TWYRL TYPE HIGHLIGHTS
Welcome to the TWYRL TYPE
On this page, we will highlight selected articles from recent issues for enjoyment by all.
ARCHIVES: There are some articles featured in Twyrl Type that are so popular we receive numerous requests to repeat the information.
-What is Twirling Unlimited? - Why Restrictions?
- Do You Really Want to Promote Twirling? - What Image Are You Projecting?
- It's All About Timing - Professional Courtesy
- How to Make the Most of Summer Camp - Tips For College Auditions
- Ready for Competition? -The Importance of Basics
To access these archived articles, click HERE
TUI A SUCCESS
What a great year! TU Internationals was larger than ever and we were delighted to welcome so many new participants. There were twirlers from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico, and dozens of states in between. 25 judges represented all the major organizations and hailed from a broad geographical range. It was a wonderful blend of twirling organizations and geography for a positive twirling experience in a friendly atmosphere.
We were very impressed with the large numbers of new twirlers joining us. The number of groups entered in the PeeWee and Tiny Tot divisions almost doubled this year! Kudos to those directors who are introducing twirling to these youngsters and facing the challenging task of preparing little ones to perform!
Despite the record large numbers, the individual events were completed by 6:00 on Saturday, followed quickly by the awards presentations and special performances. The group events were completed by 6:00 on Sunday, culminating in the presentation of the two corps Hi-Point trophies and the announcement of the winners of all of the cash awards.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event!. Join us …
July 11,12 & 13, 2014
in Canton, Ohio!
TU INTERNATIONALS DEADLINE COMING UP!
The deadline for entering TU Internationals is Friday June 14! Please note: All entries for groups, pageants and International events MUST be prepaid; therefore, you cannot phone or FAX in those entries! Don't get caught scrambling at the last minute.
TU Internationals is July 12-13-14 and is open to ALL twirlers, regardless of membership in any other organization. And..... there is no need to "qualify" - everyone is welcome. The brochure for this year's International competition is available on our website: www.twirlingunlimited.com
If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail: email@example.com
Hope to see you all in July!
HAVE TROPHY CREDIT?
If you have been participating in the trophy turn-in program with TU, then you have earned credit toward your entry for TU Internationals! There is a place on the entry form for you to subtract your credit from your entry total.
The TU office has kept track of all of the credits earned from turning in trophies. If you would like to know how much credit you have, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't phone, as we have to look up the information for you and it does take some time. We'll be happy to let you know the amount - but don't wait until the deadline day to ask!!
Note: the credits do not "expire". If you can't use them this year - don't worry. They will carry over to next year!
The building where TU headquarters is located has been subdivided and now houses three separate business areas. Therefore, our address has a new addition! When you send ANY correspondence (entries, letters, merchandise orders, etc.) please include SUITE 200 in the address to make sure your envelope makes its way to our office.
700 Ghent Rd STE 200
Akron, OH 44333
TU CAMP SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
As always, each year the winners of the Beginner and Intermediate pageants at TU International receive a scholarship to the TU camp of their choice (Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan). But we are delighted to announce THREE additional opportunities for twirlers to earn a scholarship to a TU camp in 2013!
1) Once again, Veronica Johnson and Arnie Heier have generously donated funds for a scholarship for an Indiana twirler to attend a TU camp. The scholarship winner is determined by a twirl-off at the Miss Majorette of Indiana competition May 12.
2) New this year—for twirlers age 15 and over (use age as of April 1, 2013)! The Calkin family of NY is sponsoring a camp scholarship for a twirler age 15 or over. Richie and Shelby Calkin are long-time participants in TU competitions and feel that they have gained so much from participating in twirling. They want to help another twirler broaden their twirling experience by attending a TU summer camp. The following are the requirements to be considered for the scholarship:
· Has entered solo twirling (any level) at a minimum of 3 TU competitions between April 1, 2012 and March 30 2013.
Submit an essay (250 words or less) telling what attending twirling camp would mean to them.
