MANHATTAN (KSNT) – A K-State band member got the opportunity of a lifetime to show off her twirling skills on an international scale.

Kaylee Brungardt is a twirler at Kansas State University, and in her second year, she’s already considered one of the best in the country. To prove it, Brungardt was one of just 12 hand-picked from across the nation to represent the United States in the 71st International Festival of Springtime in Peru.

“Her talent got her noticed, and who she is got her to where she went,” K-State Director of Bands Frank Tracz.

The event organizers choose twirlers for the festival based on their talent, showmanship and integrity in and out of a competition.

“I’m incredibly honored, and really, it was a really great experience and just one of the best highlights of my twirling career,” Brungardt said.

Brungardt’s international debut started with a five-mile parade route. She says even though it was cool to walk alongside floats showcasing Peruvian culture, some of her other performances really stood out to her.

“Besides the parade, we got to do twirling at orphanages and nursing homes and schools and prisons, and those things were really touching and performances that were very, very special,” Brungardt said.

Tracz says the world now knows the talent that the band sees in Brungardt, and how her achievements could inspire future k-state twirlers.

“The world now knows what we’ve always known about her and about the people that are involved in this program, there’s no question about it,” Tracz said. “Success breeds success, and I think that’s what this is all about. So, if we get more Kaylee’s out of this, I think we’re in good shape.”

While twirling at Bill Snyder Family Stadium is a highlight for Brungardt every gameday, twirling in Peru formed a new highlight in her mind. Because those performances were just for fun and from the heart.