Baton Twirlers?

Topics covering the dance, drill team, pep squad and baton twirling scene

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Baton Twirlers?

Post by MechAnt » Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:14 pm

What is the difference between a Majorettes, and Twirlers:?:
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Difference Between Majorettes and Twrillers

Post by EP » Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:52 am

I guess it's semantics and the environment you come from.

There are many forms and I am addressing what I know...... please feel free to add your insight not as comparion on who's better, but, what they/are..... great people!

In the Central Valley, we called them majorette teams... e.g., Merced Darlings, El Capitan Sweethearts, Atwater Falconettes, Los Banos Tigerettes, Dos Palos, Tranquility, Livingston and a myrid of others that memory fails to give appropriate recognition, so my apologies to you!

Teams ususally consisted of 3 to 7+.. I think there were parade rules for the number.... I could be wrong.. this is over 30-40 years ago. If you had less than 3, you were considered not a team and not eligible for placement/awards (CCBR, All Western Band Review, etc.). This was a great part of street competition.

The majorette team had to augment the marching band with a routine that complimented the music and contain certain "abilities" that included street/body form and placement, "tricks and tosses", rolls - finger and body, and other demonstrated acts of baton AND team mastery.

Trust me, these girls (all teams in the central valley were girls during this time... no offense to anyone) worked just as hard as any guard unit (today and yesterday). Remember, this is the precursor to guard.... they had to incorporate dance, music interpretation (now, it's not easy making a military street march "appear" as a dramatic opera in visual form), street design (similiar to field coverage), vary team form design; triangles, rectangles, parrallel lines; straight and diagnals, while tossing, cross tossing, rolling, exchanging, smiling and presenting the music in a visual pleasing manner.... in other words "they had to be a team of diva's with a stick!"

Grooming and makeup was taken very seriously... it was not unusual for the auxiliary teams to be at the band room for hair and make-up at 4:30 am. It had to be perfect... I think Evita Peron (no, not Madonna's version) took lessons from these girls.....

There usually was a "head majorette" who was identifed as the team leader and was given the respect due.... based on talent, ability and most importantly, leadership... Their uniform was either a different color or the routine "highlighted" her as the leader...

This practice was accepted and deserved... this role was not a popularity contest, although to those who wanted to be "head majorette," and didn't get selected, probably viewed it as one.

The uniforms ususally were more along the "short dress" style.. mostly in velvet or satin. With fur accents, sequins, lace, tassels, etc...

Very pageantry and dramatic with tiara's or some other type of headress and "white western style marching boots'. Those daring to go one step further in excelling the degree of difficulty would tap the soles of the boots.... mind you, if they were not in step or in unisence... they could be penalized.... another risk factor not taken lightly or shyed away from.

Side note.... most of these uniforms and accessories were mom made and funds raised were out of pocket or bake sales/car washes, etc... didn't have access to big budgets... more of access to big hearts... band mom's everywhere, you have never been thanked or acknowledge enough.....

The teams were held accountable in appearance, cleanliness and errors were deducted not only from themselves but to the overall band score.... so, talk about taking on and meeting a challange...

Twirllers usually were soloists (who were pretty darn awesome contortionists) and were a "feature" to the band... there scores were seperate and did not affect the band's. There were twriller teams usually above 10+ in groups... These could be found more frequently in the Northern California area.
Manteca High School consistently had one of these huge teams.
Twrilling teams wore sequened body form "swimsuit" type uniforms w/nancy boots or tennis shoes....

I'd like to add that another important group that may not have had as much exposure and were not taken very seriously were the ID units or "letter carriers".....

This started around the late fifties/early sixties when bands were getting away from "banners" (seen in the mid-west and east coast). I think this was some idea by a band director or band booster organization. Don't think there were any "professional signage" companies that saw this untapped money marketing scheme... sorry if offended.

Again, they were predominately girl squads. They held or carried letters spelling out the high school, city name or mascot, some times all.

Some band directors got very creative with their school's signage and this indeed added to the "visual" presentation to the band... on the flip side, if the ID unit was sloppy, it could also post a poor first impression....

This is the spot where band dads should be acknowledged and appreciate too for their contributions... some of these schools had "garage made" signage, yet, on the street, you couldn't tell...
These talented dad's made sure that they gave their best to create the best wood working skills on these projects... and gentlemen, thank you for your contribution. You indeed suceeded.

Again, this was a precursor to adding "flash" to the pageantry of street competition... as a matter of fact, tall flags were a part in and out of many high school bands throughout this time period.

Usually, they were the last row of the band and they just added that final flair to the overall affect...

At CCBR, they were not allowed to participate in the competition and would have to pull out and walk along the side of the band...

Finally, alot of credit should also go to the band booster's who ran the second hand stores, bingo halls, bake sales, car washes and every other detail needed to get a band on the street or field. The bus drivers who schleeped the kids to where they needed, in all weather (valley fog) and in safety too up and down Highway 99.... (before I5, 205, 505, 555, 755, etc....)

But honorable mention, not to be taken lightly, goes to those dedicated band directors who: fixed the clarinet at the last minute, pulled an oboe reed from thin air, unfroze the third valve on the sousaphone at the competition line, fixed the pole holding the letter E to R, jerry-rigged the drum majors baton and broken suspenders (with hope and spit), made the judges accountable for their scores, kept the kids fed and housed on overnight trips, answered the parents complaints why their kid is not first chair because of it's "natural gift to music", spentless unpaid for hours at the band room making sure each kid is graded fairly and accountable for his/her actions.....

nuff said.

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Post by Batonmom » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:13 pm

Nothing, however a male twirler is NOT a majorette! lol

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In my opinion...

Post by twirlerkat » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:31 pm

Majorettes do like drillteam type routines where they're all in formation or in line, uniform, have a basic skill level generally, everything is precise & together, they hold their arms out making an L w/their hands, toss & catch, windmills, horizontals, horizontal tosses, grass-cutters, two-hand spin, 1-turn, sometimes dropping on a toss (hard to see those doggone things in the stadium lights) then getting back in formation. Twirlers usually very well trained & disciplined, usually stand alone like a feature twirler(s) where they do their own thing, mostly tricks like neck rolls, elbow rolls, 2s, 3s, 4s (referring to turn & catches turning around 2, 3, 4 times, etc.). Mainly staying in one place but constantly moving & doing stick-tricks, illusions, or arial tricks. Majorettes usually stand in formation or in a line & move or not move around the field w/the band. Watch the movie TWIRL or watch some twirling competition videos on YOUTUBE & you'll see what twirlers are made of. It's just totally fascinating to me to watch & to being a twirler myself. :P

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