Tonawanda News — Lovegrove-Weaver said that it lends itself to flexibility, strength, grace and hand-eye coordination.
“For me, it’s just a well-rounded sport. It actually takes a whole lot more, I think, teaching and training, than most other sports,” she said, added that corps members traveled to a national competition in Notre Dame, Ind., last year — and that 2014 is a qualifying year for the world competition. “You can take it to so many different levels.
“It’s a whole world out there that most people don’t know anything about.”
“There are a lot of different things” people get out of twirling, she said. “As far as corps goes, you have friendships. I’m still friends with people I met when I was 10. I have twirlers who are now parents of twirlers. You get to travel to lots of different places.
“And there’s exercise, fine motor control, gross motor control. Also memory — you have to memorize your routine. You have to know what to do.”
Ages of children in the Twin-Ton Twirling Corps range from 6 to 16. Most are female. There has been the occasional boy throughout the years, although the girls tend to stick with it longer, Gramza-Dudek said. Many have a dance or gymnastics background.
Students work in different groups based on age and ability, learning multiple twirls and tricks, from basic figure eights up to multiple spins. They take part in local competitions and many parades — a very popular activity — over the summer. Other local twirling groups include the Niagara Royalettes, Grand Island’s Islettes Elite, the Ambassadors Twirl Corp. in the Williamsville/Amherst area and the Clarence CC Diamonds.
Natalie Teglash, 7, of North Tonawanda has been taking part in the corps for all four of its years. Her favorite part is the baton tosses — the higher the better.