Lauren Borchart Q&A

June 21, 2022
Lauren Borchart knows what it's like to command a stadium full of people.

“Before a performance I would find a quiet place in the locker room to sit by myself and visualize my routines, and I made sure to visualize myself doing them perfectly. It was manifesting in a way. The last thing I would do before going on the field was repeat ‘trust yourself, trust your practice,’ which became my twirling mantra over the years. I think learning to manage my stress in that way was a big lesson in letting go of my anxieties and having confidence in my own abilities, which applies to so many other aspects of my life.”

You have a film degree. Who is one filmmaker that is massively underrated?

Yim Soon-rye. She’s a Korean New Wave director, and her films often center around feminist themes. She’s great at slow, but intentional, slice-of-life films, which I love. Her film, Little Forest, is a masterpiece and severely underrated. On the surface, it’s a simple, heartwarming story, but it has some pointed themes about our society when you dig into it. I don’t want to give too much away. Just trust me; it’s worth a watch.

You wrote a piece about early slapstick feminists in film. Do you have a soft spot for comedies?

Sort of. I don’t love the kind of blockbuster comedies with basic plot lines, but I do love irreverent or dark comedies. Films like Knives Out, Jojo Rabbit, and The Royal Tenenbaums are great because they’re hilarious while still being smart. Also, not a film, but Nathan For You definitely fits into the irreverent category and is the most hilarious show I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend.

What’s the last novel you loved?

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a sharp satire looking at free will in the age of technology, and is also an anti-war story. It’s a bit of a tough read, but it kept me thinking about its themes for a while.

You were a feature baton twirler for the University of Minnesota. What is it like performing in front of a packed house at a football stadium? Did you have rituals before you went on the field to manage nerves?

Twirling at the U was the highlight of my college career, as well as my twirling career. I competed across the country for most of my life, but nothing ever compared to a game day. Every performance was the craziest adrenaline rush and genuinely so much fun. Still, it was extremely nerve wracking — I almost puked at my very first game from nerves. Before a performance I would find a quiet place in the locker room to sit by myself and visualize my routines, and I made sure to visualize myself doing them perfectly. It was manifesting in a way. The last thing I would do before going on the field was repeat “trust yourself, trust your practice,” which became my twirling mantra over the years. I think learning to manage my stress in that way was a big lesson in letting go of my anxieties and having confidence in my own abilities, which applies to so many other aspects of my life.

When did you start twirling? Did you love it right away?

I started twirling when I was 6. My mom signed me up for a class, and I never looked back. It felt natural to me, and I loved the combination of dance and gymnastics, paired with the baton. I was definitely in love with it right away, and I continued to be for the next 16 years.

When I think of the Weisman Art Museum I think of that amazing image of all those chickens in the cage. You used to work there. What about you?

I think the building itself is the greatest work of art that the museum has to offer. I know the design is often debated among students, and it is jarring compared to the rest of campus, but I’m a sucker for a Frank Gehry design. I think it’s a compelling representation of the river it resides on, and just striking to look at.

Who is your greatest inspiration?

My mom. She truly does it all. I swear she must have more hours in the day than the average human. She’s such a hard worker, confident, loving, bad-ass, and every other positive adjective you can think of. I feel so lucky to have her as my mom and best friend, and I attribute all my successes to her and all the wisdom and love she brought me up on.