Twirlers interested in being considered for the scholarship should log on to our website: www.twirlingunlimited.com and click on “Camp Scholarship” for an entry form. The entry form should be submitted, along with the essay, no later than APRIL 1 to: Camp Scholarship, 700 Ghent Rd, Akron, OH 44333
3) New this year—for twirlers 14 and under (use age as of April 1, 2013)! Trophies donated to TU have been used throughout the year as awards for various events—and the proceeds have been reserved in a camp scholarship fund. Using the same criteria listed above for the Calkin family scholarship—an additional camp scholarship will be given to a twirler age 14 and under. Entry forms and essays should be submitted no later than APRIL 1, to: Camp Scholarship, 700 Ghent Rd, Akron, OH 44333.
We are honored that Veronica Johnson, Arnie Heier and the Calkin family have chosen TU to help share their love of baton twirling with up and coming twirlers, and we look forward to announcing the scholarship winners this spring!
GOOD NEWS REPORTS FROM TU
Over $800 in credits from turning in trophies was used by competing twirlers at the 2012 TU International competition! This is in addition to over $1,000 in checks for savings bonds given previously during the year to advanced twirlers who turned in trophies. All of these monetary awards are earned by twirlers participating in the trophy turn-in program offered by TU.
- Sept. 29th & 30th the TU Ohio Regional was held at Perrysburg High School in Perrysburg Ohio. There was a special Regional championship for high school and college feature twirlers and majorette lines. The winning High School feature twirler was Miranda VanHoozen representing St. Johns High School. The winning High School majorette line was Oak Harbor High School and the winning college majorette line was the Miami University Feature Twirlers. Everyone did a great job!
The winners, as well as all of the participants received AMAZING prizes. We would like to thank our sponsors for donating: Sharp baton, Heart baton, Show Off, Sewstoppers, Twirling Sports wear, Stella & Dot, Signs Now, Mr. Freeze, BG McDonalds, & Champion Baton Bags all donated great prizes. We could not have had such a great contest without them. Next year we plan to hold the same great contest -so if you missed it this year, plan on it for next year! -Andrea Whiting, Perrysburg HS
- Coming in the March issue: information on summer twirling camps across the country - and exciting news about some great new additions to the TU summer camps!
HALFTIME- AND THE TROUBLE WITH DIFFICULTY
We twirling teachers put in a lot of time and effort preparing twirlers for competition. Countless hours are spent in the gym pushing for new levels of variety and difficulty and trying to master increasingly more intricate tricks and combinations. The problem is: much of that preparation is CONTRARY to what should be performed on a football field – or any other performance for a “lay” audience. All the low flips, intricate rolls, and contact material that are so important for a high score in a competition routine have no place on a football field or a basketball halftime. That kind of intricacy is lost on an unsophisticated audience.
Obviously high tosses are the big thing – but twirlers don’t need to do triple illusions or major spins underneath. Often, the audience is watching the baton go up and down – they might not even SEE what the twirler is doing! Sporting event audiences delight in gymnastics-type moves (cartwheels, illusions, walkovers, etc.) because these moves are big and obvious. And they also love to see dance and gymnastics moves choreographed to the music being played. But they can’t tell that a high toss double walkover is any harder than a high toss single walkover catch with another walkover after it. They can’t tell that a backhand catch is actually easier than a blind catch.
What they DO know is that you’re not supposed to drop it! So twirlers should scale their sports performances down from their competition routines. If a 3 turn is your highest spin – then don’t try that on the football field! Do a solid 2 turn with a high toss and a big smile (they can’t count the turns anyway!!). If a double walkover is a stretch for you – then don’t put that in your halftime performance. This doesn’t mean that you don’t ever take any risks – but it should mean that “risky” tricks are kept to a minimum and the choreography is designed to appeal to the less sophisticated audience, not the few people associated with twirling who might be watching.
I recently had a conversation with a high-level alumni donor at a university where a top national twirler performs with the band. What was he impressed with? Not the high toss double illusion or the multiple spins or fujimi rolls….. no - he was amazed that she could do a floor bounce and make the baton come back to her hand!
Twirlers should remember their purpose in the sports venues: they are there for entertainment – precision, showmanship and audience appeal are far more important than difficulty or trying to impress other twirlers.
FEATURE TWIRLER SOLO
Also new this year: the Feature Twirler Solo event! Requirements are a 2 to 2 1/2 minute routine with a 1 baton portion that is a minimum of 1 minute. The remaining time can be any novelty or multiple baton.
