Monday, December 31, 2007

Mellisa flags

Here's another video featuring a Mellisa twirling inside. Very clean!

Friday, December 28, 2007

As the competition approaches..


As the new year draws near, we anticipate the competitions that come along with the 2008 year. For some, the only competitions they participate in are the USA Regionals and maybe the USA Nationals; there are, however OTHER competitions out there for schools to compete in.

I have, to the right column, a list of competitions occurring in January and March (February will be added soon) where the top Pep Flag schools are known to be competing in (top Pep flag = Nationals finalists).

If you'd like to participate in any of these competitions, here are the links to the respective competitions...

January
  • 5th (link) (MR*) Sharp International at Schurr H.S.
  • 19th (link) (MR) USA Regionals at Agoura H.S.
  • 20th (link) (MR) USA Regionals at Orange Lutheran H.S.
  • 26th (email) Winter Celebration at West Covina H.S.
February
  • 9th (link) (MR) Sharp International at La Mirada H.S.
  • 23rd (link) (MR) Sharp International at Sea World
  • 23rd (link) (email) Centurion Invitational at Saugus H.S.
March
  • 1st (link) Spirit Day Championships at West Torrance H.S.
  • 7th - 9th USA Nationals information will be given to schools admitted at USA Regionals
  • 29rd (link) Miss Dance / Drill Team USA at UCI Bren Events Center
April
  • 5th (link) (MR) Sharp International at Knotts Berry Farm
  • 11th - 13th (link) (MR) Sharp International at Las Vegas Sports Center


Maybe this will encourage some schools to expand their competition season. I will update when I receive the list of competitions in February.

*MR stands for Medical Release Form

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I made these for all the competing teams out there, as a special present for being a part of pep flags (all the pictures are under the cut); the teams who haven't competed yet still deserve some recognition for their hard work.

You're free to save to your own server, but PLEASE do not alter it in any way.

If you'd like me to make one for your team, just email me a picture of your uniform and competition flags and I can make it right away!



















*NOTE: after posting these pictures, I remembered I forgot to put the lines at the bottom for some of these schools. I tried my best to be accurate, but I guess I fell short. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Graphics Update

I wonder if any one other than Bishop Montgomery fans out there has known, but I made the girl featured on their sweater for the 2006-2007 season year.


This year, I'm testing out this new one (right) with realistic looking curls, makeup, and open eyes!




I'm actually trying to figure out a way to ..make it so I can apply each teams uniform / style to a base. It's pretty difficult to make a girl anonymous with colors being such a huge influence on what school it is.

I'm also experimenting with animation to show the twirls-- if you haven't seen this one--but with a much cuter character. Maybe even perform a routine for you? That's way later in the process, I still need to learn flash animation to get up to that level.

This means that more animated pictures for you competing teams! I really want to commend you guys for getting out there and twirling in front of such an audience of alumni and fans. So as each competition comes up, expect a new batch of banners / animations for the participating schools!

I am also working on perfecting my boy design--for the male team members, coaches, etc-- for all the guys involved in pep flags. Guys actually have a huge impact on teams with two of the top schools to be headed by male coaches, Glenn from Bishop and Mark from Channel Islands.



I've definitely made a male character before (for our 2005-2006 season when David was the first male to compete), but I want to expand the character to be more versatile.

I'd love to know what you guys think, or more importantly, what you'd like me to make for you!

Friday, December 21, 2007

USA So Cal Classic Recap


Last Saturday, December 15th, marked one the first competitions of the 2007-2008 season. It was held in the same venue as USA Nationals: the Anaheim Convention Center. As you may have read in previous posts, there were four schools that competed at this year's So Cal Classic: Channel Islands, Glendora, Hoover and Oxnard. In the 1-flag division, Oxnard went first, followed by Channel Islands. In the 2-flag division, performing first was Hoover, then followed by Oxnard, Glendora and Channel Islands.


Through this post, I want to address both the actual competition and all the "chatter" happening in the Chatterbox.


Here is the recap of the placements in both divisions and USA Nationals bids awarded that day (if there is any wrong information here, please let me know so I may correct it. I was not quite 100% positive about Nationals bids):


Qualifying with a bid to Nationals:

1-flag… Channel Islands

2-flag… Channel Islands, Glendora, Hoover and Oxnard


Award Placements:

1-flag… First Place- Channel Islands

2-flag… First Place- Channel Islands

Second Place- Hoover


The 1-flag division was sort of shaky. Since it is so early in the season, you know that both Channel Islands and Oxnard were probably more focused more on their 2-flag routines than their 1-flag. And watching this division, you know this is true. Because their 1-flag routines are so fresh and new, they will most likely get an overhaul for Agoura in about a month.


