Latest News Click the links below to see photos of the event or find out more info on the individuals.
The Strutters have been proudly marching in this hometown parade for over 40 years. As one of the few remaining marching units (other than bands), they provide a wonderful respite from the loud car horns, etc., and the young ladies love putting their best foot forward for family and friends alike. Check out some photos from the day.
What a warm welcome the Strutters received at this year's Boston Medical Center HalloweenFest. The annual event was held at the Shops at the Prudential Center in Boston and the Strutters had many young admirers. The show team performed a series of numbers to Halloween-themed music and channeled their inner devils, witches and more.
Olivia traveled down to Clemson University to participate as a Tiger Twirler for a Day. She was thrilled to be able to participate in pre-game and invited to twirl in front of the student section at halftime!
Based on a recommendation from parade organizers in Revere, the Strutters were extended an invitation to march in the Everett Homecoming Parade. This festive occasion was a great way for the Strutters to kick off the new twirling season. The crowds were tremendous and loved seeing the Strutters march their way down the street. As is all too common, they were the only baton twirlers that day. Luckily the girls gave a great show!
Peru is Calling
Jordan is following is fellow Strutter Alyssa's footsteps as an Ambassador of Good Will in Peru. She is one of a dozen hand selected baton twirlers from the U.S. who are performing for a Spring Festival and at various civic events and venues in Peru. We look forward to hearing all about her experience!
Celtics vs. Houston
The Strutters are on the schedule to perform at the Celtics vs. Houston Rockets game on January 10, 2011. The group will take center court for pre-game and are thrilled at the prospect! Tickets are available for sale thru Tracey Johnson (TraceyG@aol.com or 781-985-1190) -- Balcony Seats, $58/each (discounted from the $62-$92 range).
Alyssa has been getting air time lately on local cable access. The Woburn station has been showing both the 'Twirlingly Yours' Documentary on the Gangi sisters & team, as well as the '2010 Congressional Cup Championship', in which Alyssa was a finalist. She will also be featured as part of a charity telethon to be aired in January 2011.
America's Youth On Parade -- NBTA National Championships
The weeklong competition was easily the most successful year ever. The crowning moment of course was left for the last announcement of the week, the awarding of the 2010 College Miss Majorette of America title to our own Alyssa Kane! After a life-time of hard work, truly, there are no words to fully express the joy and reward of Alyssa earning this title. But Alyssa was not the only one to return home with some serious hardware. All eight Strutters who competed over the week returned home with some medal, plaque or trophy!
Many of the Strutters walked away with even more top-10 awards than noted above. It was an unbelievable year all around!
Two more Strutters can add their names to the ranks of college twirlers. Chrissy will be twirling at the University of Massachusetts and Alison will be the first ever twirler at Merrimack College. Way to go ladies!
Bay State Summer Games
For the sixth year, the Bay State Summer Games has held a baton twirling competition during this Olympic-style event and the Strutters have eagerly joined in. This year the medal count for the Strutters was as follows:
plus 3 Silvers for the team events. For half the team it was a perfect finale to a great year and for the rest of the team, a wonderful warm-up for the National competition a week later.
The Strutters were invited to perform in two parades in Massachusetts. The first was the 4th of July celebration in Hyannis. The team first got together at Miss Elaine's Cape house for a cookout and swimming, before donning their patriotic costumes for the parade. The audience was one of the best ever! A few weeks later, several Strutters participated in the opening procession of the Festival Betances in Boston. Instead of being the only twirling group in a parade, as is typical, they were one of many! The invitation came as an opportunity to demonstrate a different style of twirling, as the organizers hoped to similarly have many styles of dance as well. The Strutters were then invited to stay to enjoy the festival and were treated to some delicious food.
Northeast Regional Championships
The Strutters continue to dominate the Queen events in the Northeast. Of the ten Regional queen titles, Strutters won SEVEN of them!
In the Advanced divisions -- Alyssa, Sr.; Jordan, Jr.; Olivia, Pre-teen; Meryl, Juv.; Samantha, Pee-wee.
And in the Beginner divisions -- Arielle, Sr.; Isabelle, Pee-Wee.
There were many more successes throughout the weekend, both group & individual. Of special note, Arielle & Samantha each qualified to compete in the Beginner National Pageant at Notre Dame University over the summer! Click here for photos.
Massachusetts State Championships
The team competed in the Massachusetts State Championships in April. Here are just some of the successes:
as well as group successes...
Ten Strutters made the trip to western Maryland to attend the Congressional Cup Tournament & 2 of them were part of the Invitational portion of the competition. Alyssa & Jordan, due to their high placements at Nationals last summer, were invited to be part of the North American Invitational competition. The top twirlers in the two leading twirling organizations in the U.S. and the two leading organizations in Canada are invited each year to participate. The highlight of this part of the competition is the Finals which is professionally taped and over the years has been shown on cable tv. We were all very excited that Alyssa made it to the Finals! She was very happy with all three of her routines which earned her 5th in the Finals. They were clean and will surely provide great footage for the show. Other highlights from the weekend -- Jordan earned 5th in the Jr. Elite Twirloff, Kayla earned 4th in the Sr. Adv. All-Round event as well as 1st in the Sr. Adv. Modeling. Samantha earned her last win for Advanced modeling and all the Strutters brought home at least one award. The weekend proved to be a great experience for all, with new opportunities for bonding, fun, learning and challenging ourselves.
