AYOP 2005 - View from the Top

July 19th thru July 23rd, twirlers gathered to compete and celebrate twirling at the National Baton Twirling AssociationΓÇÖs (NBTA) national competition held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Twirlers from all over the United States and Canada traveled to compete in this weeklong event.

This was an especially competitive year as advanced twirlers, teams and corps strived to qualify as part of Team USA for the upcoming NBTA International competition to be held in the Netherlands, spring of 2006.

Grand Corps championships, held on Friday afternoon, produced an entertaining show for the twirling enthusiast and common spectator alike. The Daley Debutantes were named the Grand World Parade Corps of Live Music Champions, the Jazz Dolls achieved the Grand World Twirling Corps Champion title, JulieΓÇÖs Touch of Silver became the Grand World Parade Corps of Recorded Music and the Grand World Show Corps Champions, and the Modernettes attained the Grand World Show Corps with Props Champion title. All of the above mentioned teams will be representing the United Stated in the upcoming World competition with the exception of the Live Music Parade Corp, which is not yet an event at the world competition.

On Friday afternoon, the Collegiate Championships were held in the Field House highlighting the incredible twirling talent in our Colleges and Universities. College twirlers performed to Marching Band Fight Songs and took advantage of the entire performance floor. The ten finalists in solo and strut performed immediately after the Collegiate Twirling Preliminary contest. Sean Wimberly, from Florida State, was announced the Collegiate Solo winner displaying an athletic crowd pleasing performance. Katie Noland of Geneva College strutted her way to receive the Collegiate Strutting title. In addition, the Penn State Majorettes took home the Collegiate Dance Twirl Team title and the University of Georgia Majorettes won the Collegiate Halftime Show Twirl Team.

It was an atypical year for the Miss Majorette Pageants. In several of the advanced divisions, there was a tie for the overall winner of the crown. NBTA breaks a pageant tie by the contestantΓÇÖs placement in the Solo event. However, the Junior division was so tight contestants tied in the solo event, leaving the strutting event to determine the winner. J.J. Irwin of Missouri was named first runner up and Chelsea Russell of New York was crowned the 2005 Junior Miss Majorette of America.

Melissa Weygand, the 2004 College Miss Majorette of America, and Ashley Pederson, the 2004 Teenage Miss Majorette of America, gave their farewell performances at the Big Show closing ceremonies on Saturday night. Crowns were passed on to the 2005 winners; Karissa Wimberly of Florida was crowned the 2005 Teenage Miss Majorette of America and Brooke Walters of the University of Nebraska was named 2005 College Miss Majorette of America.

The top five teams in the Junior and Senior Advance Dance Twirl and Twirl Team divisions twirled-off on Saturday morning. Again this year, the Wheaton Majorettes of Maryland were the strong finishers winning Senior, Junior and Tiny Tot titles in Dance Twirl. In addition, Wheaton gained several Twirl Team titles. The Dynamics of Maryland, stepped in to win Senior Small Twirl Team, Junior Large Twirl Team and both Juvenile Small and Large Dance Twirl Teams. The Jazz Dolls of Ohio won the Tiny Tot Small Twirl Team event. Both Wheaton and Dynamics will be traveling to the Netherlands to represent the US.

National Majorette Contest twirl-offs completed just a few hours before the Big Show. Winners included Kristen Scali of Ohio in the Preteen division, Chelsea Russell of New York in the Junior division and Karissa Wimberly of Florida in the Senior division. The top three winners of the National Majorette Solo event will be traveling to the Netherlands.

In addition, many individual winners in the advanced divisions of strut, two-baton, rhythmic twirl, menΓÇÖs solo, menΓÇÖs 2-baton, and duet are on their way to NBTA Worlds.

TwirlZone would like to congratulate all performers and coaches on a job well done, and NBTA for a successful week. For more results, please visit the NBTA home page at

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