This event is open to ANY twirler age 15 and over. These ages encompass twirlers in both HS and College—those who would be performing for sporting events. Boys and girls compete against each other—and it is not necessary for the twirler to be a feature twirler at his/her school. The event is designed to recognize the multiple skills necessary to be a feature twirler—and to help the older twirlers develop those skills.
We’ve already received lots of positive feedback. Hallie & Miranda VanHoozen of Ohio said “Wanted to make sure you knew how excited we were about the new competition category. This certainly will help promote baton twirling!”
Be sure to watch for the Feature Twirler Solo event at the next competition!
TWIRLING IN THE PUBLIC VIEW
Everyone involved in twirling would like the general public to recognize the tremendous skills involved. We are likely prejudiced, but many of us have the feeling that because twirling involves the athleticism of a gymnast, the eye-hand coordination of a sportsman, and the technique and styling of a dancer, our unique "performance sport" requires one of the highest levels of skill mastery. Recently on our Facebook page, there was a spirited discussion of whether or not twirling should be represented on a reality TV show (check out our Facebook page if you missed the comments). There were certainly differences of opinion, but everyone was interested in more visibility for twirling.
We often hear twirlers bemoaning dwindling participation. And yet - there are some geographic areas where twirling continues to grow and prosper. One of the groups in eastern NY has so many youngsters wanting to twirl, they have to limit participation because the gym can't hold them all! Many groups across Pennsylvania have reported an increase in membership and competitions there continue to grow. Twirling in West Virginia is booming. Certainly there are many reasons why some areas are flourishing and some are dwindling, but one very positive reason is VISIBILITY. Young girls (and boys) have to SEE twirlers to decide they want to twirl.
It is a huge promotional tool for baton twirling if there are majorettes or twirlers performing with the local HS or College bands. Sometimes a band director is adamant about "no twirlers" but often, a cooperative and 'team player' approach can bring about a change in attitude. If not - it is likely that a twirler (or group of twirlers) can perform at basketball games or other school events. Being associated with school spirit moves many youngsters to dream of being a twirler. Don't give up on twirling for your school!
In addition, local parades and performances create great visibility for twirling. Too often, competitive twirlers (and even competitive groups) turn their noses up at parades or local community events, apparently because they feel they are "beyond" that level. If that's their approach, it's too bad that they worked so hard to master skills that will only be seen by a select few in a gym.
Want to help promote twirling? Then perform! School talent shows, civic festivals, local parades, community or charity events. Not only will you show the public that twirling is still alive and well, but you'll have fun showing off all those skills you (or your students) have worked so hard to achieve! Help keep twirling in the public view!
RULE CHANGES FOR 2013
Effective January 1, 2013, the following changes in TU Rules will take place:
· The age divisions for all GROUP events will change to:
Tiny Tot: 7.0-8.9
Senior: 15.0 +
There are several reasons for this change, but one of the most significant is that these ages match the existing age groups for the TU individual events. In addition, these age groups reflect the trend of more twirlers continuing to compete at an older age, and the new divisions help to balance out the number of participants more evenly throughout the age groups.
Ages are still calculated based on actual age the day of the competition—and group divisions are still determined by averaging the ages of the participants.
· New event! There will be a new event called “Feature Twirler Solo”. This is actually an expansion of the former “College Solo” event. The rules will be the same as the former “College” Solo: 2– 2.5 minute solo to standard march music; 1 baton is a minimum of 1 minute and the remainder of the routine may be any type of novelty or multiple batons. However—this event is now open to ANY twirler age 15+. The ages coincide roughly with HS and College age twirlers and the event is designed to allow these twirlers to showcase the skills they might utilize in twirling for their school. This will be an open event at all TU competitions.
· The existing rule about technical issues with music will be clarified to include all events using individual music. (“If music stops or skips for ANY reason after the first 15 seconds, the group or individual may not start over.”)
· Wording of eligibility rules will be amended so that twirlers who are registered twirling judges may be allowed to continue to compete, but they will not serve as judges at the same competition they compete in.
The current TU Rules are always available on our website. Log on to www.twirlingunlimited.com and click on “Rule Book”. The new rules will be incorporated after Dec. 15, 2012.
TWIRLING ON TV?
Once again, TV producers have been in touch with twirlers all over the country promoting the idea of a Reality Show based on the world of twirling competition. It appears that more than one production company has latched on to the idea and virtually all major twirling organizations and many individual teachers have been contacted with the sales pitch and offer.