Coach of the Year
The Strutters did it again, they had a stupendous day of competition and earned 550 high points in order to bring the Coach of the Year 5' Traveling Trophy back to the studio for the second year. Way to go girls! And a special shout out to Olivia for earning the Individual High Point Savings Bond!
The Strutters also made another sweep of Miss St. Patty's Day Queen events that they were entered in -- winners were:
Alyssa continues to make us proud of her. She is the 2010 Senior/Women's Elite Miss TwirlMania as well as the Senior/Women's Elite Solo, X-Strut & 2-Baton Champion. Only one other competitor, in the junior division, made all three twirl-off events! She was also a crowd favorite during the Collegiate Halftime Championships at Epcot Center while her sister Olivia was a hit on the other side of the park during the Showcase performance.
New Hampshire Miss Majorette & State Championships
Our two New Hampshire Strutters had a great showing at this year's combined championship event. Kayla has now added the Senior Miss Majorette of NH title to her resume while Billie has added the Pre-teen Miss Majorette and State Solo titles to her resume. Awesome job girls in a very competitive environment!
Congressional Cup Invitational
Strutter Alyssa received her invitation last month -- 2nd on the list of Invitees, and now Jordan has also received an invitation as the 1st alternate. We are so excited. Many fellow Strutters will be making the trip to Maryland to compete in the open portion of the competition and cheer on their fellow Strutters! FANTASTIC!!
Winterfest Open Competition
The Gangi Bay State Strutters did AWESOME at the Winterfest contest. For all the Queen events, Miss Snowflake Queen, with a Strutter in it -- the Strutters won the division: Samantha in Pee-wee Beginner, Meryl in Juvenile Advanced, Amber in Pre-teen Advanced, Nikki in Junior Advanced, and Alison in Senior Advanced. For all the 3-part pageant events, Miss Winterfest, with a Strutter in it -- a Strutter placed or won the division:
Talk about taking home lots of bling!
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
Kudos to all Strutters who supported the Miss Majorette of Mass and Open competition so soon after the holidays. Two Strutters went home with advanced titles: Alyssa is the College Miss Majorette of Mass and her sister Olivia is the Pre-teen Miss Majorette of Mass. Jordan, who injured herself early in the day, still managed to pull off qualifying for Junior Miss Majorette of America as royalty. Another winner -- Samantha won the Pee Wee Novice Basic Skills Pageant! Pretty impressive for her second contest. Our Miss Sweethearts include Olivia in Pre-teen Advanced and Nikki in Junior Beginner (her last win to advance in modeling).
At the competition we were reminded of Major Margie Gilbert's many years of service to baton twirling and the Miss Majorette of America/Pageant system. What a wonderful acknowledgement of her 62 years of running this important event. We salute Major Margie and the Gangi sisters and their students are proud to have supported this competition for 42 of those years.
The Gangi Strutters presented Major Margie with some twirling mementos to honor her lifetime of achievement. Katie presented her with a commemorative pin from the Tournament of Roses Parade, Alyssa gave Margie a game day pin from the inaugural UConn/Notre Dame matchup that Alyssa twirled at this fall, and Alison presented Margie with a scrapbook that detailed the 42 years the Gangi Strutters have been Miss Majorettes of Massachusetts.
Highlights of the book were the years that directors Diane Gangi George, Elaine Gangi Kane, and Tracey Gangi Johnson won Miss Majorette of Massachusetts titles; Margie's presentation to Evelyn Gangi of the esteemed Harold McNeil award for dedication to baton twirling; Beginner National Pageant winner Olivia, representing Massachusetts, and Alyssa winning 1st runner-up to 2009 College Miss Majorette of America. Margie was very touched by the show of gratitude and remembrances.
Papa John Bowl, Birmingham, Alabama
UConn won the Papa John Bowl early this month. Alyssa was excited to make her third Bowl Game appearance in her final year at UConn. Her marching band experience is one she will never forget.
Tournament of Roses Parade
Long time Strutter Katie was one of THREE baton twirlers in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Her high school marching band made their third appearance in the parade and after their first time determined that they needed to bring baton twirlers back to the band! Katie got lots of TV time on HGTV as the band was the last one in the parade and were privileged to be playing to honor the former president of the parade who recently passed away. So when you saw the show cut between a baton twirler & band, and the military fighter planes fly-over, THAT was Katie flashing those two batons!
Battle of the Berkshires Open Competition
What a way to start off the 2009-2010 competition season. The Strutters hosted this event which raised $1,600 for the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The ten year total comes to $13,653! The day culminated in the Battle of the Berkshires Solo Twirl-off. Strutters won in three of the four twirl offs! Congrats go out to Kayla in the Advanced division, Alison in the Intermediate division and Amber in the Beginner division. Way to go girls.
We had some awesome Halloween experiences -- we performed at Halloween Town at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston and then in the Halloween Parade in Woburn. Both events support worthy causes -- the Boston Medical Center and the Lions Club Eye Research.
