Character Corner is a regular feature in the Twyrl Type newsletter. Below is an introduction and highlights from previously published articles.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
When Twirling Unlimited was incorporated in 1981, it was the dream of all its founders to make it the Best of Twirling for everyone. This goal arises from the realization that twirling has a unique position in developing life skills and traits. It is fitting, therefore, that we turn our attention to the individual twirler and teacher - who both contribute so much to our twirling activities. It is with great pride and anticipation that I introduce the CHARACTER CORNER which will be a regular feature of TWYRL TYPE from now on. The concept is introduced below by Candy Kimball, who spent sixteen years as a competitive twirler and who has had teaching experience at all levels - camps, schools, colleges, and competitive twirlers in all ranks.
By Candy Kimball
Years ago when I was still competing, interview was only infrequently included in pageant events. At the time, one of the standard questions was “What has twirling meant to you?” We all generally answered with stories of opportunities to travel, meet new friends, make new pen pals. With the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, my answer now would be entirely different. While I did (and still do) get a chance to travel because of twirling and I have met some fabulous, life-long friends…. twirling did so much more! Twirling taught me:
to persevere even when disappointed
to put on a smile, even when my heart was breaking
to temper my celebrations when I could see that someone else’s heart was breaking
dreams can come true, but so can nightmares
there’s no substitute for preparation
problems can be solved
flexibility is a virtue
excellence is hard work
Life isn’t always fair
In short, twirling developed a large part of my character.
Now I was fortunate to have both a teacher and parents who realized that the life-long lessons were what “twirling opportunity” is all about. Therefore, my twirling experiences were maximized by adults who always helped me put things in perspective.
Twirling Unlimited, since its inception, has been about helping youth develop, using twirling opportunities as a vehicle. To help teachers and parents maximize the opportunities presented by twirling experiences, we are introducing a regular column entitled “Character Corner”. Beginning next month – in this same location every issue—Karen Moretti will have a regular column relating to character education and giving parents and teachers ideas and strategies to incorporate a specific character trait into twirling lessons and daily twirling experiences. Karen, a well-known twirling teacher from Waterloo, NY, is also a middle school teacher whose building has a PRIDE program that received national recognition from the Character Education Partnership in Washington D.C. Karen is a frequent workshop presenter throughout the state of New York as well as at conferences that host national and international participants.
By Karen Moretti
Those who can, do.
Those who can teach, can do wonders.
I truly believe that twirling teachers do wonders for our youth. We teach our students to twirl and strut to the best of their abilities, and to perform with grace and poise with smiles on their faces. More importantly, we have the opportunity to teach life lessons that will influence the choices our students make throughout their lives. This ability to touch the minds and hearts of children is an honor, a challenge, and a great responsibility.
In our efforts to develop the whole child using twirling as a vehicle, we will highlight both performance character traits and moral character traits in this column. In order to maximize twirling experiences, performance character is needed to realize the potential for excellence. Moral character is also needed to treat ourselves and others with respect and care. Our goal is to bring out the best in each and every twirler by taking a proactive, intentional approach to teaching character, and create a dialogue among those of us involved in the twirling world