Twirler continues an experienced Jayhawk legacy

Past and present Jayhawk twirlers Beverly Bernardi Post and Shannon Livengood both have a passion for baton twirling and share the experience of holding the national champion title during their collegiate years.

Baton twirling has changed immensely since Post held the position for the University from 1974-1978. Livengood, a junior from Clay Center, enjoys listening to old stories from previous twirlers and comparing how the position she currently holds has changed throughout the years.

Post attended Topeka High School, where she held the position as feature twirler and performed at high school football games.

“When I got ready to go to college, I didn’t know where to go but I wanted to stay close to home so I could continue teaching dance and baton three or four days a week in Topeka,” Post said.

Post distinctly remembers performing during halftime at a memorable Notre Dame versus Kansas basketball game.

“This guy came over to me and said, ‘When we go to commercial break, I am putting you on national television,’” Post said. Post said the experience was “one of the thrills of [her] lifetime.”

Livengood is currently under direction of the band department and, rather than performing at basketball games, twirls at football games and at the pregame with the Marching Jayhawks.

“My entire freshman year, I didn’t get to perform at any basketball games and my sophomore year, I needed a separate try out,” Livengood said.  Livengood will perform at halftime during one women’s and one men’s basketball game this season.

Livengood can be seen leading the Marching Jayhawks down the hill during the homecoming parade. Post was not considered part of the band and did not lead the Marching Jayhawks to Memorial Stadium before each game.

Neither twirler was given a coach, choreographer or sponsored by the University. “I spend most of my time practicing alone, making up my own routines with a song chosen by the band director,” Livengood said. “Unless I am able to reserve Robinson Auditorium or find a spot at the [recreation center], I practice outdoors.”

Through shared memories and comparative experiences, both Post and Livengood agree that twirling for the University has been an honor. Livengood hopes to continue twirling for the University until she graduates and, eventually, find a future twirler with enough experience to follow in her and Post’s footsteps.

Dani is a junior from Long Island, N.Y., studying journalism on the strategic communications track. Read more from .

  • Updated Sep. 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm
  • Edited by Chas Strobel