Jenn Barbour, a sophomore from California double majoring in biochemistry and math, has been a baton twirler since she was four years old. She shares her elite experience with Seasider fans during her half time performances at games and other athletic events.
Barbour has been twirling competitively for 15 years, and said she could not imagine her life without it. “I fell in love with the sport when I started solo twirling at the age of five, and the rest is history.”
She said attending BYU-Hawaii has always been a goal of hers. “BYUH has been my dream school since I was 12. I have always wanted to be a collegiate baton twirler. Once I decided to attend BYUH, I contacted the dance coach and was able to start twirling at games.”
Being on a dance team and dancing collegiately was never part of her initial plan, said Barbour, but it fell into place due to dancing combining so naturally with her twirling skills.
“This year I decided to try out for the dance team. I really enjoy being a part of it and I’m glad that I am still able to twirl along with being on the team. I’ve never been on a dance team before; it is a new experience that I have enjoyed learning from. The dance team is filled with so many great girls and it has been so fun to grow with and learn from them.”
Like many other Seasider athletes, Barbour is disappointed about the BYUH athletics program ending after this year. “I understand the purpose of cutting the sports program, and I see the benefits that it will bring to the university as a whole, but I am very sad to see the program go. I am planning on transferring to a different university after this year so I can continue twirling collegiately.”
Barbour’s hard work and determination is seen through her results in many competitions that she has been a part of over the years. As a young baton twirler, Barbour claimed state titles in 2000 and 2001. She also was consistently the California state champion from 2008-2015. She has earned four regional titles, three national titles, and three world titles. In the year 2015, Barbour was able to receive the state, regional, national, and world title all in one competition season.
She said her experiences and success has taught her to stretch out of her comfort zone and share what she loves with other people. “I can gain a better appreciation for the things that I have worked hard for and also help others find a passion for something.
“When I went to Peru for a competition, I was able to share my passion by teaching some of the locals about twirling. I was also a Goodwill ambassador on this trip, which allowed me the opportunity to volunteer at orphanages and senior homes.”
Twirling has been such an integral part of Barbour’s life for as long as she can remember and she hopes to keep it that way as she moves into the next stage of life. “I’m hoping to start a little girl twirling team soon. I have been teaching twirling since I was 15, so I plan to continue doing so throughout the rest of my life.”
Barbour plans to continue her biochemistry and math while still keeping baton twirling as a part of her life. “I plan to seek a doctorate degree after receiving my bachelors, and then receive a teaching certificate and become a teacher. Baton has always been such a fun part of my life, and after I start raising my family I plan to just teach baton on the side.”