Massachusetts Baton Twirlers Perform in Florida

Why would anyone wake up at three in the morning on the day after Christmas? For the spirit of baton twirling! Why else? On December 26, 2004, nine baton twirlers, their coach, and their families embarked from freezing and snow-filled Massachusetts to Florida. The Gangi Bay State Strutters, under the direction of Tracey Gangi, were selected to perform at Universal Studios Orlando. Group members ranged in ages from seven to eighteen. Regardless of age, it was clear that an unforgettable time was had by all who attended. The performers included; Amber Biron, Alyssa Kane, Olivia Kane, Nadine Luongo, Christine Palermo, Alicia Palomba, Cara Spencer, Emma Swift, and Devin White.

This fun-loving group performed a twenty minute show at the "Lights, Camera, Music!" stage in City Walk, which connects the two Universal Studios parks. The stage was located next to the entrance of Universal Studios and as visitors entered the park, most stopped to watch the show and take pictures of the twirlers. The show consisted of a medley of songs to which many short routines were choreographed. The show even included a Red Sox theme routine - a fitting tribute to the home-town World Series Champions. Given the enthusiastic applause, the audience proved to be supportive and appreciative throughout the entirety of the production.

During the rest of their four-day stay in Orlando, the Gangi Bay State Strutters utilized their brief vacation by having as much fun as possible! The vivacious bunch had a memorable time visiting Downtown Disney, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios theme parks. The Spiderman ride was among the group's favorite attractions. Another highlight of the trip included the celebration of Cara Spencer's birthday, in which the entire Hard Rock Cafe serenaded the twelve-year-old by singing "Happy Birthday" while she stood on a table in front of everyone in the restaurant.

On one of their final days in Florida, all of the Strutters presented their coach with a memorable scrapbook. At breakfast, the team declared it "Miss Tracey Day" in honor of Coach Tracey and her efforts in organizing the entire trip and creating the routines. To promote the theme of the day, all nine twirlers wore "Miss Tracey Day" pins, featuring Tracey Gangi's smiling face, for their final day of fun in the parks. Many people, including the famous Whos of Seussville were inquisitive about the pins! The unforgettable trip concluded when jetBlue Airlines congratulated The Gangi Bay State Strutters on their outstanding Universal Studios performance and welcomed the group back to Boston, Massachusetts.

Author: Emma Swift
Pictures: Tracey Gangi

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