We are now on to week two of High School Playoffs, and this Saturday officially kicks off the baton twirling competition season in Texas. Wow! This is also the last week of the year for our Friday Night Light Features and our Collegiate Twirler Spotlights. We just love this time of year and learning so much about Texas twirlers all over the state. We will miss these interviews, but to make sure we all get our fill before the week is over, we have three collegiate interviews and one last high school feature left for you.
If you were following the @twirlingiscatchingtx Insta-story on Saturday you got to see some exciting posts from this week’s Feature as she showed us what Game Day is like in CoMO.
This week’s Collegiate Twirler Spotlight is the University of Missouri Feature Twirler!
Photo credit to Nate Brown
The University of Missouri, also known as MIZZOU, is located in Columbia, Missouri, and is the home of the Tigers, and a long legacy of amazing baton twirlers. Joining the history of fantastic Tiger Twirlers this year, alongside Carlee Fenton and Simone Esters (who is currently serving as Miss Missouri), is Texas girl, and University of Missouri Feature Twirler, Josie Linson!
Josie has held numerous State and Regional titles, was a Feature Twirler for her High School all four years, and was a 2018 USA Baton Twirling Ambassador to Peru, so the ability to continue her twirling career somewhere with a great PT program was very important. She took the time, visited many schools, but in the end she knew that Mizzou was where she belonged. “Mizzou has a phenomenal physical therapy program so that was a huge factor in me picking Mizzou. What really sold me though, was when I went to my audition, Carlee, Simone, and our band director, Dr. Knopps, were so welcoming. Mizzou and the band program already felt like home.”
While Mizzou felt like home, it was out of state. Making the decision to go out of state is a big one. We asked Josie what helped her make the choice. “I chose to go out of state because it was a way to push me out of my comfort zone. Being at an out of state university has really helped me become more independent." We asked her what advice she would have for other twirler's considering an out of state college experience. "Keep an open mind about going out of state, and make sure you know all your options. Remember that while you may be far from home, it has the potential to be an amazing new experience!”
Having such a wonderful time in Missouri has made Josie’s first semester of college one to remember. New friends, new places, new opportunities. There has been one part that has been difficult though. “It has been hard being away from friends and family from home, but it makes getting to see them when they come to visit me even more special!”
Now that we have learned more about what brought her to CoMo, let’s learn more about Josie!
Competition Level: Advanced
Josie is a freshman pre-physical therapy major from Austin, Texas. At Mizzou she is also in the Tau Beta Sigma Band Service Sorority. She has been twirling for 11 years and is a member of Twirl ATX. The competition title she is the most proud of winning was the 2019 Texas State Collegiate Downfield Champion. Her favorite competition tricks are double illusions or five spins, and her favorite field tricks are toss walkovers and elbow pops. In baton twirling, she has been most inspired by Erica Kuntz, Lindsay McCormick, and her coach, Whitney King Coons. After college, Josie hopes to attend Graduate School to get her doctorate in PT!”
Favorite Color – Turquoise
Favorite Movie – “Anything Disney!”
Favorite Animal – Llamas
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
When she is not twirling she loves to…
“Hang out with friends, especially my friends in Tau Beta Sigma!”
Something people might not know about me…
“I have scoliosis and that’s one of the reasons why I want to be a physical therapist.”
Most memorable advice from her coach…
“When in doubt, punch it out! (Punching the air helps calm some pre performance jitters).”
Favorite experience as a competition baton twirler…
“Being selected as a United States Twirling Ambassador to Peru and getting to spend two weeks twirling with some of my best friends.”
Funniest experience as a collegiate twirler…
“Carlee and I learned that when duet tricks go wrong, my Rose batons leave really big bruises.”
Being at Mizzou has given Josie a wide array of new experiences, but the strong University of Missouri traditions, for both the school and the band, have been her favorite. “When you start school at Mizzou, you run through the columns towards Jesse Hall. When you graduate, you run back through the opposite way, to signify leaving and going out into the world.” Such a fantastic tradition! Josie also enjoys that the band sings the Alma Mater at the end of every practice as it lets them all leave on the same note.
Through her many years in competition and field twirling, Josie truly feels baton twirling has helped make her the person she is now. She said that the sport has taught her many lessons, but the most important is the value of perseverance. “Having the ability to set goals, and have the self-discipline to work towards those goals, is one of the best skills that you can carry with you throughout life.”
Finally, we asked Josie what her best advice was to any twirler that wanted to one day also twirl on a collegiate field, and she said have fun! “Play to the crowd and enjoy yourself. When you are having fun, the crowd has fun too!”
We want to say thank you to Josie for being this week’s Feature, and wish her congrats on a great first season as a Mizzou Feature Twirler! We also want to give a shout out to Josie’s Co-Feature, Carlee Fenton, for being a part of the Insta-story take over. They make a great team! Go Tigers!
We hope you have enjoyed this blog post. We are always looking for great new stories about Texas twirlers. Do you have an idea or some information we could use to help highlight our sport? Contact us at email@example.com and we would love to hear more about it.