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Twinkle N Twirl dance mixes cheer, dance and gymnastic for Mount Vernon students

MOUNT VERNON -- Mount Vernon students are twinkling and twirling their way through fall. A mixed dance, gymnastics and cheer class in Mount Vernon -- called Twinkle N Twirl -- is turning heads in the small town, giving its young girls a chance to...

A group of Twinkle N Twirl dancers cheer during a volleyball game on Tuesday night in Mount Vernon. Twinkle N Twirl dance began two years ago in Mount Vernon to provide area children with dance classes. (Matt Gade / Republic)
A group of Twinkle N Twirl dancers cheer during a volleyball game on Tuesday night in Mount Vernon. Twinkle N Twirl dance began two years ago in Mount Vernon to provide area children with dance classes. (Matt Gade / Republic)

MOUNT VERNON - Mount Vernon students are twinkling and twirling their way through fall.

A mixed dance, gymnastics and cheer class in Mount Vernon - called Twinkle N Twirl - is turning heads in the small town, giving its young girls a chance to dance.

The classes were started by Mount Vernon's Angela Klumb, who found a need in the community for a dance class. Her daughter wanted to dance, but Klumb didn't have the time to take her to Mitchell while living in Mount Vernon.

In winter 2015, the Mount Vernon High School cheerleaders hosted a short cheer class, drawing a large turnout. It was then that Klumb knew she and her daughter weren't the only ones with a desire to dance.
"I have been doing these for two years and seeing these little girls grow up is so enjoyable. The happiness the girls have from dancing around the gym carefree, it is awesome," Klumb said.

The classes are available for students 3 years old to fourth grade, practicing cheer jumps, dancing with ribbon wands and somersaults, Klumb said. And all the while, the girls are having fun, which was Klumb's goal from the beginning.

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"This is just a fun thing for the girls," Klumb said. "You're not going to leave and go to Juilliard or anything. You're going to leave having a ton of fun."

A community affair

While Klumb enjoys watching the girls have fun, she really loves how much the community has supported Twinkle N Twirl.

The Mount Vernon School District allows Klumb and the girls to use its gym. And high school coaches have allowed the Twinkle N Twirl dancers cheer at games.

And during recitals, Bakers Produce, which also operates a large pumpkin patch west of Mount Vernon, donates pumpkins for decoration. People can purchase the pumpkins, and all of the proceeds to go the Mount Vernon BackPack program, Klumb said.

The annual fall dance recital for Twinkle N Twirl has also turned into a packed evening of events in Mount Vernon. Following the dance recital on Oct. 29, there will also be a Trunk or Treat, a Halloween carnival and a haunted house in town.

"It really feels like the whole town is in support," Klumb said.

Incorporating professional and 'silly dancing'

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With a large range of ages of dancer, Klumb often takes the younger students while a second instructor, Brianna Deinert, teaches the older children.

Deinert teaches second through fourth-graders. She recently moved to Mount Vernon after teaching several cheer classes in Sioux Falls. She's also certified in teaching stunt work, Klumb said, bringing another element to Twinkle N Twirl.

The classes have an obstacle course for gymnastics instruction. But for Klumb, who doesn't have a lot of dance experience, she incorporates ribbon dancing, ballet and cheerleading along with "silly dancing."

And the kids - and parents - love it.

"On the night of the recital I will bring a little glittery makeup that we put on to make it extra special. I think the parents enjoying seeing their daughter learn how to follow directions, play with others and come home tired," Klumb said.

The classes last roughly five weeks, and began on Oct. 1. And as the class continues to grow, nearly doubling since last year from 30 to 54, Klumb worries about fitting all of the dancers' many fans into the gym for the annual recital.

"This has turned pretty big, and a lot of people come. The gym (during recital) is full and Main Street parking is full," Klumb said, estimating more than 250 people from the Mount Vernon area attended the recital last year. "It's just so fun."

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