On the surface, it seems like a great idea for our sport to get more recognition and acknowledgement of the skills required to achieve mastery. However, if one digs a little deeper into the sales pitch, a lot of “red flags” appear. Every pitch that has come across our desk includes the term “BIG personalities”. It doesn’t take too much imagination to translate that into “strange characters”. Every producer has been a very friendly guy or gal and they always profess to wanting to present a “positive image” of the world of baton twirling competition. They want to follow a few teams or coaches through their year of “highs and lows” up through their national competition. But when pressed, the potential producers always admit that any twirlers, families and coaches involved would have NO say over what makes it to the screen and what image would be projected—and no editing rights.
A recent local radio show commented on the influx of new TV Reality shows (they were specifically referring to “Honey-Boo-Boo”—recognize her?) and one announcer said “Each one gets crazier than the last.” His colleague responded: “They have to—that’s what sells”.
What is YOUR opinion? Is it worthwhile for twirling to gain publicity if this is the vehicle for the promotion?
Log on to Twirling Unlimited’s Facebook page and add your voice to the discussion.
IS IT TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW?
When competitive twirling first began, there was only ONE level of competition - everyone competed against all the others of the same age. When the "Beginner" level was introduced, the criteria was: as soon as you won 1 first place, you moved to "Advanced". Gradually more first places were required, then more levels were added. Now (depending on the organization you participate in) there are up to 5 levels, and each organization has their own number of first places required to move from one level to another.
This method of 'advancement' presents a number of difficulties.
1) Twirlers who participate in more than one organization are faced with confusing (and sometime contradictory) rules about what "counts" for advancement, what doesn't "count", and how many first places are required.
2) Twirlers who live in an area where there are many competitions have many more opportunities to earn first place wins.
3) Twirlers who live in an area where there are few competitors often win first place at every competition.
4) Standards for a "protection rule" (if the organization has the option) vary widely - depending on the area - and the personal opinion of a particular judge.
5) There are many ways to work "the system" and hold a twirler back in a lower level while still adhering (in a strict sense)to the advancement rules.
Most twirlers and coaches have expressed frustration at one time or another with the current system of advancement. Perhaps it is time for something new? Perhaps we should re-think using first-place wins as the standard for advancement?
TU also has "first-place" requirements for advancement - but we have also taken a step in a different direction by restricting some of the twirls allowed in each level: no more than a 1 turn and 2 elbows for Level 1 and no high toss illusion or high toss gymnastics move; no more than a 2 turn and 4 elbows for Level 2, no more than a 3 turn and 6 elbows for Level 3, no more than a 4 turn and 8 elbows for Level 4 and Level 5 (Advanced) is unrestricted. This method is certainly not perfect - but it does introduce another "standard" by which to determine an appropriate level of competition for a twirler.
Do you have ideas for other methods/criteria for determining advancement - or are you satisfied with the current method? Join our Facebook page - and voice your opinion!
We are often asked why TU does not have a Beginner team category. The short answer is: there is no “simple” way to determine a “beginner” team. Many other organizations (and all individual events) base “Beginner” status on the number of first-place wins. However, this method is not truly accurate since the membership in a team is often variable. Is it really fair for several advanced twirlers to join a “beginner” team without affecting their status? Not to mention the teams that only enter a few times a year and therefore limit the number of wins they have to “count”. Plus it is a logistical challenge for anyone to keep up with the number of team wins for every individual member.
TU has addressed this issue by creating a “Level 1” team category. In this event, participating teams are restricted by the TWIRLS they are allowed to perform. It is truly designed for “beginning” teams—and those still developing. While no method is perfect, this gives new teams a chance to compete without being totally overwhelmed by teams that are “beginner” in name only.
THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION
Dates for most spring competitions have been finalized and you'll see some new additions to the Event calendar at the end of this newsletter.
Since spring is the "busy season" for twirling competitions it is often tough to squeeze in all the competitions. As always, Twirling Unlimited tries to cooperate with other contest directors to avoid conflicts. This year, when a Connecticut contest director called to say that she could only obtain her facility on the same date that we already had our Regional competition scheduled, we agreed to suspend our 2012 competition so twirlers would not be forced to choose. In an additional nod to the spirit of cooperation, our contest sponsor is planning to take her teams to support the other competition.
