Giving UH a twirl

January 12th, 2009  |  by  |  Published in Sports  |  12 Comments

Shannon Dresser

Shannon Dresser twirls batons and juggles her time.

Feature twirler with the University of Hawaiʻ at Mānoa’s Marching Band, she rehearses with the musicians three times a week, practices by herself two hours a day, attends ballet class and creates her own choreography for routines at football, basketball and volleyball games.

She also mentors student athletes and competes on the Rainbow Wahine cross country and track teams, all while completing courses on track to a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in speech in May 2009.

Dresser began recreational baton twirling at age 6. At 12 she turned competitive. She holds a number of state and regional titles—including California State and All West Regional Duet and World Open Two Baton championships in 2005—and was named College All West Miss Majorette.

The 5-foot-10, blond, honor student and two-sport letter winner sent UH her audition tape during her senior year at Littlerock High School in Palmdale, Calif.

“After I got called in for the live audition and found out that I got the one and only spot, that was it. I knew I wanted to come and twirl here,” she says. “My old coach suggested Hawaiʻi because she had several other girls go here and they absolutely loved it. I am the same way.”

Dresser has seven routines and loves them all. “I never get tired of hearing the same songs, like Hawaiʻi Five-0, because in my head I am concentrating on the routine and performing, which is what I love to do.”

Her most inspiring moment as a twirler was getting to perform for millions during at the UH Rainbow Warriors’ 2007 Sugar Bowl appearance. “I felt so proud to be representing UH,” she says

It’s a rare miss that disrupts her routine, but Dresser admits to her most embarrassing moment—getting hit in the head with her baton and winding up with a bloody nose.

No pain, no gain; she is now working to perfect her hardest trick yet, which involves four batons and one illusion. An illusion involves juggling two batons, lifting one leg up in the air and catching the baton in between the legs in a single, swift, fluid move.

“Twirling is my passion,” Dresser says. “I love Hawaiʻi and I’m not ready to leave quite yet.” Pursuing a UH master’s degree in sociology will allow her to continue twirling at UH and competitively.

Her goal is to qualify in regional and national collegiate competition so she can compete in National Baton Twirling Association World Championship, the Olympics of twirling held every three years.

“I’m very lucky to be the UH twirler because it gives me inspiration and extra practice everyday. Just to make it to nationals is an honor, so if I make it to world, I know I’ll be able to retire as one of the best twirlers internationally.”

What then? The granddaughter of drum majors wants to follow her parents’ footsteps and go into law enforcement.

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  1. Howard Hamada says:

    January 16th, 2009at 6:50 am(#)

    Thank you for coming to UH. I two little girls enjoy watching you at the football games. Keep up the great work and best wishes.

  2. Don Bosseau (1966) says:

    January 16th, 2009at 8:31 am(#)

    This new e-newsletter is very nicely done. Congratulations.

  3. steven lee says:

    January 16th, 2009at 8:32 am(#)

    we need more pictures of her!

  4. Avis Hee says:

    January 16th, 2009at 9:35 am(#)

    Shannon you are the best! It’s exciting to watch you at all the games, your routine is awesome and Hawaii is luckey to have you! We are all proud of you!

  5. Avis Hee says:

    January 16th, 2009at 9:39 am(#)

    Sorry, I meant “Lucky” to have you!

  6. Kim Kenyon says:

    January 16th, 2009at 2:46 pm(#)

    Hi Shannon,

    Great to hear how well you are doing on the road to your degree…it’s been fun following your progress at UH on TV as well as from my daughter, Katie, your freshman roomie. I know your folks must be proud, keep up the good work!

  7. O. C. Smith says:

    January 19th, 2009at 7:50 pm(#)

    Way to go Shannon! I’m very proud of you.

  8. brian says:

    February 9th, 2009at 10:42 pm(#)

    you’re a pure joy to watch! going to miss you next season. good luck in your future endeavors. just love watching you.

  9. Deborah says:

    February 11th, 2009at 8:27 am(#)

    I love watching you in person but if I can’t get there I watch you on the UH Streaming video from Stan Sheriff….at volleyball and basketball games..Can’t wait to see you in Reno at WAC Championships.
    Keep flipping those sticks. I love it when you juggle 4…
    Good Luck at the Miss Honolulu Scholarship Pageant!

  10. rebecca says:

    April 26th, 2009at 6:03 pm(#)

    hi Shanno it is me Rebecca i watched you at the football scrimmage game i was trying to find the web site but i couldn’t but anyway i love your baton.

  11. Rebecca Lantz says:

    July 4th, 2009at 4:59 am(#)

    You look beautiful in the picture. Glad to see you twirling your heart out! Keep it up! Miss you!
    Your twirling and Fantasia friend,
    Rebecca Lantz, 2009 World Twirl & X-Strut Champion!Check me out on youtube! Rebecca Lantz USA

  12. shan fan says:

    January 23rd, 2010at 8:07 pm(#)

    Shannon, my friends and I love watching your routines-and we totally think your costumes are are mad cool! Keep on twirling! aloha!