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Thread: twirling actualy

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Question twirling actualy

    i'm looking for help with my baton twirling, searchign around brought me to this site. looking for someone willing to help me with lessons maybe. doing the poor college student thing at the moment, makes it hard to pay for private lessons.

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    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Cleomaru

    Wow - what a blast from my past! I used to compete in baton twirling many years ago (and I do mean many!). I have not been involved in the sport since then, so don't have much info on the current "scene." Here are a couple of discussion boards I found just on a search. I'm not sure how active they are. Maybe a post to one of these boards might lead you to some opportunities in your area.

    http://worldofpageantry.com/forums/index.php
    http://xsorbit27.com/users5/emeraldb...lers/index.php

    Best wishes in your search! And have fun.

    DG

  3. #3
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I was wondering how quickly you would notice this thread, DG.

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    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I was a baton twirler too. Twirled baton for my High School band when I was a senior in 1976-1977. Competed too and also taught, but that was a long time ago..........

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    When I was in college, the marching band hired a pair (brother and sister) of professional baton twirlers to go to all the football games, parades, etc., and perform with the band. It was a regular gig. As far as I know, putting on shows like this was their regular profession.

    MM

  6. #6
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlkksk8fan
    I was a baton twirler too. Twirled baton for my High School band when I was a senior in 1976-1977. Competed too and also taught, but that was a long time ago..........
    dlkksk8fan, looks like we're pretty close in age. I graduated high school in '76. I competed under the NBTA (National Baton Twirling Association) from age 5 to 17. I'm trying to remember the other organization at the time - was it the USTA? I never went on to teach or anything - in retrospect my years in competition were one of the best things that ever happened to me, but I didn't have a whole lot of appreciation for that at the time. So when I laid down my batons for the last time, it was over. (until I found an old one and tried some tricks in my driveway last summer - not a pretty site!!) I'd be interested in hearing more about your experiences!!

    I did go watch the IL state championships maybe 7 or so years ago. The changes were pretty amazing. "Fancy T Strut" is now (or was) "Fancy X Strut" and the moves and costumes were very different - clearly advanced from our days. I was less impressed with the Solo event. More "gymnastic" type moves are apparently allowed now, but I was not impressed with how this has impacted the overall speed and flow of the routines. At least the competitors I saw seemed more like trick, trick, trick without the smooth connecting moves that I remember. Of course I have no idea how IL stands these days in the national scheme of things, so I might not have been watching the best.

    Mathman, I found this site when I did a search for one of my old coaches Bonnie Baxter. The person who created this site must have been a twirler at half time or what not with the Detroit Lions. I think the site is old though, because the Lion's link doesn't work, and Bonnie is listed as her coach and I have to think Bonnie must be well into retirement years by now.

    http://www.maxpages.com/loriann21

    It's funny - a guy by the name of Brooks Going is also referenced on this site as her other coach. I recall him judging me at competitions many times.

    Oh old memories. I really am an Old Fart.

    DG

  7. #7
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    Another ex-baton twirler here, well mostly "ex," although I have taken it onto the ice a couple of times just to see if it goes with skating. Which, btw, it does.

    I competed in about a gazillion of those teeny little events all over the Midwest, but mostly in Illinois. This was in the early-mid 1960's. My mom was actually the big baton twirler in our family; I just wanted to do it because she did it. And quite well, as I recall, she was world champion (or whatever they called it then) and my brother has the scrap book to prove it. So my being 3rd at State just wasn't good enough for her and I kind of lost interest in it. Well, between that and losing a goodly portion of my front tooth trying a 3turn (which is not the same thing as it is in skating, not at all, lol) Must remember to keep mouth shut when looking up to find the baton.

    And us twirlers do seem to be about the same age; I'm a high school class of 1974. But we didn't have a place in the band for a baton twirler, so after junior high I just kind of hung it up.

    Thanks for the memories.