NBTA National Championships
What an amazing year for the Strutters at Nationals! From the group's Facebook entries:
Day 3 Alyssa made the "Friday Night" Twirl-offs for solo, strut & 2-baton! Jordan made the twirl-offs for solo too! Billie made top 10 in solo, 2-baton, 3-baton and beg. duet with Olivia. Amber & Olivia's int. duet made top 10. Olivia made top 10 in int. 2-baton and 3-baton. Chrissy made top 10 in nov. 2-baton. Nicole made top 10 in int. 2-baton, int. solo & int. strut. Kayla made top 10 in solo and duet with Jordan. Jordan made top 10 in 3-baton. Alyssa made top 10 in 3-baton, collegiate downfield strut and collegiate half-time solo.
Day 4 Alyssa's final results -- 1st Runner Up Miss College Majorette of America, 1st Runner Up in Senior strut-off, 3rd runner up in Senior 2-baton twirl-off and 5th in Senior Grand Nationals! Jordan's final results -- 5th in Junior Grand Nationals and 10th in Junior Miss Majorette of America. Billie got 4th in modeling for Juvenile Miss Majorette of America and Olivia got 10th in modeling for Pre-Teen Miss Majorette of America!
Northeast Regional Championships
The Strutters were able to overcome fierce team competition to take the regional team championships for the Junior Large Dance Twirl Team as well as the Beginner Small Twirl Team division! The individual competitors did not let up on the competition either. Gangi Strutters took all the Advanced Solo Championship titles, as well as all the Advanced X-Strut Championship titles -- Alyssa in the Senior division, Jordan in the Junior division, Olivia in the Pre-Teen division and Billie in the Juvenile division. A first that one team swept not only one event, but both events! These champions went on to then win their divisions for the Miss Majorette of the Northeast! Other Strutters to bring home wins for the team: Nicole, Juv. Int. Pageant Winner; Alicia, Sr. Int. Pageant, 3rd; Katie, Jr. Int. Pageant, 4th; and Amber, Pre-Teen Beg. Pageant, 3rd.
Massachusetts State Championships
The Strutters captured the state team championships for Junior Large Dance Twirl Team, Senior Small Dance Twirl Team and are the winners of the Beginner Junior Small Twirl Team division. Individually they also did terrific, taking home many Championship titles.
Coach of the Year Contest
After striving for 6 years the Strutters have finally captured not one, but BOTH, of the high point awards at this contest. Jordan took home the individual high point prize of a $50 Savings Bond. The team and all individual twirlers contributed to the group high point and swept the competition to bring the 5' tall traveling trophy for Coach of the Year home to the Strutters' studio. Way to go Strutters!
Woburn Council for Social Concern
The Strutters put on a 15 minute show for the Council's first ever Telethon. The fundraiser was televised on local access television and the group was a hit. What a wonderful experience.
The Senior team wowed the audience at a recent Tufts University Men's Basketball Game. We always love the Tufts crowd! Later in the month the Show Team put on a terrific performance at a Brandeis University Men's Basketball Game. The Strutters have been performing at Brandeis for almost 20 years!
International Bowl Game
Alyssa joined the UConn Huskies Marching Band in cheering on the football team in Toronto. Pictures to follow.
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
Several Strutters continued a trend in recent years by capturing the top titles. Jordan is the new Junior Miss Majorette, Olivia the Pre-Teen Miss Majorette and Chrissy the new Intermediate Senior Pageant Winner.
Miss Majorette of New Hampshire
Rounding out the Strutters' current Miss Majorette titles are two of their newest members. Kayla is the new Junior Miss Majorette and Billie is the Juvenile Miss Majorette. Way to go girls!
Baby Elyse Arrives
At 1:04 a.m. on the 16th, Miss Tracey & Mr. Jeff welcomed their baby daughter to the world. Elyse Rose weighed in at 7 lb, 5 oz and was 20" long. With her long fingers she'll either play the piano, the guitar, or be very good at finger twirls! Check out pics her dad posted.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Three Strutters made an appearance as part of a 150-member strong twirling group. Chrissy, Kathryn and Amanda were all selected to participate and had a terrific week in NYC.
The Strutters again participated in the annual Columbus Day Parade and the Halloween Parade this month. Given that this is our 40th year, we figure that we've been in the Halloween Parade most, if not all, of those years....possibly making us one of the longest running, continuous participants in the parade (it was the 54th Annual Halloween Parade). Even the local high school marching band missed several in recent years. We were also one of the few performing groups in both parades, other than the bands. This year the Strutters provided wonderful entertainment and can feel good about another terrific Fall parade season!
It's a New Season
Strutters are back at it with renewed enthusiasm. Currently the group is preparing for two local parades in October and competitions starting in November. Three Strutters are also preparing for their debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- Chrissy, Kathryn and Amanda are very excited about it. Several Strutters are also twirling for their schools this year: Alyssa at UConn, Emma at St. Anslems, Katie at Danvers High School, Jordan at Bishop Feehan High School for basketball games, and Kayla at Campbell High School.
