Maria has been involved with Brite Stars for over 12 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.


​Brianna is a UCF Alumna with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) in School Psychology. She has been coaching the sport of baton twirling with Brite Star Twirlers since 2016. Brianna started twirling with Brite Star in 1st grade and later became a majorette at Timber Creek High School. In her time at the University of Central Florida, Brianna twirled on the UCF Majorette Line and became the Team Captain her senior year.

In addition to coaching, Brianna is currently a Certified School Psychologist, where she enjoys working with students and helping them reach their full potential. Her passion about the importance of extracurricular activities on positive child development drives her commitment to students and athletes.

Brianna is looking forward to teaching your students-- and learning from them too!

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 10 years. Currently a student at UCF pursuing degrees in both Secondary Education Social Sciences and History. She found her passion of baton twirling during high school, and has since fallen in love with the sport and its community.

Mia’s ultimate goal as a coach is to leave a lasting impression on her students like the coaches before her had done. “I think I can speak on behalf of all coaches that, as a family, our ultimate goal is to connect with our students. We want them to understand that having a passion is something to be proud of, and It can be very rewarding for them.”

coach - mia serr


founder/owner - candice dowdy

 coach - Janessa Cope

Assistant ​Coach-  Lindsey Gallo

Assistant ​Coach-  Ashley Cecere

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.

Coach/Director - Karina Emeric

 coach - Mia Vidal

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 24 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.


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

Coach - brianna van genderen

social media manager/

aau board  member- Maria Cortes


Janessa has been twirling for over 5 years and has been twirling with

Brite Star for the past 3 years. She is currently attending school at V

alencia College working to obtain her A.A. degree and she plans to t

ransfer to a Florida university to study biology and environmental

studies. She has developed a love for coaching young twirlers and

helping them develop their skills . She hopes that she can inspire

young twirlers to achieve a level of twirling they never thought possible.

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.