The University of ArizonaArizona Bands

Shirlee Bertolini

Shirlee Bertolini is the "Grande Dame" of the Arizona Band, having been associated with the program for over 60 years. She came to the University of Arizona from Detroit, Michigan in 1954 to become the first featured twirler at Arizona. Before coming to Arizona, she was Michigan State and National Twirling Champion from 1953-54.

After her reign as featured twirler at Arizona, Shirlee became Twirling Coach and increased the number of twirlers to seven, each girl wearing a breast plate spelling A-R-I-Z-O-N-A. Today the team consists of state and national champions recruited by Shirlee. She travels thousands of miles each year looking for twirlers, and her National Baton Twirling Judging assignments allow her the opportunity to choose the "cream of the crop" both nationally and abroad.

Her career to date has produced many state and national champions, plus the Equestrian Twirlers who for ten years performed in the famous La Fiesta de los Vaqueros parade on horseback. Shirlee Bertolini has taught twirling throughout the 50 states and 17 foreign countries. She is still actively teaching, judging, and coaching.

Copyright © The University of Arizona