THE hours of painstaking practice and dedication certainly paid off a Glenrothes-based dance troupe last weekend when they achieved their best performance results ever at the National Baton Twirling championships.
Members of the Dardas Diamonds Baton Twirlers saw off rival teams from across the UK to bring home no less that seven British titles along with 15 silver and 11 bronze medals in both the individual and team disciplines at the weekend of completion held in Crawley, England.
It was the first time that the national championships had included team competitions and 3-Baton. In the ‘dance-twirl’ team event, the 10-12 years category was won by the Dinky Diamonds with the Tiny Diamonds taking silver in the 6-8 years category.
Both the juvenile and junior Diamonds teams took silver in the Club event while Louise Coalman achieved first place for 3-baton with an outstanding zero-drop performance.
It’s a record haul for the 18 girls aged between six and 17 who took part in the tough competition and they’re already hungry for more success with they eyes now firmly set on more success at the British Individual Freestyle Open taking place in Sheffield next month.
“As a club, this is the best set of results that we have ever had and I am an extremely proud coach.” Baton twirling is growing in popularity and new club members are always welcome”, a delighted Diamonds coach Alanna Dardas told the Gazette.
Sue Claydon, chairman of Exit Centre, where the ‘Diamonds’ train added: “The girls have gone from strength to strength over the past five years and are a real credit to Alanna.
“Every athlete had to qualify before they could represent their country at the National Championships and qualification in itself is a real achievement.”
Dedication and deep pockets are order of the day with an individual costumes and performance garments costing several hundred pounds each, making it an expensive sport at the highest level.
“We try to raise as much money as possible through a variety of fund raising and other events to subsidise the cost for the girls as much as possible and help with travel to tournaments, but it can be expensive”, explained Sue.
“Seeing the reward with the medals and titles makes it all worth while.”
But there’s little time dwell on the glories just achieved as many of the dancers are already working hard on individual two minute routines in preparation for the next big tournament.
“This next tournament is a lot different with the girls allowed to choose their own music and costume design and to choreograph their own two minute baton twirling dance routine”, said Sue.
Fingers crossed the girls can bring even more silverware back north of the border.