Jennifer started her twirling career in 1st grade at the age of 5, with the local after school program, “East Fishkill Twirlers”. Her parents can remember every Saturday, after a Friday practice, waking up to thump-thump, Oh Man, which was Jenn practicing her baton toss and obviously dropping the baton.
It wasn’t long before the tosses were caught and harder tricks were tried. Jenn loved competing in the local program level competitions at both the team of individual level.
In the 4th grade Jenn was invited to compete on an intermediate competition team, in the summer of ’99, the team competed at AYOP (American Youth on Parade) in Myrtle Beach in the 7-9 year old category. Jenn came home with 2 gold medals (one for 2-baton and one for team), 7 silver, 2 bronze and a copper. That is where the passion for baton twirling really kicked in.
Jenn soon was invited to twirl with the Silver Starlites and couldn’t be happier. Even though there was every Saturday all day practice, she never complained, even with the occasional injuries.
As a Starlite, the girls marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC with the Dover High School Band, always the yearly highlight along with going to Nationals at Notre Dame in July.
Jenn additionally twirled at John Jay High School with a few other Starlite team mates at football and basketball games. The fire batons at football game, and swords at basketball games, were amazingly well received by their peers. The girls also twirled half time shows at Pace University in Pleasantville during their basketball season.
During high school, Jenn taught as a Starlite at three local school programs; Dover Plains, Pawling and East Fishkill. On the Starlite team, Jenn had her own Juvenile Dance team. The epitome of a good teacher, Jenn loved working with the smaller girls. Always the first to laugh, hug, and kiss a booboo. When Jenn took her team to Nationals for the first time, they took first place; a happier team there wasn’t.
Jenn was tragically taken from us on August 17, 2010, at the age of 18, in a motorcycle accident. Aside from the broken hearts of her immediately family, the Starlites lost a sister. As the team paid respects, some from who graduated years prior, and all the present team sisters, they filed in, eyes red with tears (small girls holding the hand of an older Starlite sister) all wearing team jacket, the sight took everyone’s breath away.
At the first Starlite NYS Competition after Jenn’s passing, the Jennifer DeVito Memorial Trophy was started. It is awarded to the 1st Place NYS Advanced Juvenile Dance Team in memory of Jenn.