A baton twirling club has started up in Clayton.
The Fraser Valley Baton Club opened recently and is accepting new students.
“I’m running classes in Clayton Heights, but servicing the community of Cloverdale,” organiser Kelda Piluke told the Cloverdale Reporter. “It’s open to boys and girls ages five and up.”
Now Piluke is offering a 12-week “Learn to Twirl” program that will run from April until June. She added the class will teach the basics of twirling combined with dance and acrobatic movements.
Piluke said baton twirling has developed into a sport as a progression from the early days when marching band majorettes would twirl with a baton. Today, she said, athletes perform routines similar to rhythmic gymnastics and dance representing a combined effort that encompasses acrobatic moves all while tossing a baton around.
“The sport is about the manipulation of the baton and what you can do around your body and while it is in the air.”
Piluke started twirling when she was five years old and fell in love with the sport. She continued twirling competitively into her early 20s and is now both a certified coach and a competition judge with the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation (CBFT).
“(I) wanted to be able to provide kids the opportunity to get involved in a unique sport that is fun and challenging,” Piluke said. “I feel this is something different that isn’t offered in a lot of places.”
Piluke said her intro class will be a weekly, one-hour session.
“Along with twirling, we will have games to develop coordination and stretching to develop flexibility,” she explained. “At the end of a 12-week session, each athlete will complete two badges in the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation badge program and perform in a mini-recital for parents and family and friends.”
The badge program with CBFT is a development program that helps twirlers progress along a pathway to higher skill development.
The badge program “is a comprehensive, progressional model for the sport of baton twirling with the focus of equal development in all three modes of twirling as well as body technique elements following the CBTF Long-Term Development strategy,” according to CBFT’s website. The program “strives to be a national program that builds a strong technical foundation with a consistent approach to development, terminology, and training of baton twirling and body technique skills for every twirler across Canada.”
Piluke said each registration fee will include a one-year membership in the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation. Kids will also get a baton to practice with at home while they are in the course.
“This is a great chance to give twirling a try and learn the basics of (the sport).”
To register, or to find out more information on twirling or the twirling club, Piluke said people can call or text 778-789-6850, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their Facebook page: Fraser Valley Baton Club.