Lately, not only would you have found the Buckhannon Twirl Girlz at extra practices, but also serving pancakes at C.J. Maggie's Restaurant and visiting and performing for community members to raise money to compete at a national competition.
All of their hard work paid off.
Fifteen of the Twirl Girlz traveled to Carrollton, Ga., on July 20 to compete in the Drum Majorettes of America National Competition.
The Twirl Girlz, students at Linda’s Dance and Twirl Academy in Buckhannon, recently returned home as national champions after competing in the Drum Majorettes of America National Competition in Carrollton, Ga.
"It was a great opportunity for my students," says Linda Creehan, owner of Linda's Dance and Twirl Academy.
"Many competed throughout the year at regional and state competitions, but Nationals gave them a whole new perspective on what is possible. It was their first time on the big stage and I am so proud of each of them."
The Twirl Girlz returned to Buckhannon as national champions. They won first place in Junior Dance Miami, Junior Dance Shake Ya Brain, Junior Dance One/Chorus Line, Tots Dance Grapevine and Tots Twirl Rockin' Robin; second place in Junior Twirl At the Hop; and placed fourth in Senior Twirl Bandstand Boogie.
The DMA is a nonprofit organization that promotes the sport of baton twirling for individuals and uniformed groups. It has one of the largest team competitions including twirling, dance twirl, strut, novelty, dance lines and pom lines.
Twirl Girlz are taught by Linda Creehan. Creehan has been living and teaching in Buckhannon since 2009. She has a wealth of experience, having taught and owned dance studios in more than seven cities across the nation. Creehan is originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., where she studied dance at Point Park College and the Pittsburgh Ballet Company. She has also studied in New York, Canada and Europe, where she earned a summer scholarship with the London Royal Academy.
Creehan has danced professionally in the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and on Broadway in "Sweet Charity" starring Chita Rivera. She has also danced and choreographed a number of college and community musicals. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and has attended many conventions to keep up with all of the new steps, styles and techniques of dance.
"The Twirl Girlz are so grateful to have a community like Buckhannon that is so supportive," Creehan said. "The experience that these girls gained, along with the confidence and friendships they developed, is invaluable. Thank you to all who helped us along the way. I can't wait to see what they can do next year."
Linda's Dance and Twirl Academy is located at 23 East Main St. in Buckhannon. Classes start soon and are available in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop and baton. More information can be obtained by calling 304-460-2504.