For most athletes, halftime is a time to rest. For Kaycie Landis, however, halftime is showtime.
Soon after the buzzer sounds, Landis twirls her baton, dances to the music and transforms from a typical high school student into “Twirl Girl,” one of her many alter ego nicknames.
“I begged my mom to let me do it,” Landis said.
Landis’ childhood dream was to become just like the girls in the parade. Soon after begging her mom, Landis started lessons and her dream of baton twirling was under way. By age 4 she as entering local competitions.
Four years and lots of practice later, Landis had become a nationally ranked twirler.
And with her national ranking came lots of hardware.
Landis loves what she does, but the trophies and ribbons have only come from her dedication to the sport.
“It takes a lot of practice, dedication, and discipline to get that far,” she said.
Earlier in her career Landis practiced two hours a day, seven days a week. This rigorous schedule has changed as a result of the demands of high school and her obligations as a member of the JV girls basketball team, and at times it has been a struggle. But Landis perseveres.
Despite taking breaks from twirling, Landis has proven that she really can’t stay away from it.
“I’ve taken breaks from baton and missed it,” she said.
All the hard work that Landis puts into baton has become an important part of her life. The performances, competitions and love for the sport have motivated her to stick with it.
It has even fostered new dreams for her.
“I had always wanted to twirl for my high school, (now) I’m here, and it’s been great!” she exclaimed.
She performed during Dos Pueblos High basketball games this year and plans to continue her career twirling for varsity football and basketball in the fall.
Landis said she was born a performer. She lives for the reactions she gets from family, friends and fans. Her love to compete and passion to twirl have helped her succeed at the national level.
Baton, she said, is “just my thing.”
— Maddy Buie is a Dos Pueblos High School student and a reporter for the The Charger Account. This story was originally published by The Charger Account and is reposted with permission. Connect with The Charger Account on Facebook. Follow The Charger Account on Twitter: @ChargerAccount.