Baton lessons and practice are an important part of learning how to twirl. The twirling group called the Germantown Gems gives baton lessons three times a week to teach the skills of baton twirling. The Germantown Gems was established in June, 1994 in Germantown, Maryland. When the
was formed by Cheryl Crosby, it offered baton lessons and twirling skills, Majorettes,
. Baton twirling however has been the groups main focus for the last 5 years. The founder, Cheryl Crosby also the director and twirling instructor began this organization especially for the children of Germantown who could not afford the activities offered by the community.
Cheryl Crosby has an extensive history in Baton Twirling as a competitive baton twirler, she twirled from the age of three until age twenty two, at which time she gave baton lessons to several different community twirling groups and organizations in Prince Georges County. Cheryl has given baton lessons to private students in Prince George's County until she moved to Montgomery County in 1981. She thought it would be a valuable resource to share baton lessons with the children in the community, as well as her own children at very little expense. Chery has always remained a member of the
Capital Area Marching Association
where she has been a certified baton twirling judge since 1977. She continued to judge baton twirling performances at parades and competitions and has stayed very active in the baton twirl community.
When Cheryl had three daughters of her own and one son who all decided to become members of various twirling, pom's and sports organizations within the county, it became feasibly impossible for the family to allow the children to participate in the county programs. At that time Cheryl decided she could do something for the community to give back to those children who so desperately wanted to partake in the community programs and were financially unable to do so.
Cheryl volunteered her time for teaching baton twirling and solicited other talented adults in the community including; Kimberly Weaver who was a twirler from Pennsylvania and mom in Germantown. Don D’Amato who was a former drummer for Wheaton High School, from Ashton, Maryland who volunteered his time to teach the
. Don was also a business owner in Rockville and helped the Gems get drums donated by various businesses. However, one of the most important
in the birth of the Germantown Gems was, B&B Refuse, Inc., a local company that still remains in our community. B&B Refuse, Inc. owned by Mr. & Mrs. Buddy Crigger was a tremendous support to the Gems. They donated numerous drums and
as well as banners and signs and money to pay for facilities to practice in the winter months. Without the Criggers the Germantown Gems would have never made it in the beginning
As the Germantown Gems became more established in our community as a competitive rifle, flag, poms and baton twirling group, we became a non-profit organization within the Federal and State Governments, Became more independent and grew to 120 members. Since our creation we have had over 600 children come and go as members of our juvinile dance team or other competitive areas we teach in our organization.
Do you want to
join a twirl group
, or take baton lessons in your area? We have a registration drive once a year to allow new members and we offer
, dance and pom pon lessons for a fee of $35.00 per month, far below other groups in the County. The Gems fund raise for
baton twirl costumes
to keep costs down and in many cases Cheryl creates the
herself, sewing late into the night. The money that is brought in each month is set aside for baton twirling practice to cover facility and contest entry fees. The Gems currently have 28 children and several young adults on our roster ranging in ages from 3-22. The Gems have made tremendous progress in their twirling abilities through the years and have 7 long-time original members from 1994.