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For Kaycie Landis, life is a twirl

By Maddy Buie

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Landis performs during halftime at a basketball game earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of the Landis family)

By Maddy Buie | Staff Writer

April 26, 2012

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 normal sophomore into “Twirl Girl,” one of her many alter ego nicknames.

Landis became interested in baton at the age of three after seeing a baton twirler at the Children’s Fiesta Parade.

“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 underway. By age four she started competing in local competitions.  

Four years and lots of practice later, Landis’s became a nationally ranked twirler.

And with her national ranking came lots of hardware.

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Landis displays over 150 awards on a bookshelf in her home. (Photo courtesy of the Landis family)

Kaycie 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,” says Landis.

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,” says Landis.

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!”

Landis performed during DP basketball games this year and plans to continue her career twirling for varsity football and basketball next year.

Landis was born a performer. She lives for the reactions she gets from strangers, friends and family. Her love to compete and passion to twirl have helped her succeed at the national level.

Baton she says, is “just my thing.”

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For Kaycie Landis, life is a twirl