In the May 2011 edition of Twyrl Type, we started a Character Corner series:
"Top Ten Reasons to Twirl Baton". Each month, we explored one character element that is a side benefit of participating in baton twirling. We counted down:
2 Personal Best
What should top the list?
Everyone involved with baton twirling will agree that it can have a tremendous imapct on a person's life. From the development of "character" to the experiences provided, the wonderful world of baton twirling is an exciting and dynamic place. But too often, we get caught up in the "goals" and "results". Sure - it is a thrill to win. But we must always remember that the memories we keep, the experiences we have every step of the way, and the character traits developed as a result of those experiences, are the things that make us who we are. We need to not focus so much on the "end result" that we forget what is happening to us NOW.
So #1 on the list: ENJOY THE JOURNEY!
Don't get so caught up in the finish line that we forget to enjoy the adventure.
THE STATE OF THE UNION (of TWIRLING UNLIMITED)
In a nod to the time of year when "State of....." reports are everywhere, it seems appropriate to render our own "State of the Union" report.
We're happy to report that the State of Twirling Unlimited is very positive! We're very excited about recent improvements and current events in TU.
-Attendance at most competitions continues to grow steadily.
-Many teachers have indicated a rebound in membership numbers and this translates to increased participation at many of our events.
- We have introduced TU in several new areas recently and are pleased with the positive response.
- We've had much positive feedback about our online Teachers/Judges Directory - and we continue to add new listings regularly.
- The new 2012 edition of the College Directory has been a popular request - and it now includes over 125 schools across the country.
-The response to our expanded trophy turn-in program has been tremendous. Many more twirlers are taking advantage of this unique program and we look forward to welcoming them at camp or at TU Internationals when they redeem their credits.
-Positive comments about our teaching DVD reinforce our idea that this fills a great need for those who teach beginning twirlers.
- Feedback on our Twyrl Type newsletter indicates that many enjoy the new e-mail issues, and others still like the paper issues. We hope we have struck a good compromise by alternating formats each month.
In short....we are happy to report that TU is growing all the time - and we are delighted to have all of YOU participating.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
A quick rundown of new things for 2012:
· Don’t forget that entry deadlines for TU competitions have been moved up! Entries for open competitions must be mailed 10 days ahead or phoned/FAXed 8 days ahead. Regional competitions are 2 weeks ahead. In addition— late entry fees are increased. We will still accept late entries, but we encourage you to get your entry in as soon as your plans are firm.
· We continue to offer the convenience of phone and FAX entries. We understand that for many of you this is a quick and easy method to enter. However– if you send in an entry and then do not show up at the competition, there will be a $10 “no-show” charge. We treat phone and FAX entries the same as mailed in entries: score sheets are made, awards are planned, judges are hired—all based on the entries received. Therefore, there will be a $10 charge if you enter and do not attend the competition—which must be paid before any future entries are accepted.
· More and more twirlers are taking advantage of our trophy turn-in program and we’re delighted it is so popular. ANY twirler may turn in their awards at any competition (it must be done the day of the contest) and receive credit for their entry fee at the TU International competition or attendance at any TU camp. In addition, advanced twirlers may receive credit toward a US Savings bond. (see related article pg 3).
We hope that 2012 is a great twirling year for you and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming TU event.
CHANGES TO SAVINGS BOND PROGRAM
Beginning Jan. 1 the US government will no longer issue paper savings bonds. All savings bonds (even “gift” bonds) must now be purchased with an online account and require individual registration, including a SSN. Because of this, we are no longer able to purchase bonds for twirlers and we have to make an adjustment to our savings bond program.
All bonds earned up through Dec. 31,2011 have already been purchased or ordered. All remaining amounts earned will be carried over. When a twirler reaches the $25 amount previously required for a savings bond purchase, he/she will now receive a certificate and a check for $25, with instructions for how to set up an account and purchase the savings bond. We want to continue to recognize the achievements of our advanced twirlers, so these certificates/checks will be presented at competitions, as always. Advanced twirlers also have the choice of electing to accumulate their funds in “credit” form and use the money toward their entry fee for the TU International competition. Just indicate on the trophy turn-in sheet which you prefer.
