|For seven years Amanda Duffy has been batoning. This uncommon sport is an ambitious hobby practiced at an advanced level for 14-year-old Amanda.
What exactly is batoning? Amanda helps to give a clear picture. "A baton is a metal rod about a foot and a half in length, with rubber tips on either end." The act of twirling is actually a dance with a series of complex steps. Amanda uses ballet in a "technical" form as well as the flips and walkovers of gymnastics.
Used to dazzling audiences at Southern High School in Harwood, Amanda will be packing up her gear and heading to France this summer to compete in an international competition.
This spring, Amanda competed with 50 other twirlers for a spot on the national team. She trained hard all year, both physically and spiritually, with her coach, Glen, for the tryouts. Only three could be chosen for each of the four categories: Junior Women's and Men's, ages 12-14, and Senior Women's and Men's, ages 15+.
Each twirler must perform two different individual drills: the compulsory, which is a standard dance made up for competition purposes; and the freestyle, which is a routine made up by the batonist and his or her coach and performed to music.
Chosen to compete with the national team this summer under the Junior Women's category, Amanda will again be required to perform a compulsory and freestyle routine. "The hardest move I have to complete in the freestyle is a double walkover," says Amanda. A walkover is a simple task for most gymnasts but doing it twice while throwing a baton into the air is a different matter.
Good luck to Amanda and her team, the Belleaires, in the International Baton Twirling competition!
Kids at Shady Side Elementary School won first place in the Public Works Bin it and Win it! challenge, with their poem We Recycle. A check for $2,500, donated by the American Plastics Council, was presented to the kids by County Executive Janet Owens at the Earth Day Celebration at Quiet Waters Park last month. Congratulations and Keep up the good work!
We the people of Shady Side
Accept this check with pride
We will use it to help the trees,
Help the flowers, and help the bees.
Recycling is lots of fun.
We recycle ton by ton!
We can reuse aluminum and tin
By putting it in a recycling bin.
Yard waste and grass
We can recycle in mass.
Mark it with an "X" and put it by the road,
Every time your lawn is mowed.
Cardboard takes up lots of space
So to the trash can we DON'T race!
Instead we run to put it in
The ever present yellow bin!
Recycling we think is fun
Recycling is for everyone
We use paper in a minute,
Then we go ahead and bin-it!
by the students of Shady Side Elementary School
Super Craft Time Fri. May 18 (7pm)-Design-a-Friend with body art using markers, stickers and stencils. Ages 6 + @ Harbour Center, Annapolis rsvp: 410/266-0304
Music for Your Ears Sat. May 19 (7pm) Celebrate spring and surround yourself with fantastic music as the talented young musicians of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra perform their final concert of the 2000-2001 season. All ages @ Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, $. rsvp: 410/263-2664.
Jug Bay Children's Day Sat. May 19 (11am-3pm)Come have fun at a day of crafts, games, children's activities and more. Plus go on nature hikes and canoe trips. All ages @ Jug Bay, Lothian. rsvp: 410/741-9346.
Recycling Fun Tues. May 19 (5-8pm)-Have fun learning about recycling. Find out about some nifty ways to reuse everyday items. Ages 6-9 @ Kings Landing Park, Huntington. rsvp: 410/535-5327.
Beary Picnic Tue. May 22 (12-1pm)Beary good games and goodies are all part of a yummy picnic. Pack a lunch and bring Mom or Dad to join in the fun. Ages 3-5 @ Northeast Community Center, Chesapeake Beach, $3. rsvp: 410/257-2554.
Nature Magic Wed. May 23 (10:30am & 1pm)-Explore a garden and see how many things you can find. Enjoy a nature story and a fun craft. Ages 3-5 @ Tawes Garden, Annapolis. rsvp: 410/260-8189.