Campus Celebrity: Krissy Terwilliger, UW Feature Twirler

Krissy Terwilliger 

Major: Mechanical Engineering and Vocal Performance 

Year in School: Junior 

Hometown: Suffern, New York 

1) What made you want to come and choose UW?

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed about going to a big university where I could be the feature twirler and perform for my school. And then somehow through the years I decided I wanted to go as far away from my home town as possible, not because I didn’t love it there but just to try something new! So when I started applying for colleges I found UW and ended up doing a live audition for the feature twirler position! I figured Seattle was a little bit too far from NY so I wasn’t so sure until I got here and just by seeing campus realized my heart belonged at this beautiful school. In the end I got into my two majors early and was picked for the twirling spot so it was a no brainer to come to UW and I couldn’t be happier.

2) How did you get involved with twirling and what would you describe your position as the Twirler for UW?

I like to think I had my own little “American dream” with twirling, in the way that I worked my way up from nothing to being 8th in the world and twirling at UW. I started twirling when I was 4 years old at a local YMCA. I did a lot of activities as a kid but twirling seemed to be the one that stuck. My parents found me a team and I would go to competitions and clinics watching other girls and teaching myself how to do different tricks. I stayed determined and soon enough I was being trained by world level coaches and twirling on a national team that I’d travel to once a month in California. Eventually I was good enough to go to International Cup representing the USA and landed myself the position at UW. The twirling I do for UW is very different from competition twirling, but it’s even more fun. Game day specifically I get to twirl before the game, during the game, during halftime, and then after the game as well. I work with the marching band and cheer where the goal is to keep the excitement going for game day while showing off our talents! I twirl at basketball games and perform with the band all over Seattle for different gigs as well.

3) What was the most interesting experience/opportunity you have gained through twirling?

I think the best experience I’ve had from twirling would be getting to meet so many people from all over the world. Twirling has opened many doors for me including traveling. Not only do I get to see new cultures of countries I’ve never been to, like The Netherlands and Australia for example, but also I get to meet people from all different walks of life at the competitions themselves. Over the years I’ve had small but fun exchanges to making long lasting connections with some truly wonderful people. Even at UW I get to meet so many genuine people (especially people who love UW and game day just as much as I do) whom I might not have been able to meet without twirling.

4) What do you study here currently at UW and where do you see yourself in the future?

Currently I am in the Vocal Performance and Mechanical Engineering major at UW and I plan on hopefully getting a masters degree in Acoustic Engineering as well. Once I’m done with school my ultimate goal would be to become a professional opera singer. Nonetheless you can never have a completely fool proof plan for the future and so I’m open to many options and jobs as long as I end up happy and enjoying myself while helping others; be it through music or engineering. I also plan on continuing my twirling, especially doing performances and becoming a coach.

5) What is an interesting fact/skill that you have that not everyone would know?

Fun fact about me that most people don’t know is I am a second-degree black belt in karate! I did a lot of activities growing up and some other ones I still love are scuba diving, dancing, long boarding, photography, and of course singing!

6) What is one beauty tip that you have to give?

I think the most impactful beauty tip I could give would have to be about makeup. Use makeup in a way that it accentuates things about you that you like! I used to look at makeup the wrong way, where I would use it to hide parts of my face and cover up things that I didn’t like about myself. At some point (and with a lot of soul searching) I realized that I love my face and makeup shouldn’t be used to mask who you are; makeup is a way to show off all the things you love about yourself. So have fun, experiment, and go as crazy as you like with makeup, but always remember you are beautiful no matter what!