The Wheaton Twirlers perform a hip, high energy routine. But it all begins with hours and hours of rehearsal.
Annie Kennedy loves twirling and helping the performers be their best.
Since Kennedy's mother started the program in 1959 and was it was picked up by her two older sisters, the Wheaton Twirlers hold the most state, national and world championship titles in twirling history. They also have more than 200 athletes from all over Montgomery County.
"It's a privilege to work with the athletes on this program because they're so serious," she said. "They're dedicated and committed to twirling and being their very best."
Kennedy is also a pre-kindergarten teacher in Howard County and the head coach of the University of Maryland dance team for the last 10 years. At the same time, she has raised two boys, now ages 22 and 15.
She never had a daughter but this team of girls is like her own group of daughters.
Kennedy says that while she's teaching twirling, she's passing along important lessons about dedication, determination and strong work ethic.
She hopes those lessons help them bring home the top price at the national championship this weekend. If they win that, they'll go to Switzerland next year for the world championship.
"Hopefully we'll do the job we've been practicing so hard for all year," she said.