AYOP - NBTA Nationals
Strutters had a great week all around. Jordan placed 7th in the 2-Baton Twirl-offs on Friday night, 11th in Rhythmic Twirl and 23rd in the National Majorette (the "Big One"). She earned 5th in 3-Baton and was top 10 in World-Open Solo and X-Strut for 13 year olds. Olivia received 9th in World-Open Solo for 10 year olds. Alyssa won 4th in College Miss Majorette of America, earning 2nd in the modeling and 5th in each of solo and x-strut. Alyssa made the Friday night Twirl-offs for Solo, X-Strut and 2-Baton, having earned top 5 in the 19 year old division. Alison has won Junior National-Open Novice Flag. (that's all I have off the top of my head)
Update to come.
Amy, a Strutter in the 1980's and life-long supporter of the group passed away unexpectedly on May 27. Amy was the first recipient of the Serafino Good Sportsmanship award, a traveling trophy given annually to a twirler from the Northeast Region. Many twirlers will remember Amy in recent years as the person who was in charge of the Program Books at the Northeast Regional Championships. She will be missed.
Miss Windham County Blog
Check out Alyssa's blog link on her twirler page.
Massachusetts State Championships
Another fabulous event for the Bay State Strutters! Some notable wins -- Alyssa and Jordan won the State Solo, Strut and Queen in the Senior and Junior divisions respectively. Jordan actually made a sweep of all her State events (BA, 2 & 3 Baton). Olivia won the State Strut and Queen in the Pre-teen division. The Senior Team won State Small Twirl Team. Katie won Beginner State Queen in the Junior division and Nadine won the Beginner Open Queen in the Senior division. Way to go Strutters!
The day before Mass States Jordan was at the Congressional Cup open competition in MD. She had a great day winning top-5 in a number of events. She won the Advanced Solo which made her eligible to participate in the twirl-off!
Miss Windham County
Alyssa is the newly crowned Miss Windham County and will be vying for the Miss Connecticut crown June 28 & 29. In her group she won the talent and fitness to take home the title. Way to go Alyssa!!
The news is just in -- Jordan won Miss Twirl Mania in the Elite Junior Division and Olivia earned second runner-up in the Miss Twirl Mania in the Advanced Pre-Teen Division. This event is modeled after Miss Majorette of America and both girls are very excited about their wins! See the pics.
Our own Alyssa, Feature Twirler at the University of Connecticut, brought home wins in each of the collegiate events she competed in during the fourth U.S. Collegiate Championships, held at Purdue University. She earned second place finishes in Solo 1-baton and Freestyle, third in halftime, fifth in 2-baton and sixth in 3-baton.
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
One of the most honored traditions in Massachusetts has now touched the Gangi family. At the 2008 Miss Majorette of Massachusetts competition, Evelyn Gangi, the mother of the three Gangi sisters, and grandmother of Alyssa and Olivia, was recognized for her years of dedication to the sport that started with her daughters and continues on with her granddaughters. On Sunday, January 6 Evelyn received the Harold McNeil Award for her dedication to twirling. This traveling plaque is awarded each year by the contest director, Major Margie Gilbert, in honor of her former twirling partner. Way to go mom!
For the second year in a row (that we noticed), the Strutters have carried
the day at the Massachusetts Miss Majorette competition! Out of 10 Pageant
and Miss Majorette winners, the Strutters represent 4 of those titles!
Other notables...Special recognition was given to Alyssa for her continuation of twirling in College, and for placing so well at the National level. Alyssa and Olivia each earned the modeling title of Miss Sweetheart, in Senior and Pre-Teen respectively, earning lovely embroidered banners with their trophies. Chrissy was second runner up to Miss Sweetheart in the large Junior division. Nadine earned her last win to become Intermediate in Strutting. Check out the pics.
Shows, shows and more shows!
The end of December was a fun time for several Strutters. The UConn Huskies made it to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. where Alyssa performed at pre-game and halftime. The Danvers High School Falcons Marching Band traveled to Orlando where they marched in parades as Universal Studios and the New Year's Eve Parade at Disney. Katie led the band and was spotted by fellow Massachusetts twirlers from Belchertown. Closer to home, in another New Year's Eve Parade, Emma marched with the Boston City Band as part of the oldest First Night Celebration program. Check out Emma at about 2:25 in the following YouTube video.
Miss Twirl Pageant
Alyssa and Olivia were guest performers and presenters at the 2007 Miss Twirl Pageant. This pageant is a long-standing tradition of Sandy's School of Baton in CT. The senior and junior winners of this event spend the next year representing their studio at various events throughout the area. Both Strutters were honored to be asked to participate in this important event.
Strutters were seen on football fields far and wide this Fall. Katie made her depute on the Danvers High School field while Alyssa was again seen performing with the UConn Husky Band, Emma made an appearance at a St. Anslem's game and Jordan made a guest appearance at Clemson University.
Way to go Nadine for doing so well on your MCAS tests. Nadine has earned a college scholarship to a school in the Massachusetts State system. Also, she is the 2007 Beginner Battle of the Berkshires Twirl-off Winner. Nadine is off to a great year.
Go Red Sox!
The Strutters revive their tribute to the World Champion Red Sox!
