Meet Applause of Bel Air Baton Twirling Corp

Members of Applause of Bel Air Baton Twirling Corps, a program of Bel Air Parks and Rec, competed in July at AYOP (America’s Youth on Parade) Baton Twirling National Competition in South Bend, Indiana. The Junior Small Beginner Dance Twirl team won first place to become the 2009 National Champions in their division.

The winning team consisted of Melanie Baker, Maria Kopalchik,  Rachel Occhionero, Allison Reichart, Erin Rice, Kaitlyn Opperhauser, and Janie Seitz.

In addition, the Juvenile Small Beginner Dance Twirl team, and the Junior Large Beginner Dance Twirl team placed fourth.  The Senior Small Dance Twirl team placed sixth, and the Senior Large Dance Twirl team placed third.

Emily Hogan competed in the Beginner 16 + National pageant, and placed fifth. In addition, many of our twirlers placed in the top ten in individual events.

The corps also competed in the Maryland State Championships in May, bringing home wins in the Beginner Juvenile, Beginner Junior Large and Small A, and Beginner Senior Large and Small Dance Twirl Divisions.  The Tiny Tot  team and the Juvenile Small B team both placed second.

Individually, Applause twirlers won several state titles. Amanda Snyder won the title of Novice 10-12 Miss Maryland Twirler. Emily Hogan won the title of  Beginner 16+ Miss Maryland Twirler, which qualified her to compete in the national pageant at the NBTA national competition in South Bend Indiana this summer. In addition, Emily was the Beginner 16+ Maryland State Super X champion. Other state winners were: Maria Kopalchik-Novice 13-15 State two baton champion, Maria Kopalchik and Melanie Baker-State Duet champions, Haley Herbert-Novice 10-12 Maryland State Queen  modeling, Allison Reichart-Beginner 16+ Maryland State Queen modeling and Beginner 16+ State solo champion, Erin Rice-Beginner 16+ Basic Strut State champion, Meghan Ortolani-Novice 13-15 Basic Strut State Champion, and Kaitlyn Opperhauser-Beginner 10-12 Military Strut State champion.

Other members of the 2009 Applause  Travel team included: Nicole Biedenkapp, Sarah Cale, Ashlee Gilliam, Emily Hogan, Alexis Liberto, Andrea Ortolani, Caitin Ortolani, Meghan Ortolani, and Amanda Snyder.  In addition, competing at Maryland States were Brenna Boehm, Jessica Delloso, KC Fannin, Brooke Garci, Julia Hall, Haley Herbert, and Kaylee Parkes. The coaching staff consists of Glenna Krebs, Anna Bryant, Sarah Paquin, and Karen Opperhauser.

Applause of Bel Air is the oldest and most successful baton corps currently operating in Harford County.  Rec classes and team opportunities are offered for all levels, from beginners through advanced.

For information about joining Applause, visit the website at and scroll down to find the Applause link or send an email to

Story and photos provided by: Applause of Bel Air


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