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Twirly gig: Miss New York visits Ridge baton competition

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This beauty queen had their heads twirling.

Miss New York 2014 — Jillian Tapper — dropped by a baton-twirling competition at Our Lady of Perpetual Help to give contestants a pep talk on April 25. The pageant winner is also an accomplished twirler, and parents said their kids were stoked to meet someone who knows her way around a baton so well.

“She loved it,” said Lisa Silva of her daughter Isabella. “She felt very proud because it was really nice to see someone who twirls and is so successful.”

And Tapper has more baton bona fides than you can shake a stick at, said one twirling coach.

“She used to twirl at FSU in front of 80,000 people during football games,” said Perpetual Help twirling coach Cecilia Fedyn. “She won scholarships that paid for her entire college.”

And she still has the skills, Fedyn said.

“She put on a little performance,” she said. “She twirled three batons so she’s pretty good — she did it like it was nothing.”

The Miss America runner-up address the crowd before 100 baton majors and majorettes from the tri-state area tested their hands in team, duet, and solo exhibitions as part of the New York Twirling Championship.

Isabella Silva took home first place in the Intermediate Solo category, but she really showed off what the sport has taught her once the competition was over, her mother said.

“The thing I really like about the twirlers is that they teach them how to be good sports and to be good winners,” Lisa Silva said. “Isabella was twirling against was one of her best friends, and they were competing for champion — both of them had a very good attitude about competing against each other. Isabella was very happy she won, but she was also mindful that her friend was disappoint­ed.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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