Remember—developmental level twirlers (Levels 1-4) have the option of turning in trophies for credit toward attending TU summer camp OR credit toward entry fees for the TU International competition. Any funds accumulated through June 1, 2012 can be applied toward the 2012 TU International competition. TU will keep track of your turn-ins—and give you the total after June 1 if you request it. Funds not “redeemed” by June 30, 2012 will be carried over to the following year.
Calling all teachers, former twirlers and current twirlers over 18…… have you considered becoming a judge? People have mixed reactions to judging. Those who stand on the sidelines and “second-guess” sometimes convey that it is a simple task and “anyone can do it”. Others feel that it is too daunting a job for them to even consider. In actuality—the truth lies somewhere in between. It is NOT always easy—but with training and practice, those who have been twirlers and coaches can become competent judges. Here are some suggestions:
1) CLERK! A clerk serves as a sort of “secretary” for the judge. You record comments and penalties—but only what the judge says (you don’t have to determine anything yourself). Clerking does not require any previous training—but it WILL give you a whole new perspective from behind the table. You can learn something from every judge—so don’t hesitate to volunteer.
2) Attend a judges seminar! (see article above). This will give you insight into the kinds of things you should look for when evaluating a performer and the process of judging. You’ll gain some valuable knowledge—and it will help you determine if judging is for you.
We encourage all twirlers to continue to be involved—even when your competition days are over. Teaching new twirlers is one way to contribute to our sport –becoming a certified judge is another.
Stay active in the wonderful world of twirling!
At a recent judge’s seminar, the topic of the appropriateness of modeling in a twirling competition came up. We have touched on this topic before, but as “pageant season” is upon us, this is a good time to revisit it. The 3 part pageants in baton twirling are very popular and—in many twirling organizations—are one of the major titles offered on a national level. These pageants almost universally include modeling as a portion of the pageant competition.
There are two schools of opposite thought:
1) A pageant competition is designed to select the best “overall” representative of an all-around performer, and the grace and poise demonstrated in a modeling competition is an important part. OR
2) We are baton twirlers, and this is a sport—so modeling should not be part of a twirling event.
Valid arguments have been made on both sides of the modeling discussion. Those in favor cite the advantages of twirlers learning grace, poise, posture and carriage, while those opposed feel that modeling is too focused on appearance and doesn’t relate to twirling skills. There will probably never be a consensus of opinion. However, even many opponents concede that the skills required for the interview portion are valuable for helping twirlers project themselves in a positive manner and this experience helps twirlers develop important skills for later use. There are many times during their lives when girls may be required to do an interview (scholarship contests, applying for a job or promotion, etc.) and the poise demonstrated in that situation (and even the carriage and appearance) will be very important. In terms of carry-over to “real life” situations – few events at a twirling competition can rival the authenticity of the interview experience.
In recognition of this – about 6 years ago, TU instituted a change in our modeling scoring. In the Miss TU Pageant, the interview portion is scored on a 100 point scale and the modeling portion is on a 100 point scale, so the interview counts as 50% of the total “modeling” score. It’s hard to imagine a pageant-type competition without any modeling involved – but the 50/50 split places more emphasis on the whole person and not just appearance.
SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIP AT TUI
We are thrilled to announce that this year there will be a special scholarship presented to the winner of the Senior 2-Baton twirloff at the TU International competition. The winner of the scholarship will be determined from the highest point total between the champions in the 15-17 and 18+ divisions. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship.
This scholarship has been generously donated by Veronica Johnson and her husband, Arnie Heier. Veronica is a well-known Indiana teacher and judge who has been active in twirling for many years. In her letter, Veronica says “ Twirling Unlimited did so much for me when I was younger, I would now like to give back and have the opportunity to do so.”
We are delighted to offer this scholarship on behalf of Veronica and Arnie and look forward to presenting it to our first-ever recipient at the TU International competition in July.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
2010 has been an exciting year for Twirling Unlimited and we are looking forward to continuing our progress in 2011!
· We’re delighted with the response to our new Twyrl Type via e-mail. Our “alternating months” format seems to take the middle road between the ease of the electronic version and the familiarity of the print version.
· Twirlers of all levels have responded enthusiastically to the new option of turning in awards for credit toward their entry fees for TU Internationals.
· The number of schools listed in the College Directory surpassed 100—and is still growing.
· We passed the $75,000 mark in scholarship funds disseminated! That is in addition to savings bonds awarded at Regionals and Internationals for title winners.