Miss Tracey & Mr Jeff's Wedding
It happened!! It was a beautiful day and everything turned out great!! Pictures...
Miss Connecticut Update
Alyssa is now the First Runner-Up to Miss Connecticut (Miss America Organization). The originally crowned Miss Connecticut stepped down from her duties which enabled the former first runner-up to take on the duties of representing Connecticut at the Miss America pageant this winter.
National Twirling Museum
Miss Tracey just visited the National Twirling Museum in Janesville, WI. What an unbelievable place full of history and tradition! The building is compact, and PACKED with twirling and related memorabilia. There were displays of the Queen's Guards' uniforms, batons, fire batons, and maces. There were rooms and areas dedicated to the Pioneers of Twirling, Show (vaudeville) Twirlers, the Men of Twirling, Corps and National Champions.
In the wing called Hall of Champions, the Gangi Sisters had a poster/display! What a delightful surprise to see the display which included college twirling and judging pictures of Diane, Elaine and Tracey. Also spotted were two displays dedicated to Margie Gilbert, one in the Pioneers room and one in the Show room.
Alicia attended the Junior Olympics in Knoxville, TN at the beginning of the month. She combined sight seeing with the competition and had a chance to visit the grounds of the 1982 Worlds Fair, where the Strutters marched in the parade!
Alicia's successes at JO included: 1 gold medal, 1 silver medal, 1 bronze medal and 5 copper medals, each in a variety of twirling events such as 1/2/3/multi-baton, marching/strutting events, and flag baton. She made sure that her last year at the JOs was a resounding success! (she ages out now as a Junior Olympian)
Amanda touched base last month to say she was home (briefly) from a 15 month deployment. Although she had to forfeit going to Nationals in June for the Miss Tourism Pageant because of restrictions the base had, the pageant director said she would allow Amanda to compete next year for free.
We're here and having a great time! What a week it has been!! The competition is over for us and here are the results. We also have pictures.
The results so far:
2nd in World Open Solo (18 yr),
2nd in World Open Strut (18 yr),
4th in World Open 2-Baton (18 yr),
5th in World Open 3-Baton (18 yr),
7th in College Miss Majorette of America (1st in the modeling!),
9th in Collegiate Strutting,
9th in World Open Rhythmic Twirl (16 & over), and
11th in Collegiate Twirling Championships.
4th in Novice World Open Flag (14 yr), and
16th in modeling for Beginner Pageant (13-15).
3rd in modeling for Miss Majorette of America (7-9),
4th in All American Girl Modeling (7-9),
4th in Beginner World Open 2-Baton (9 yr), and
5th in Team Princess (7-9).
8th in Novice World Open Flag (14 yr), and
8th tie in Novice World Open 2-Baton (14 yr).
4th in World Open 2-Baton (12 yr),
4th in World Open 3-Baton (12 yr),
7th in World Open 2-Baton Twirl-off (10-12),
7th in Pre-Teen Miss Majorette of America,
9th in World Open Strut (12 yr), and
10th in World Open Rhythmic Twirl (10-12).
Olivia, Katie, Amber & Jordan headed of to Villanova Baton Camp.
Five Strutters will be attending AYOP this year. Alyssa, Olivia & Jordan hope to impress the advanced judges in the Miss Majorette of America pageants, National Majorette & the Little Big One Championships. Alison & Chrissy will be making their first trip to South Bend and are really looking forward to it. Alison will be representing Massachusetts in the Beginner National Pageant. The girls are also participating in the re-instituted Spirit of Massachusetts team. Alyssa, one of the original Spirit members (and the only one still competing), will be cheering on her four Strutter teammates as they join with four members of the Belchertown Twirlers. A sixth Strutter will be heading off to Knoxville for the Junior Olympics. Alicia will take another stab at golden glory in the home of the Grand Ole Opry.
Northeast Regional Championships & Open Tournament
As usual, the Strutters had a terrific time at this year's championships. Alyssa, Olivia & Jordan earned many of the top advanced honors of the weekend. The teams took home enough trophies to make the end of year distribution that much greater.
Miss Connecticut Pageant
Alyssa had a fabulous experience at this year's pageant and earned 2nd runner-up, beating out a number of more seasoned participants. She took home the preliminary swimsuit/fitness and talent awards! Check back later for pictures.
New Hampshire States
Jordan was named Show Twirler of the Year and Miss Valley Forge Majorette at a recent competition in the Philadelphia area. Her Pinocchio routine won rave reviews from judges, athletes and parents alike. And as for winning the open queen title, she thought it was "kind of cool" that she was robed and escorted by local ROTC for the awards ceremony.
Miss Southern New England
Alyssa will be a contender in June for the Miss Connecticut title, part of the Miss America Scholarship Pageant. No question that her Twirl & Dance talent wowed the judges as well as the audience. And clearly her years of modeling and interviewing aided her in this latest feather in her cap. Way to go Alyssa!
Miss Outstanding Teen Massachusetts Runner-up
In her first foray into this pageant, Alison earned 2nd runner-up out of a field of more seasoned participants. Even more "outstanding" is that she won the Scholastic Achievement Award! Alison credits baton twirling for her ease in the interview portion (and of course modeling).
