Southeast Area Twirlers place in top 10 at national competition

Thursday, August 2, 2007
Southeast Area Twirlers Paeton Outman, left, of Cape Girardeau and Decinda Little of East Prairie, MO., were pictured with director, Kandi Staples, center, before solo performances at the 2007 National Baton Twirling Competition. (Submitted photo)

Southeast Area Twirlers competed in their first America's Youth on Parade national competition recently and exceeded the goal of placing in the top 30 in at least one division.

Director Kandi Staples said, "With this being our first time at nationals, we needed to get our routines on the floor, see how they matched with twirlers from around the country and get adjusted to competing on this large of a scale."

America's Youth on Parade, sponsored by the National Baton Twirling Association, offers baton twirlers, teams and corps from all around the world a chance to compete in national and world open contests. Twirlers came from all across the nation, Canada and Japan to take part in a weeklong competition at the Joyce Center on the campus of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind.

The divisions had more contestants than the competitions Southeast Area Twirlers usually compete in, giving the twirlers an opportunity to adjust to competing on a larger scale.

Preparation began several months ago and included participation in a weekly Nationals Prep Class designed to polish and perfect twirlers' routines for the event.

Southeast Area Twirlers, from left, Decinda Little of East Prairie and Paeton Outman of Cape Girardeau, recently competed in the annual America's Youth on Parade national level twirling competition in Indiana.

The twirlers exceeded their goals by placing in the top 10 and top 20 in their divisions. To medal in any category at nationals, twirlers had to place in the top 10 of their division. The twirlers returned with seven top-10 medals and four top-20 placements.

Awards for Decinda Little of East Prairie, Mo., during the National and World Open Championships included a 12th-place finish in solos; a 7th-place in two-baton; a 6th-place in x-strut, a 19th-place in show-twirl with her Jailhouse Rock routine and 38th-place in All-American Girl Model. Little earned two top-10 medals and two top-20 placements.

Paeton Outman of Cape Gir-ardeau earned five top-10 medals and two placements in the top 20: 7th place in solo, 6th place in two-baton, 2nd place in x-strut, 13th place in flag, 7th place in hoop, 4th place in show-twirl and 15th place in All-American Girl Model.

Twirlers are under the direction of Staples of East Prairie. Outman is also coached by Victoria Adams of Jackson. They are members of the Southeast Competition Teams as well as Competition Soloists.

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