· Record numbers attended TU Internationals last July—and we are looking forward to some new and exciting additions for 2011.
We’re excited about upcoming events —and hope to see all of you in 2011!
ARE PARADE GROUPS EXTINCT?
Were you one of the twirlers across the country who were delighted to see Sue’s Stepperettes in the Macy’s parade—along with twirlers from several marching bands? How exciting to see twirling represented in a prestigious national event! In the minds of the public, baton twirling is often associated with parades—but are parade groups becoming extinct?
It seems that we see fewer and fewer baton twirling groups in parades. A local parade official commented “About 3 years ago we had our last Baton & Drum corps. We don’t draw any more of those kinds of units.” Of course there are many reasons (financial, time constraints, etc.) but is it more than that?
Most readers of Twyrl Type are involved in twirling competition and we tend to look at baton twirling from that perspective—but have our competition groups & soloists become so “elitist” that they don’t participate in parades anymore? Certainly there are no national titles at stake—and many of the intricate skills developed for competition are not useful in this situation—but that isn’t the purpose of a parade performance. We often hear lamenting that there seem to be fewer youngsters involved in baton twirling, but if we’re not out there showing the public that baton twirling is still around—how will young girls and boys ever be captured by the thrill of the silver stick?
Many current competitive twirlers have a relative who was a twirler—but a generation ago, how did people become involved in twirling? Often, it was because they saw a baton group in a parade and they were enthralled. Trophies were not the motivation—it was the thrill of marching down the street and hearing the crowd roar with approval as you tossed your baton in the air.
Kudos to all the groups and soloists who are still participating in local parades—and demonstrating their skills to a new generation of starry-eyed youngsters.
We’re On Facebook!
With millions of people “connecting” through Facebook, TU has decided to take the technological plunge! If you’re an avid Facebook participant—check out our Facebook page. We’ll continue to maintain our website (www.twirlingunlimited.com) but we’ll post dates for TU Regionals and special events on Facebook and you’ll receive notices as the page is updated. In addition, you’ll be able to participate in our upcoming “chats” and see other interesting twirling news. So sign up to become a TU Facebook fan!
TWIRLING IS ALIVE AND WELL - TAKE 2
In the last issue, we told about two extra large twirling competitions in Florida and Ohio which demonstrated to everyone that twirling is “alive and well” . Now—more evidence is rolling in!
Recently we’ve been told that state competitions in Michigan and Pennsylvania had record numbers of participants. Both contest directors reported that it was their largest competition ever—and one noted that it was especially exciting because the largest increase in contestants was at the Novice level. That means that more youngsters are being introduced to the wonderful sport of baton twirling!
Kudos to all the teachers who are promoting baton twirling on a local level. One of the Michigan teachers indicated that her students participate in an annual event at the local zoo. ALL the twirlers (even the brand new ones) participate in a performance at the zoo during a special charity event to raise money for the kidney foundation. In return, the twirlers get a free zoo admission and they spend the rest of the day after the performance enjoying the zoo with their families. What a great combination of community service and fun—and what great publicity for twirling! We can only imagine how many other youngsters see the zoo performance and decide to sign up for twirling lessons, too!
Parades, performances, charity events, talent shows, football games, basketball games —these are all wonderful ways to give our twirlers performing experience and at the same time keep twirling in the public eye so that a new generation will “catch” the twirling bug!
One of the features of TWIRLING UNLIMITED competitions is the fact that we take late entries, up to and including the day of the competition. There is a small fee for this service.
There are several reasons for doing this.
One is that mistakes can happen—it is possible that the registration was sent in and we didn’t receive it—or we didn’t properly handle it. We may have goofed! Two: twirlers and their families are often involved in many activities, and it is sometimes difficult to predict whether the schedule will work out to attend a certain competition—or part of a competition. When it does—it is nice to be able to come, even though it is the last minute.
Three: Sometimes twirlers who are already at the competition will decide to add another event—perhaps try that new 2 baton routine or maybe do a second solo to try to improve on the first performance.
Since one of the main purposes of TU competitions is to provide performance experience, it is nice for twirlers to have the flexibility to add an event on the spur of the moment—or even decide to attend a competition at the last minute. We try to walk the fine line between being able to prepare for an efficient competition while still staying flexible to accommodate participants.
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