NBTA Mass States
Winners galore! Bay State Strutters brought home:
Other Strutters with high State placements:
Jordan was pleased to win the Open Pre-teen 3-baton division and make it into the twirl-off for the Elite Solo.
Nikki recently completed a school math project on how baton twirling requires math skills. She interviewed Coach Tracey who provided input on math for the business side of baton, plus some thoughts on the physics of a spinning baton and a spinning body. She also reached out to former Strutter Deb Carney, now a college professor in mathematics. Nikki of course earned an "A!"
This year Jordan and Olivia were both invited to participate in the Twirlmania Showcase based on their successes at Nationals in '06. As a pre-teen, Jordan was also eligible to participate in the Twirlmania Gold and earned herself a 3rd place to boot! Her winning weekend included a 2nd in Elite Solo which qualified her for the Solo Twirl-Off. Olivia had an exciting weekend too. For her first trip to this event, she brought home to the studio a 2nd place in Advanced Miss Twirlmania and a 1st in Advanced Basic March (against some very stiff competition).
National Coalition for the Advancement of Baton Twirling (NCABT)
This group is pursuing NCAA acceptance of baton twirling. To this end, they have now sponsored three inter-collegiate championships. Our own Alyssa attended this year as the representative of UConn. Not only did she have a terrific experience representing her school, she also took back 4th place wins in the Solo and Freestyle competitions.
We've Got the Spirit
The Spirit of Massachusetts is back....AYOP 2007 here we come!
The senior Strutters had a blast performing at Brandeis University at the men's basketball game. The student audience was pumped after their holiday break and loved the show. The twirlers had their own following after the halftime.
Olivia, Alison and Amber brought home queen titles from the recent Winterfest competition. Fellow Strutters Jordan and Katie were part of their royal court! Olivia is the Juvenile Advanced Queen. Alison is the Junior Beginner Queen. Amber is the Juvenile Beginner Queen. Jordan was runner-up in the Pre-Teen Advanced Queen and Katie was runner-up in the Junior Beginner Queen.
After the Holidays GBSS Party
Early in the month the Strutters got together for some food, fun and Secret Santa's. Miss Tracey shared old pictures of the GBSS Christmas party from when she was little. One shows her and Devin's mom doing "the bump!"
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
The Bay State Strutters had an amazing day at the 2007 Miss Majorette of Massachusetts. The Strutters can now boast the most number of Pageant and Miss Majorette winners for '07!! Winners include: Olivia - Juvenile Miss Majorette, Jordan - Pre-teen Miss Majorette, Alison - Junior Beginner Pageant, and Alyssa - Senior Miss Majorette. Alyssa has now won the senior title for the 3rd time, earning the right to again add her name to a prestigious list of former winners on the traveling trophy. In addition, she was the recipient of a scholarship awarded by the contest director, Major Margie, to a college twirler from Massachusetts.
The Strutters can also claim three out of the five Miss Sweetheart queen winners: Juvenile - Olivia, Pre-teen - Jordan, and Senior - Alyssa. Be sure to check out more pictures from this terrific day.
Anthony J. Gangi
We would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt wishes and fond remembrances of our father who passed away at the end of the month. He was a wonderful supporter of our baton twirling hobby -- in Elaine's words:
He walked alongside us in the numerous parades we marched in, warming our hands during rest stops. When we twirled fire batons at the football games, he supervised the whole process, making sure we were safe, and standing ready with a blanket in case of a mishap. (fortunately he never needed to use it!) He even perfected lighting a fire baton with his hand before he allowed Diane to do that by herself for the Black & Orange Revue (& he singed most of the hair off his hand in the process).
In the News
The Strutters were written up in several local newspapers for their years of dedicated appearances at parades celebrating Columbus Day and Halloween. One of the few remaining performing units, this talented group is a highlight. Other news features this month included:
A big Strutter Welcome to new members Brianna and Nikki both who have several years of twirling under their belts, as well as new twirlers Jesse and Whitney!
News from Amanda in Afghanastan
"On the pageant side of things, it's going very well! I've got my Miss Tourism Pageant in June 2007 in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm looking forward to that. I've also won 2 other pageant titles and look forward to those competitions too. When I'm home on leave I'll have some proofs taken and send them out in another mass email to everyone."
June, July & August '06
Those Amazing Strutters
This year proved to be no different from last, a very busy and successful three months. We had some big winners at the Northeast Regionals in June. Alyssa and Jordan came away the big winners in the Advanced divisions, each winning their respective age groups for Miss Majorette, Regional Solo and Regional X-Strut. Olivia won in her first appearance in the Juvenile Regional Advanced X-Strut. Alicia won both the Intermediate Regional Pageant and Open Regional Wars in the Senior division. And Amber won the Beginner Open Regional Wars in the Juvenile division. Devin proved again to be our queen of Queens, coming away with the Regional Queen title in the Advanced Junior division.
