Senior Spotlight: Majorette Danielle Heichel

Danielle+Heichel+wearing+her+colorguard+uniform+at+the+annual+tyrone+pinkout+game.

courtesy of Danielle Heichel

Danielle Heichel wearing her colorguard uniform at the annual tyrone pinkout game.

Baton twirling is a sport the requires grace, elegance and great technique. Performing in front of hundreds of people, knowing that one small mistake will be obvious to everyone would be extremely stressful for most people, but not to Tyrone senior Danielle Heichel.

“Twirling to me is stress-relieving,” says Heichel, “I started the Tyrone Star-lite Twirling Competition Team in 2017 and I started Tyrone Majorettes my senior year and did Friday night games.”

Heichel has been a proud member of the Tyrone Star-lite Twirling Competition Team for years and this fall she was the leader of the new majorette section of the Tyrone Marching Band.

I was shy to start out with but she got me out of my shell you would say. If I have a bad day during a practice, she right there to make me laugh and smile.”

— Madison Wineland

“I was very happy to have Danielle in the marching band this year,” said Band Director David Hock, “Her and the other majorettes added a lot to the band. Her participation in the arts, including twirling, is something that will benefit her as she continues after high school. I know she’ll continue twirling and will do well in whatever career she follows.”

Without Heichel’s leadership, the band probably could not have brought the majorettes back to the field this year.

Heichel has been developing her skills for years on the Star-lite Twirling Team. Marcia Fink, the director of the Star-Lite Twirlers, has instructed Heichel since she was in elementary school and is very impressed with her abilities and accomplishments.

“Dani worked hard and took private lessons during the summers to improve her twirling skills,” said Fink, “As her talents increased I made her a feature for the marching group. Four years ago we started an independent twirl team that Dani has been a part of. Twirling on a competition team requires dedication, determination, and skill which Dani has all these traits. The team has taken the ACC Championship two years in a row and placed a high second last year.”

According to Fink, Heichel really stepped up as a senior and was a great leader and example for the rest of the squad. She helped with classes and parades for the marching group and is a big reason why the indoor team and marching group has received many awards over the past few years.

“Dani will go far in life because she is determined and dedicated. She will work hard to achieve her goals and she is a good role model. I wish her the best of luck and know she will be successful in whatever path she chooses,” said Fink.

Dani will go far in life because she is determined and dedicated. She will work hard to achieve her goals and she is a good role model! I wish her the best of luck and know she will be successful in whatever path she chooses!”

— Star-lite Twirlers Director Marcia Fink

Heichel plans to put those qualities to good use in the future. She is a top student and a member of the National Honor Society at TAHS. She will attend Penn State Altoona next fall and plans to major in early childhood education.

Heichel is excited to graduate but there are things that she will miss about Tyrone High School.

“All the good times I had with my friends,” said Heichel, “I think I’ll miss seeing all of my friends the most.”

Heichel’s sister, Madison Beamer, will miss having her sister around all the time but is excited about her next step.

“I am very upset to see her leave but I know she will do great,” says Beamer.

Junior Madison Wineland is a fellow majorette and a good friend of Heichel.

“Dani affected my experience in more than one way. She got me to grow closer to everyone else, I was shy to start out with but she got me out of my shell you would say. If I have a bad day during a practice, she right there to make me laugh and smile. She the closet to my age, so it so much easier to talk to her about it,” said Wineland,” I already have cried about her leaving like I was a sobbing mess. She like my best friend and sister in the team, so her leaving is taking a big turn on me. Who will I talk to when she leaves? When she leaves and I’ll be the only senior and that’s scary. I’m not ready for her to leave yet, I will miss her very much. She’s my twirling buddy!”