  8. #8
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Megsk8z!

    Wow - ex-baton twirlers out of the woodwork, close in age, and at least two of us from the IL/Midwest area! How well I remember all those road trips to many towns large and small. Sleeping in the back of the station wagon with those "brush" type curlers poking holes in my head while we drove overnight. (OK - if anyone tells me I seem to have less brains than I should, I can honestly claim a "leak" in my younger days)

    Do you remember if you were competing under NBTA or USTA? If NBTA, I bet we were in some common places at some point in our past! Hey - 3rd place at State wasn't good enough????? Geez. Illinois was a VERY competitive state back in our day - at least NBTA wise. In the solo event (to qualify for nationals which was held back then in St. Paul MN every January) it was tough to make the top 5 and qualify.

    The "big names" I remember competing against include (expect spelling errors, and also ommissions - ref. the brain leak)

    Nancy Ustian
    Robin Rogers
    Robin Moroz
    Debbie Niegro
    and more I can't think up right now.

    Both Robin's and also Nancy were Miss Majorette of America in years pretty close together as I recall. My last year in the sport was when I was 1st runner up to Nancy in Miss Majorette of IL, and that's the year she went on to win Miss Majorette of America. The IL event was very close, and I think the disappointment got to me. Proof that I don't have the competitive stamina a top competitor really needs to have. (i.e I gave up after that near miss)

    Now. A baton as a good "prop" for an FS program? I LOVE it!! You MUST get this on video!!! And ITA about keeping your mouth shut from the minute the baton leaves your hand until it's back in your hand. And I wonder if helmets have come into play as well. That's another of my excuses for brain damage.

    Does your Mom still follow the sport?

    DG

  9. #9
    I'm an Italian Bambina icy fresh's Avatar
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    I was a baton twirler too! It's been a quite a few years for me since then. I was so very young when I did it. I wish I could help you, but you seem more advanced than I ever was. My toughest trick was balancing the baton right below my nose and spinning around. I still play around with my baton and throw it up in the air and let it spin 4 times before I catch it! It's quite a fun sport. Good luck with your twirling pursuits!

    http://www.ustwirling.com/
    Last edited by icy fresh; 07-05-2005 at 02:45 PM.

  10. #10
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Icy Fresh!

    Quote Originally Posted by icy_fresh
    Good luck with your twirling pursuits!

    http://www.ustwirling.com/
    No pursuits for me thank you very much!!! Just a bunch of memories for better and worse.

    I guess the balance under the nose move is best done with the mouth closed too, right?

    Thinking about scary stuff....

    I did reach a point in my mid-teens where I was capable of 4 turns regularly, and a 5 turn on occassion. Of course that required getting a lot of revolution speed on the baton (hang time) and height on the baton to get around 4 - 5 times before it came back down. My main practice place was the local Jr. High Gym. I remember the exact sound that would occur if I sent the baton up a bit too high and hit a rafter or light fixture. Once the baton stops spinning abruptly, that baton is coming down like a MISSILE. I remember RUNNING to steer clear when hearing that little noise. LOL that was hit and miss, since you really don't know for sure which direction the missile is headed at that point. I haven't thought about that in years.....boy this thread really is bringing back some interesting memories from days gone by.

    DG

  11. #11
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icy_fresh
    Wow! So "the big event" in it's current format is coming up this weekend!!! Thanks for the link. It would be interesting to attend a national event just to see how much everything has changed and advanced.

    Thanks!

    DG

  12. #12
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    Doggygirl-
    It is a funny story on how I got to be my High Schools majorette my senior year of high school.

