform

Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

THE TWIRLETTES ARE, front row, from left, Madison Berlingeri, 3, Kelsey Threshman, 3, and Heather Maxwell, 4. Back row: Olivia Kenyon, 5, Amanda Rosenberger, 8, Brittany Milk, 7, and Juliana Kenyon, 8. Missing from photo are Alexa Santoro,3, Kaitlyn Murray, 7, and Megan Murray, 10. They’re led by teacher Nikki Maxwell.

They May Be Young,
But They're Good

By Jeanne Sager
CALLICOON — July 19, 2002 – When Tonya Dirie was a little girl, all she wanted was a pretty uniform.
Like most little girls her age, Dirie’s mom signed her up for twirling classes with Julie Von Ahnen. The girls learned to spin a baton with the best of them and march to beat the band.
But all Dirie really wanted was the uniform, she recalls with a laugh.
Now Dirie has joined with Nikki Maxwell, another former twirler to bring twirling back to Callicoon’s youth.
Maxwell, a mother of two, remembers spending evenings with teacher AnnMarie Lohr and the little girls in her class at Delaware Valley Central School learning to walk like a lady and have fun doing it.
Now Maxwell’s own daughter, Heather, is 4 years old, and there was nothing for her to do in the area.
So, at the prodding of some friends, Maxwell rented a room in the Callicoon United Methodist Church and called the daughters of friends and coworkers together to bring twirling back to Callicoon.
Since late June, the girls have been meeting weekly in the church basement perfecting their baton throwing and their dancing under the watchful eyes of Maxwell, Dirie and friend Stacey Cruz.
“This helps them (the girls) with coordination and personal relations,” Maxwell explained. “They get to spend time with the other girls, and hopefully they won’t be too shy to march in the parades.”
Plus, Maxwell encourages creativity. The girls, ranging in age from 3 to 9, have created their own moves for their first performance at the Hortonville Fireman’s Parade next month.
The “Brittany and Amanda” move is named for the class’ oldest students, Brittany Milk and Amanda Rosenberger, who put their heads together to develop their own twirling act.
But the first step is getting uniforms for the girls. Because, after all, that’s what most of them love the most.
The girls are selling cookie dough to raise money for their outfits, and they will be holding a bake sale at the Callicoon Fire Department on July 27 (during the Callicoon Street Fair).
Maxwell hopes to outfit all the girls in time for the Firemen’s Field Day in August.
To support the Twirlettes, contact one of the girls or call Maxwell at 887-4210.
Currently the 10 spots on the team are filled, but Maxwell hopes to expand in the future to give other little girls a chance to perform.

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