Carmel Valley student wins title of Miss Pre-teen Majorette of North San Diego County 2013

Ashley Falls student Shireen Heidari was recently named Miss Pre-teen Majorette of North San Diego County 2013. Courtesy photo

By Karen Billing

Ashley Falls student Shireen Heidari recently twirled her way to the title of Miss Pre-teen Majorette of North San Diego County 2013.

Shireen, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at Ashley Falls, is talented and poised with a baton in hand, having started practicing the art of twirling when she was just 5 years old.

Shireen got a handle on twirling naturally but she admits it isn’t easy.

“You have to have a perfect angle when you toss it in the air,” Shireen said. “The hardest thing is twirling around and catching it.”

She is working on a new trick where she completes two spins before catching the baton — right now she is working through a lot of baton drops until she gets it right.

“My coach tells me if you drop it you just pick it up and keep smiling,” Shireen said.

Shireen became interested in the activity through Chery Knapp, the director of admissions and operations at her old school, Country Montessori, who taught baton at the YMCA in Escondido and Rancho Penasquitos for over 30 years.

Shireen takes class at the YMCA once a week and participates in competitions, racking up a table full of trophies in twirling, strut (marching) and modeling. In modeling, she has to walk with her feet in a certain position, be natural, smile a lot and give a speech to the judges.

Last year she was crowned Miss Majorette Jr. and this year she was on stage crowning the new winner when she heard her name called as the winner of Miss Pre-teen.

“This time was a surprise, I was really shocked because there was another girl in my division who was really good,” Shireen said.

“It’s always very exciting when she wins and I’m very happy but I always feel a little sad for the other girls,” her mom Constance said. “I wish everybody could win because they work really hard.”

Twirlers move through the age divisions of Heartbreakers, Sweethearts, Diamonds and Dazzlers.

The Dazzlers, the oldest group that toss fire batons, is Shireen’s ultimate goal.

“The Dazzlers do amazing tricks that I feel I can never do but I tell myself if I keep going as I get older I’ll get a lot better,” Shireen said.

This summer she will twirl in a show at a San Diego Padres game and in a Fourth of July parade in Escondido.

In addition to twirling, Shireen also hones her acting skills with Scripps Performing Arts Academy, participating in several workshops and productions.

The giant Miss Pre-teen Majorette trophy currently sits in her living room, so big it dwarfs Shireen. She will have to return it when her year is up but hopes to earn a new one to take its place.

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  4. Ashley Falls Brownie Troop holding animal toy drive in Carmel Valley
  5. Carmel Valley author looking for diary submissions from teen years for book

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Posted by Karen Billing on May 28, 2013. Filed under Carmel Valley, Featured Story, News, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Carmel Valley student wins title of Miss Pre-teen Majorette of North San Diego County 2013”

  1. MiChelle-Serena Lopes

    I read the artrlcle involving the young 11 year older, named, Shireen Heidari. She She is an the young and the old.

    I am so glad to lean that the effectiveness of the YWCA programs can been seen trhrough the great successes of this little young lady. I will be sure to add the Y to my favorite CFC list of charitIes.

    Best wishes to Shireen! =)

    • Constance Heidari

      The Director of the Twirlers at the YMCA (Cheryl Knapp) has been instructing for over 40 years. She directs and choreographs the shows and parade routines as well…and she does this at two separate YMCA locations during the week after working her full-time job as the Director of Admissions at a Montessori school. (where she also teaches baton as an extracurricular activity for the school). The YMCA and Mrs. Knapp has given girls the opportunity to become familiar with and excel at a sport that was beginning to fade away (or so we thought). Yes, kiddos to the Shireen, the YMCA and Cheryl Knapp!

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