In July the Strutters attended the Bay State Summer Games where several came away with medals and the 25th Anniversary Bay State Games jackets. A highlight of the competition for the Bay State Strutters was the large dance twirl team. It was the first time that the junior and senior teams combined and after having only one practice, the day before, the Strutters just went on the floor to have fun. What made it even more special was that Emma, home from college and a former member of the senior team, also joined in. It was especially poignant as Alyssa will also be away at college next season and we're not sure what contests you'll be able to do the team at.
Speaking of Alyssa, the organizers of the Bay State Games were so impressed with the twirling demonstration during the inaugural year of baton at the Games in '05 that we were asked again to perform at the Opening Ceremonies. Alyssa and Jordan were among the performers representing all twirlers and they did a fabulous job. The emcee was so impressed that he spent about two minutes after the demonstration commenting on it and comparing the talent to Red Sox greats David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. If only twirlers could make millions!
After the Bay State Games, Alyssa, Olivia, Katie and Jordan headed to NBTA Nationals at Notre Dame University where they all had a great experience. Katie, during her first trip to AYOP may have trouble keeping in touch with all the new friends that she made. Including several from Canada and from Maine (who she hopes to catch up with at contests in the northeast). Coincidentally Alyssa and Olivia each earned 2nd runner-up in the modeling portion of their respective pageants, Miss Majorette of America and Intermediate Juvenile National Pageant. Alyssa and Jordan both made the semi-finals in the National Majorette Contest, the "Big One," and also made it to the Friday night finals, for strut and solo respectively.
What made this year so special for the Bay State Strutters was the induction into the NBTA Baton Twirling Hall of Fame of GBSS Founder Diane George and Co-director Elaine Kane. What an exciting week for the Gangi girls!
In August Olivia went to the Junior Olympics along with teammates Alicia and Amber. Each had a successful run and made the finals in several events!
AAU Northeast Super Regional Championships
All Strutters who are solo competitors qualified to attend the AAU National Championships and Junior Olympics in multiple events. Many Strutters walked away with gold, silver and/or bronze medals in solo, 2-baton, 3-baton, parade t-strut, freestyle, solo dance twirl, basic-8 and military 8. You ladies are amazing! It was also after this event that we noticed what a successful year the Strutters have been having in queen events...way to show off your poise, personality and confidence!!
UConn - All The Way!
Alyssa will be following in her mother's footsteps, becoming the newest UConn Featured Twirler! Alyssa will matriculate in the Fall of '06. (There will be quite a little rivalry with Coach Tracey - the former twirler at Villanova, another Big East school.)
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
The Strutters make another strong showing. For the second year in a row Alyssa takes home the Senior Miss Majorette of Massachusetts and the Marjorie Gilbert Traveling Trophy. This is yet another traveling trophy with Coach Tracey's name on it. But Alyssa and Coach Tracey are not the only Strutters to be named; former Strutter Tracy Mernin (and Coach Tracey's duet partner) is also named. This hallowed award has been around quite a while and was originally awarded to the open solo twirl-off winner. So you will see many out-of-state names from the early years of this trophy. Other big winners at the Miss Majorette contest include Olivia, the Intermediate Juvenile Pageant winner, and two first runners up: Nadine in the Junior Beginner Pageant and Katie in the Pre-Teen Beginner Pageant.
Strutters in College
Former Strutters Adrienne and Emma made appearances in December at their respective college basketball games. Adrienne attends Southern New Hampshire University and Emma attends St. Anslem's College.
Alyssa took home the Senior State Solo title along with the traveling trophy at the Massachusetts State Championships. For those who don't know, Coach Tracey was the first to be named on this Massachusetts tradition. Alyssa took home several other State titles and was joined by Devin, Junior State Queen, Olivia, Juvenile State Queen; Alicia, Senior Intermediate State Solo winner; Chrissy, Junior Beginner State Queen; and Gangi's All-Stars, Senior State Twirl Team Champions.
Alyssa Goes To Peru
Alyssa was selected to be one of eight U.S. twirlers to be ambassadors to the 55th Annual Spring Festival in Peru. She was a guest of the local Lions Club and the delegation performed at festival events as well as nursing homes and orphanages. The ten day trip was quite a memorable experience!
Emma Twirls At College
Emma is taking her twirling career to the next step. She has been planning to perform at the men's basketball games this winter when she was also asked to twirl at the football game during Homecoming Weekend. What an exciting start to her freshman year.
June, July & August '05
The Strutters had a very busy three months. We had three winners at the Northeast Regionals in June in the Novice Basic Skills Pageant -- Nadine, Alison and Amber -- along with one in the Advanced Miss Majorette -- Alyssa in the Senior Division.
All Strutters then attended the Bay State Summer Games where quite a few came away with medals and those coveted Bay State Games jackets. Also, Alyssa represented the group and all twirlers well with a performance at the Opening Ceremonies for the Bay State Games as well as the Junior Olympics in August. Alyssa and Katie were winners of the New Balance Shoe Sportsmanship awards.
After the Bay State Games, Alyssa and Olivia headed to NBTA Nationals at Notre Dame University where both medaled and came home with plaques. Barely a week later the two headed to the Junior Olympics along with teammates Emma and Amber. All four Strutters again earned numerous medals and both pairs of duets -- Alyssa & Emma, and Olivia & Amber -- won!
