First Feature Twirler on the Field

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Breanne Oandasan

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Saints Abroad
May 14, 2019

Veronika Braginton

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First Feature Twirler on the Field

The Xavier football stands are always entertained by halftime performances from Xavier’s Dance and Cheer teams, but a new addition to this year’s show has wowed the XCP community. Veronika Braginton is a Freshman at Xavier and is the school’s first ever feature twirler. New to this school, Braginton is already making school history as she pioneers a new sport. She has performed at every home game and hopes to perform all four years. She may be a new face at school, but her exciting performances are making her a famous face in the Xavier community.

The school’s first feature twirler started baton twirling in the second grade. Since then, Braginton has been influenced by her coach’s, Cindy Law, daughter, Kimmy, who did baton and dance at Xavier in previous years. Kimmy Law has won many competitions, is a feature twirler at Nebraska State University and is overall a role model for the team. Braginton was motivated by Law’s hard work and dedication to her sport; Braginton is inspired to be the best she can be as well. When asked about the intensity of her sport and practices, Braginton explained, “I practice with my coach, Ms. Cindy three times a week and make sure to practice all my tricks so that I can improve.” She further described as the hardest part of her sport catching the metal baton. As a twirler, she has learned to get more and more comfortable with her prop. “It’s like volleyball,” Braginton explained, “when you first start, it hurts to hit the ball, but as you stick with it, you hardly notice it”.

Photo by Terry Cervello

The field is used to seeing teams: eleven men playing football, twenty dancers, fifteen cheerleaders, ten drummers. However, when Braginton performs, she is a solo act. Demonstrating bravery, Braginton puts on an impressive performance each time all by herself. She admits, “it’s kind of scary because you’re out there alone, but if you mess up you can’t really tell because you aren’t off with other team members”. She explained that in this regard performing solo is a perk.

As a Freshman, Braginton is excited to pioneer this new sport. She hopes that others who want to bring a new sport to Xavier have the courage to pursue it. She gave this advice: “You should always be open to bringing in a new sport because it brings more opportunities. If I didn’t try doing baton, I wouldn’t get the opportunity to be Xavier’s feature twirler.” She also explained a plus side to trying a new sport–as a Freshman in a performance sport, she made new friends and close relationships with the Xavier Dance Team during practices.

Braginton’s performances have impacted the school in many ways. Not only has she made school history, but she has also affected school spirit. She explains that she is happy that she has brought something new to Xavier. Recounting what she thinks might be  her impact on the school, “I believe it’s opening new doors and bringing an overall positive vibe to the school since nobody has seen baton before.” Braginton is excited to showcase a sport she loves and hopes that others can see it is a fun sport to try. 

Veronika Braginton ends her routine by holding up an X. Photo by Terry Cervello.


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