#TwirlerTuesday with Shaylie Fawcett from BYU
It's an honor to be able to twirl for your university, no matter what that capacity may be. Most college twirlers are able to twirl with their marching band at football games. However, that is not the case across the board. That is why today, we are so happy and honored to feature Shaylie Fawcett from BYU and share her unique story. Because the BYU marching band does not have twirlers, twirling with the marching band wasn't an option for Shaylie, but that certainly didn't stop her from sharing her love of twirling within her college community. Read on to find out just how Shaylie is living her dream of being a college twirler. As always, if you are interested in being featured and sharing your story during #TwirlerTuesday, reach out to CMBTwirl@sullivation.com.
CMB: Tell us your name, year in school and what you are studying...
SF: Shaylie Fawcett, Junior, Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations
CMB: What is your twirling background?
SF: My mom, Rachelle Fawcett, and grandma, Debbie Salem, are both twirling coaches, so you could say that I was born into the competitive twirling world. I started twirling at the age of 4 and quickly developed a passion for baton. Throughout my twirling career I competed around the world and gained friendships that will last me a life time. Some of the highlights of my twirling career include performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, traveling to Peru as a Good Will Twirling Ambassador for the Lions Club, competing in the Collegiate Classic at Twirl Mania and being a world open solo finalist at AYOP.
CMB: How did you decide where you wanted to go to school?
SF: As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, attending Brigham Young University was always a dream of mine. However, so was twirling with a marching band in college. I knew that these two dreams would not go hand in hand. This made the application, audition and decision process extremely difficult my senior year. However, I had to evaluate what was truly important to me and my future. This led me to the decision to move from Southern California to Provo, Utah and attend BYU.
CMB: When you found out that twirling with the band wasn't an option, what did you do?
SF: When I realized twirling with the band was not going to be an option for me at BYU, I was of course upset. Twirling in college had been my dream since I was a young girl! However, I knew that attending BYU was the right decision for me and if twirling at my school was something I really wanted, I could make it happen. I started by emailing many different entities on campus and in our athletic department. I sent them emails explaining my predicament and included a YouTube link to a twirling highlights video. From here, I was able to get in contact with our Athletic Marketing department. Our marketing department schedules halftimes and performances. They gave me the opportunity to audition for them and scheduled me for different performances. In addition, I reached out to our student leadership group on campus. This opened doors for me to perform at another spectrum of events.
CMB: What kind of events do you twirl at and how do you promote twirling at your school/in the community?
SF: At BYU I am able to perform at a variety of sporting events including, volleyball games, soccer games, basketball games and gymnastics meets. In addition, I’ve been able to represent baton twirling at my university in our talent shows, parades and other various campus events. In the state of Utah, twirling is not very popular so I have the unique opportunity to promote twirling simply by performing and talking to fans and students about baton. It is a great way to get the word out about the baton twirling community in a part of the country where many spectators have never even seen someone twirl before.
CMB: What's been your favorite memory twirling in college so far?
SF: I had the chance to perform in a combined Men’s basketball halftime performance with our cheer and dance team and had an absolute blast. I loved being able to represent twirling alongside our extremely talented Cougarette dance team and Cheer team. Being able to integrate these three different performing groups in one fun routine was extremely unique and I was blessed to be included in this performance.
CMB: What's the biggest lesson you've learned from all of this?
SF: I have learned that if you want something, go get it! When you are passionate about what you believe in, harness that passion and go to work. There will be road blocks, setbacks and obstacles but nothing feels better than achieving your dreams and seeing everything fall into place.
CMB: Words of advice for high school twirlers figuring out what they want to do in college?
SF: My advice for high school twirlers making those tough decisions about where they want to go to college is, for you to know yourself as much as possible and figure out what YOU want in a college experience. Once you know that, making decisions about where to apply, audition and eventually attend college is much easier.
CMB: Anything else you want to add?
SF: You never know what lies ahead for you in life. BYU athletics’ gave me the opportunity to twirl for my university. From collaborating with our athletic marketing department, I found a new love for the world of collegiate athletics. Now, I work for BYU athletic marketing. This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me that have helped me in and beyond my twirling career. When you are strong in your convictions and work hard, dreams will come true, even if it is not in the way you may have originally thought.