Ashley (Morris) Dempster

Ashley is a proud graduate of Old Dominion University, holding a BSBA with a major in Business Management. At ODU, she made history as the first "Crown Jewel" Feature Twirler. Currently, Ashley is a full-time teacher in the Chesterfield County Public School System. Her journey in baton twirling began within the Royalettes, where she accumulated numerous local and regional titles. Recently, she celebrated her marriage to her beloved, Van, and relishes moments spent with her husband, family, friends, and their cherished dogs, Goose and Luna.

Megan Ludwig

Megan initiated her twirling journey with our Charlottesville, VA branch of the Royalettes. During her time with us, she actively competed both individually and as part of various teams.​ Megan graduated Cum Laude with a degree in psychology from James Madison University. She furthered her education by obtaining a Masters Degree from The University of Virginia. Currently, Megan resides in Richmond, VA, where she has taken on a teaching position within Chesterfield County Schools.

Spencer Fynaardt

Spencer is an alumna of the University of Virginia and has embarked on her professional journey as a Behavior Support Clinician at Compass Behavioral Solutions. Her twirling journey spans 11 years as a dedicated member of the Royalettes, where she passionately competed. Notably, she had the honor of representing the University of Virginia as a Feature Twirler with the Cavalier Marching Band. Spencer continues to contribute actively as a coach for Royalettes in both Richmond and Charlottesville, all while pursuing her Master's Degree at the University of Virginia.

Makaihla Jones

Makaihla dedicated many years to twirling with the Royalettes and also served as a student coach during her high school years. She held the prestigious position of feature twirler at Manchester High School and actively participated in both team and individual competitions. Currently, she is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Diane J. Gunnels, Director and Head Coach

Diane hails from Wilmington, NC and earned her Bachelor of Science from VCU, where majoring in Social Work.  Diane is also the founder of the Royalettes.  Over the years Diane has dedicated herself to establishing an exceptional program for young individuals and has mentored numerous champions.  She currently resides in Richmond with her husband, Richard, and shares her home with her dog and three cats. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with ​her grandchildren.

Amanda Wilson

Amanda, originally from Powhatan, Virginia, now instructs history and government at Powhatan High School. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in History and Social Sciences with a Concentration in Secondary Education from Longwood University in 2010. Amanda was an active member of the Royalettes Baton Corps from 1998 to 2004, participating in both individual and team competitions. She is presently engaged and preparing to tie the knot with the love of her life in late 2023.

Rhonda Groves

Rhonda was born in the Tidewater area of Virginia and embarked on her twirling journey in the 2nd grade. Her initial coach, Bunny Humphries, was a student of Shelvy Manning. During her time in Tidewater, she twirled with Bunny's Twirlettes, followed by the Tidewater Twirlettes. Rhonda excelled in the "Toppers" division of the Corps, where she competed both individually and as part of a team. Her passion for twirling persisted throughout high school, and she even held the position of feature twirler at Monacan High School in Richmond, VA. Notably, she is a registered NBTA Judge. In her leisure moments, Rhonda relishes spending time with family, her grandson, TJ, and cherished friends.

Tara Stacey

Tara embarked on her twirling journey with the Royalettes at the tender age of seven, and her passion for the sport persisted throughout her formative years. She proudly twirled as a Manchester Majorette during her high school years. After graduating, she pursued coaching while concurrently pursuing her master's degree in Elementary Education at VCU. Tara presently  imparts knowledge at Goochland Elementary School and makes her home in Goochland, VA, with her husband, Jordan, and their daughter, Ellason.

Our Coaching Staff

Lindsay (Salyers) Marwitz

Lindsay is a distinguished 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech, where she achieved honors and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. Additionally, she holds a teaching endorsement from Old Dominion University and currently serves as an educator in Chesterfield Public Schools. Lindsay's journey in baton twirling commenced at the age of 6, and she has amassed numerous state, regional, and national titles as a proud member of the Royalettes. While she enjoys coaching various aspects of baton twirling, her passion lies in crafting routines for 2-baton and 3-baton performances. Lindsay resides in Moseley, VA, with her husband, Josh, their two boys, Hayden and Graham, and their newest family member, Parker, who joined them in April 2023.