Coach - brianna van genderen

Candice Dowdy is the founder, owner, and director of Brite Star Twirlers of Central Florida.

In 2010, she was appointed as the AAU Baton Twirling Chair. She has strived to make AAU Baton Twirling inclusive for athletes of all ages, skill levels, and physical and mental abilities.

Candy choreographs all routines for team performances, both recreationally and competitively. Her students range from 4 to 18 years old. She has developed local, state, and national award winning teams. Since 2006, her teams have qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics, where they have won multiple gold medals. In addition to teams and groups, she also choreographs routines for individual routines for performances and competitions.

She promotes her classes through parades, community performances, and competitions.

Since beginning Brite Star, she has organized an annual End Of The Year Show to showcase what her students have learned.

In 2005, Candice formed the Timber Creek High School Majorettes, re-introducing baton twirling as an extra-curricular activity offered in public schools in Orange County. Since then, she has created similar programs at Orange and Seminole County schools.


Brite Star Twirlers emphasizes teamwork, self-confidence, and athletic creativity in all of our classes and routines. Baton twirling, dance/poms, and ribbons are a few of the classes we offer.


Brianna is currently a senior at Timber Creek High School and a dual enrollment student at Valencia Community College. This is her 12th year of baton twirling, and her 11th year with Brite Star Twirlers. She would like to pursue collegiate twirling next fall at one of the Florida colleges. In addition to twirling, she is also involved in other activities at her school including National Honors Society, Timber Creek Majorettes, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Art Club, and National Art Honors Society.

In her near future, she looks to attend a Florida college where she can major in psychology. Coaching children for the past year has helped Brianna develop a career path directed towards youth counseling. The children she has taught have had just as much of a positive effect on her as she intended to have on them. Nonetheless, Brianna looks forward to teaching your child and the next generation of baton twirlers!

Coach - Rachel Tse

Coach - erin thomas


Maria has been involved with Brite Stars for 9 years. Her daughter, Bella, was a student and she was Team Mom until her daughter graduated. Maria stayed involved even after Bella went off to college by helping Coach Candy with general office duties. She is now Brite Star’s office manager, and she handles all of the social media sites. Maria is also on the AAU Baton Twirling Board working alongside her longtime friend, Coach Candy.

Coach - Lindsay Gallo

Staff/Manager - Maria Cortes

Mia has been twirling for five years. Currently a student at Valencia College and plans to transfer on to University of Central Florida. She plans to pursue a a degree in both teaching and criminal justice. Baton became a passion of hers during high school because of everyones kind encouragements and instruction. She hopes to make a great impression on all of her students like her coaches before her had done.


Erin Thomas has been a part of the Brite Star family for 13 years. She is currently attending Florida State University studying Elementary Education and is expected to graduate in the Winter of 2017. 

Lindsay's Bio Coming Soon!

founder/owner - candice dowdy

Our programs are for boys and girls ages 5 and up. Athletes may join at any time through the year.

We promote individual growth and achievement through a comprehensive training program that emphasizes acrobatic coordination, dance skills, and self-confidence.

Mia has been twirling for 8 years and began at Brite Star Twirlers in fourth grade. She is currently a Junior at Timber Creek high school. She is a member and a co captain of the Timber Creek High School Majorette Line.

After high school, Mia hopes to attend the University of Florida and major in Biomedical Engineering. She has been on the Brite Star Twirlers competition team for 5 years; she has attended many competitions and 3 Junior Olympic Games, where she has earned many gold medals, both with her team and individually. Through her work teaching the sport she loves, she hopes that she will help other girls love baton twirling too. 

Coach - tara routie

Bella has been a part of the Brite Star family for 9 years. She is currently a student at Florida State University. Bella is  majoring in Communications Sciences & Disorders with aspirations of becoming a Speech Pathologist. One of her dreams as a twirler was to be on a college majorette line, and she is thrilled to say her wish came true. This is her second year as part of the FSU majorette line with the Marching Chiefs.

Since Bella is at school the majority of the year, she focuses on teaching during the summer. This past summer, she was part of the staff at AAU, worked at the Junior Olympics, and all while teaching numerous summer camps. Bella looks forward to continuing her work with both Brite Stars and the AAU Baton Twirling Association. 

Coach/Director - Karina Emeric

Coach Karina has directed and choreographed countless routines during the last 13 years as an integral part of the Brite Star family. In addition to directing and choreographing individual and team performances, she has also showcased her talents by working on the majorette halftime performance at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for the last 4 years.

Karina has worked at baton clinics oversees and sits on the staffing board and board of directors for the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She feels “twirling is so much fun and truly blessed that she is able to share her love of baton with others through teaching…” she is also “proud to be able to make a difference in their lives by providing them a fun atmosphere in which they can express themselves and learn skills they can use each day.” Brite Star is truly proud to have Coach Karina as such an important part of the Brite Star Family. 

Tara Routie is currently a junior at Hagerty High School and has been twirling with Brite Star for 6 years. She is also the captain of the HHS Majorettes. She loves kids and hopes to twirl in college as it is her passion. 

coach - bella cortes



Rachael has been twirling since the second grade, and has loved being a part of Brite Star for the past 10 years. She is currently a member of the University of Central Florida majorette corps where she is studying nursing and hopes to pursue her dream of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

Rachael was the 2014 National All-Around Champion and we are privileged to have her as a team member and beloved coach! 

coach - mia serr

Coach - Mia Forsman