    I belonged to my city's marching/concert youth band in the Los Angeles area, called South Gate City Youth Band. I twirled the small flags, which are like batons but with flags attached, and danced for the band. I was a member from the ages of 14-19 years old. It was one of the best times of my life. We performed all over the place from Hawaii to the east coast to Europe. I had also been a part of our small flag squad in high school my jr year. Since a lot of my friends in the youth band belonged to the high school band, I would from time to time hang out in the band room at school. I got to know the band director pretty well. At the end of my jr year I was in the band room visiting. "Smitty" the band director was talking about how the current majorette was graduating and they needed someone to replace her. I didn't say anything, because I twirled flags not baton. My close friend was selected to be drum major and I think he said something to "Smitty" because one day the band director came up to me and asked if I would like to twirl for the band. I said sure, but there is a little problem I haven't twirled since I was a little kid. He said no problem I'll teach you the basics. So after school there I was learning the basics with "Smitty" the band director.

    Well I'm the kind of person that when I am performing I want to be good, and I wanted the band to be proud to have me out in front. I had a whole summer to learn how to twirl "great", so my mom found me a private teacher and I learned how to twirl "very good". I was a gymnast so what I lacked in baton technique I made up for it with gymnastics tricks. It was so much fun. I loved designing my own costumes and choreographing my baton routines. I got pretty good and my teacher had me compete on the weekends under the NBBA? Or the NBTA, it 's been so long I don't remember. One weekend while I was practicing for a baton competition I was doing a a 2 1/2 turn behind the back catch when the baton came straight down on my right middle finger and almost broke it. It swelled up so badly and was black and blue. I remember walking into the gym with my swollen finger to get some ice and my gymnastics coach was there. She was so mad at me because I was out for both baton and gymnastics.

  13. #13
    Rinkside
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    It's not Baton twirling persay, but, I have been spinning pens for years, and I can spin anything now. Here is a link to a really good site. Pentrix

  14. #14
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlkksk8fan
    Doggygirl-
    It is a funny story on how I got to be my High Schools majorette my senior year of high school.

    I twirled the small flags, which are like batons but with flags attached, and danced for the band. I was a member from the ages of 14-19 years old. It was one of the best times of my life.

    One weekend while I was practicing for a baton competition I was doing a a 2 1/2 turn behind the back catch when the baton came straight down on my right middle finger and almost broke it. It swelled up so badly and was black and blue. I remember walking into the gym with my swollen finger to get some ice and my gymnastics coach was there. She was so mad at me because I was out for both baton and gymnastics.
    OUCH!! A jammed black and blue finger would definitely put you out of both sports!!! Good for you on 2 1/2 blind catches. And also good for you being primarily a gymnasts, but obviously talented where you (with Mom's support!!) got the training you needed to "lead the band." I suppose I will always wonder what might have been if I had stuck around for another year, but those early experiences have served me VERY well in adult life - long before I actually knew it was serving me well LOL.

    Were you a "righty" or a "lefty?" I was a righty - tossed with my right hand - baton always clockwise - with my body always going counter-clockwise for spinning. Of course horizontals are a whole 'nother story. It must have been really fun to be part of a flag team. As a kid, I always secretly wished to be part of a "team." I did flags, hoops, fire batons, and all the usual crazy / fun stuff for "show" but my own experience was largely solitary.

    DG

  15. #15
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi Jordon!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jordon
    It's not Baton twirling persay, but, I have been spinning pens for years, and I can spin anything now. Here is a link to a really good site. Pentrix
    If you're good at pen twirling, you REALLY need to invest in a baton. That Pentrix site is fun by the way. LOL, if you can do the "Fingerpass Normal" for any length of time, it would be EASIER to do that with a longer object than a pen, that is weighted on either end to give you some momentum. (PLEASE - I'm keepin' it CLEAN here!) No kidding - I think it's more difficult with a pen / pencil because all of your momentum has to be driven by your teeny finger muscles. Borrow a neighbor kid's baton and try it!!

    Then let me know when you're ready for thumb flips. That works best with a longer, heavier pen. (or better yet, an actual baton) Trust me, I've tried this with a decent variety of pens. Meetings do tend to get very boring, don't they??

    DG

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