UMass Amherst sophomore Leah Maio has been selected as a USA Baton Twirling All Star and will perform in the 82nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27.
Maio, a resident of Belchertown, is currently a member of the Minuteman Marching Band Twirlers. She has been twirling since the age of 6 and has been coached throughout her career by Barbara Kupras and UMass twirling instructor Kristi Kupras Ochs. A winner of many state and regional titles, she has also won medals on the national and Junior Olympic levels. She is majoring in hospitality and tourism management at UMass Amherst.
The 150 USA Baton Twirling All Stars were selected from a nationwide group based on their twirling ability and past achievements. Under the direction of Karen Cammer, former director of the U.S Twirling Association, the group will perform routines choreographed by former Syracuse Orange Girl KeriAnn Lynch. An estimated 3.5 million spectators will cheer the group as they march toward Herald Square in New York for their performance before more than 50 million TV viewers watching live on NBC.