Congratulations to Emma
Emma has earned her way to the top in both solo 1-baton and x-strut. At a recent local contest she earned two first places in solo and another in x-strut to put her into the Advanced Senior division for both events. Way to go Emma!
Tidbit from Amanda
You Know You're a Twirler When:
- Any long skinny object that finds its way into your fingers gets twirled around
- When someone mentions the animal "Cougar," you think of your twirling shoes
- When someone says that the conductor of the orchestra used a baton you ask "what was his most difficult trick and what brand was he using?"
- When you hear marching music you clasp your hands over your ears and cringe! Listening to that during a a twelve hour competition day is enough!
- You are the only one in your school with calloused and cracked hands
- In Ballet class you can do pirouettes better to the left then the right (and no one else knows why)
- At your school dance you unconsciously do an illusion in the middle of your groovin'
- While watching a movie you are always occupied by listening to the soundtrack - "this song would be great for a show-twirl"
And medical update...
I'm back on Fort Drum now. Got back from convalescent leave March 2nd. They cut the cast off after 8 weeks on Friday and I'm in a walking cast now. I should be in that for another 4-8 weeks. I started Physical Therapy, but that doesn't seem to be going so well. I hardly have any range of motion left in my foot to move it side to side. I'm trying to rehab myself on the side too, along with the take-home exercises that I am supposed to be doing. He said he'll have to see where I stand with my foot in about 2 months. If no improvement they are going to put forth my Honorable Medical Discharge Packet. Hopefully, they won't.
I'm doing a lot of cool Physical Therapy things too. Twirling my batons is one. They let me go in the gym with the therapist and juggle and do all upper body movements like my flourishes and fingers and rolls. Problem is, when I drop one, they have to run to get it and since I can't spin on the broken ankle, it makes it hard to do the rolls because I can't "walk" my way around without the brace on.
Basketball Basketball Basketball
The Strutters performed at a number of local college basketball games this season, including Tufts University Men's Basketball and both the Men's and Women's games at Brandeis University. It was the first time for many of the girls and they had a great time. (Sorry, no pictures ready yet...check back later.)
More from Amanda
Hi all, I had surgery on my ankle in January. Things went well. They put in a bunch of screws, rods, and pins to keep it in place. Three brakes, a complete fracture and full dislocation to my ankle was the final diagnosis. I have a copy of the X-Rays and they look pretty cool! Hope you all are doing well. Keep in touch. Much love to you all... Mandee
Forgot this tidbit from Deb (Debbie) Carney
This is Deb (Debbie) Carney - I hope you remember me. My parents had cut out an ad from the local paper. It brought back so many fun memories I just had to write. I'm living in Colorado (for almost 3 years now) and teaching math at the University of Denver. My husband teaches math there too - so it is convenient for commuting! We have a 4 year old daughter. She's lots of fun, loves preschool, and loves to do ballet. So how are things? Do you ever hear from anyone that was from my era? I poked around the web site and saw Elaine's daughters. I thought that Devin looked like Raelynn when I saw the picture! So many fun memories. I guess that's all, just wanted to say hello. Hope you are all well. Bye for now,Deb
Update on Emily and Hannah
Tracey....I'm so glad your trip was a success and sad we were unable to attend. Emily and Hannah are wonderful! This move has been great for them. Both are getting A's in school and have a great group of new friends. Look forward to hearing from you again! Liz
Miss Majorette of Massachusetts
It was first time attendance at Miss Majorette for Nadine, Alison and Chrissy. The three made an impression on the modeling judges for the Pageant. In very large divisions, Nadine earned a first, Chrissy earned a second and Alison earned a third. The girls joined long-time participants Alyssa, Devin, Alicia, Olivia and Emma. Each of the Strutters made an impact on the day's results. The day couldn't have been much better!
News from Candace Muller
Candice is in her final year at Ithaca College. Following graduation, she'll be moving to Los Angeles but hopes to make it to Regionals in July. She spent last summer in Los Angeles, assisting at a music video/commercial company and at a small independent film shoot with the Farrely Brothers' people. She is both excited and nervous about the prospects.
News from Amanda Marion
Things are getting really hectic around here on post. We're getting ready to deploy two brigades from here. They are moving medics all around post trying to fill up the empty slots on the deploying units. Right now, I am still with my unit I was assigned to when I got here, but things seem to be changing daily around here! I'm practicing again, but it just doesn't seem the same anymore. I miss twirling so much I can't explain it. I wish I was just closer to the studio to be able to still twirl and take lessons. :(
Universal Studios - Performance at Citywalk
What a fabulous experience! The team really came together to put on a fantastic performance at Citywalk for Lights, Camera, Music. Considering that they ranged in age from 7 to 18 years of age, and in experience from novice to national champion...they managed a cohesive show that pulled in and entertained an estimated crowd of over 100. The day after the performance, team members Olivia, Amber, Cara, Chrissy, Devin, Nadine, Alyssa, Emma and Alicia presented coach Tracey with a scrapbook and wore buttons with her on it, dubbing it 'Miss Tracey Day' in appreciation of her efforts. The buttons drew the attention of many park Characters and tourists throughout the day.