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Havering Majorettes are ready to twirl, curl and swirl

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 November 2015

The Havering Majorettes with reporter Rosaleen Fenton

The Havering Majorettes with reporter Rosaleen Fenton

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Reporter Rosaleen Fenton joined the Havering Majorettes for a lesson in baton twirling

Rosaleen Fenton tries baton swirling with the Havering MajorettesRosaleen Fenton tries baton swirling with the Havering Majorettes

The Havering Majorettes are well known for their baton-twirling skills but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Routines include a wide range of choreographed dance moves, accompanied by a mix of baton twirling, flag swirling and poi curling.

The majorettes dance trainer, Andrea Williams, admits that the sport can be difficult at first but insists that people should feel confident that they can pick it up quickly.

She said: “It can be difficult at the beginning but once you learn to twirl a baton, everything becomes easier.

Baton swirling and pom-pom shaking with the Havering Majorettes at the Noak Hill Victory HallBaton swirling and pom-pom shaking with the Havering Majorettes at the Noak Hill Victory Hall

“For the younger girls, it can be a struggle to count the beat in their head whilst they perform and the judges will dock your score!”

The group of 20 girls is split into four categories – the pewees, juveniles, juniors and seniors – who regularly perform together.

Members enter several regional competitions each year but the national competition in Easter is the annual highlight.

Majorette Jade Bush, 24, of Rainham, was crowned Miss UKFM by the Federation of Majorettes in April at Pontins in Camber Sands.

My lesson with the Majorettes

I had no idea what to expect before I went to meet the Havering Majorettes.

I’m not very co-ordinated but I felt confident that I could learn the basics.

Firstly I was taught how to “baton twirl”, which requires you to smoothly roll the stick around your hand, making it look like it’s spinning.

In my hand, it looked more like the stick was being controlled by a robot with a circuit fault.

After reassurances that the baton was hard to master, I moved on to the poi ribbons.

These are long ribbons at the end of poles, which you can twirl around you in patterns.

They looked great and I found them much easier.

I also tried out the sparkly pink pom poms which made me feel like a cheerleader from an American film.

Afterwards I watched the senior girls perform an aerial routine. In it, the baton must constantly be in the air, whilst they twirl and perform in time to the music.

I was pretty jealous at how effortless they made it look!

I definitely recommend the club to anyone who enjoys dancing or gymnastics - why not give it a go?

She will represent the United Kingdom Federation of Majorettes for a year, which she described as amazing.

She said: “It was a bit of a shock. “It’s made a big difference when we enter competitions as people recognise the sash.

“It’s a big honour for the whole troupe. I wanted to win it for them.”

The role, which is considered the biggest honour in the majorette community, was also won by Andrea in 2001.

Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings, between 6.30pm to 9.00pm at Noak Hill Victory Hall, in Church Road, Romford.

Price £3 per session with a joining fee of £30.00 after 6 weeks.

Contact: Lesley Haylett 07958 462154.


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