By Steve Svetovich
Sherry’s Royalettes will celebrate “40 wonderful years” with its spring recital scheduled Friday, May 21, at Sherwood Park in Dunmore.
“This year’s recital will be held outdoors,” said Sherry Rubino Nicolais, founder and director of Sherry’s Royalettes, Dunmore.
“It has certainly been a trying year and to remain safe and within CDC guidelines the park is the perfect setting for the recital.”
Nicolais is assisted by Nicole Pizzola.
There are 35 members of Sherry’s Royalettes ranging from age three to 18. Senior members include Isabella Zeller, a graduating senior who is currently Miss Buck; Mia Irving, Haylie Keating, Kylie Jezorwski, Danielle Decker and Julia Temperino.
This is actually the 41st year of the organization, but last year’s 40th celebration was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By holding this outdoors,” said Nicolais, ” we will still be following CDC guidelines but members can invite parents and grandparents. Seating will be six feet apart, of course.
“The girls can showcase their twirling skills outside. There will even be fire baton twirlers.”
Nicolais said it was a tough year due to COVID. Sherry’s Royalettes went virtual for a time before meeting in person again. “Doing it virtually is not an easy thing,” said Nicolais. “It is just like being in school. Being in class with a teacher is much easier for learning.”
Initially at the onset of COVID, Sherry’s Royalettes went virtual with some classes, started back up last September and were shut down this past December due to the pandemic. The group started meeting in person again this past February.
“We planned a big party and celebration last year, but it was cancelled due to COVID,” said Nicolais.
“We did have a short drive by with trophies last June outside of the Dunmore Community Center. We had cupcakes and balloons. That is about all we could do due to COVID. We followed the guidelines.”
The group had always met at the Dunmore Community Center. However, the group was forced to stop meeting there due to the pandemic. “We were able to secure the Church of Good Shepherd on North Washington Avenue in Green Ridge,” said Nicolais. “We will stay and meet there as long as we have to.
“We are very happy to celebrate 40 years. I actually started this 41 years ago. Many of our members have become Miss Buck. Some have gone on to become national champions. Many of our students have gone on to be very successful. One of my former male students, Derrek Lederer, is a men’s national champion and currently featured twirler at East Stroudsburg University.”
Nicolais was twirling instructor at Dunmore High School for 34 years, but resigned after the last twirling season to spend time with her two grandchildren, one a female toddler and the other a three-month-old baby girl, at State College. Her daughter Meredith Freeman, 28, resides at State College. She was once a twirler at Penn State.
Another daughter, Brittany Semion, 32, who twirled at Penn State, is an emergency room doctor in New York City and has been a front line health care worker throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her youngest daughter Kayleigh Semion, 24, recently received her master’s degree from Penn State where she played on the varsity basketball team. She is a former Dunmore basketball All State and All Regional player.
All three of her daughters were a part of Sherry’s Royalettes.
“We will follow strict CDC guidelines at our spring recital. We will all wear masks, be six feet apart and there will be temperature checks. But it will be a nice celebration with 40 wonderful years as the theme. And our members can have their parents and grandparents there.
“It has been so nice to see the many successes of our students over the past 40 years.”