The 2-flag division is a different story. There were pretty strong showings from all four teams:


First up was Hoover, who brought their 2-flag routine that they had at the Sharp Extreme Camp competition this past summer. It was a lot cleaner and had 8 girls versus the 5 that they had camp. They were enthusiastic and deserved their 2nd place finish. And you could tell that they were ecstatic about their placement. Well deserved. Yes, they did do an "angle line" a la "carson showoff," but unless someone has tangible evidence that their school was the first school to ever perform it, then I don't believe it belongs to anyone. I've even seen an old yearbook from the 70s from Channel Islands High School with a picture of the Short Flags squad in a "showoff"-like pose. In Hoover's routine, it was not executed in any way like Carson does it, so the only similarity was the angles. But does anyone own a high-v? Or a "T"? I'm pretty sure that Channel Islands originated the "thigh-stand/mount while hitting various angles," but no one freaks out anymore when someone else does it. It's the cycle of performing arts/spirit teams. Type "twistercheerleader" in the Youtube search bar and watch all the All-Star Cheer teams from around the United States competing at the 2007 Cheerleading Worlds. Tell me that they don't include the same elements or aren't structured the same way. The dance world is just the same. It all comes down to: WHO DOES IT BETTER? Yes, Carson is the school that we all associate "showoff" with. They are the team that popularized the move. But you better believe that teams will still execute it within their routines in various other ways. You need to just… DO IT BETTER.


Second up was Oxnard, who brought their routine from the 2005-2006 competition season. I personally do not remember that specific Oxnard routine, but I was told by others that it was indeed from 2006. After watching the 2006 Nationals video, I verified it to be the same routine. The only difference was instead of 3 people, they fixed it to be performed with 5 (although they do have a total of 9 on the squad this year). We've seen routines reused all the time in the 1-flag division, revamped for a new season or just in the beginning of the competition season while they are still working on the real competition routine. The latter is what I presume Oxnard is doing. I expect to see a totally new 2-flag routine from them at Agoura or West Covina by the latest. Given that Oxnard's team is very young, I believe it was a wise choice to bring an old routine to So Cal Classic. It gives the new members a chance to work on their traditional tricks and twirls that their team has slowly been building throughout the few years they have been competing. As one of the schools that have made it to Finals for 2-flag at USA Nationals the past 2 years, don't count Oxnard out quite yet. It still is really early in the season and is anyone's game.


After Oxnard was Glendora, who opened up with their signature girl tossing a flag in the air, doing an illusion, and catching the flag. Glendora came strong with their unique style and finesse that only Glendora has. This team, like Oxnard's, is a young team as well so expect them to only get better as the season moves along. Glendora continues to surprise the pep flag community by making it to Finals. With a flair all their own, if it's combined with clean execution, there should be no reason to be surprised. Glendora stands alone with their style and that's what makes them stand out to judges. Their uniqueness makes them memorable.


Lastly, Channel Islands took the floor. By reading the Chatterbox, the hype that surrounds their performance precedes themselves. I wouldn't let all the hype fool you though, the girls are still not near the best of their ability. I mean, what squad is at that point in December? If you have a chance to watch them, don't come with any preconceptions that they will be phenomenal. I would come with no expectations. That way you can make your own conclusions after watching them live. My girls did the best they could considering it is early in the season. For that I am proud, but they still need a lot of work. Like it was said in the Chatterbox, our flag change section was a little shaky but for the most part the performance as a whole was good. The routine needs to be cleaned and little changes need to be made, just like every other team working on their competition routine right now. We strived to make the routine have that WOW potential… and I hope that they projected that wow when they performed. We would hope that it's not "so-complex-and-dynamic-its-messy." Thanks for those who think so, though. Gives us something to strive to do better. And to clear something up: the girls are not big-headed. I don't know what reasons they could give you to come to those conclusions. They approached Hoover and asked to take pictures with them, and then called over Oxnard. Glendora had already left the arena or else I'm sure they would have called them over too. This year's old members were part of the teams got 2nd AND 3rd place at USA Nationals in the 2-flag division. They were part of the team that had the so-called "BEP meltdown" and experienced not moving on to Finals in the 1-flag division. Then they had the opportunity to experience last year's triumphs. To actually for the first time be USA National Champions. So they've come a long way, gone through many obstacles and hardships. They have put so much into the team. So I would appreciate it if people would not talk down about the girls, especially if you don't know them personally.


Along with Arcadia and San Pedro, the schools that competed here at So Cal Classic all had the strive to get themselves out onto the competition circuit early in the season. I commend all for their efforts. They can only get better from here. In about four weeks, USA Regionals weekend will happen and this year's competition season will "officially" begin: Agoura and what was before Fountain Valley, now Orange Lutheran. Exciting, scary, intimidating, anxious… soon enough all the team's will take the floor. With the outcome unclear we can only hope for the best: that our teams perform to the best of their ability. So come out and support your favorite teams.


Happy Competition Season!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I apologize

I was hoping that I would have some tutorial videos posted by now..

But I'm afraid I don't. You see, my sister is in possession of my car (because she has a flat tire and doesn't want to rent one in the mean time), and in the glove compartment is the charger for my digital camera. I'd love to go retrieve it from her, but she is almost never home. So I apologize for this delay in the videos. I promise that as soon as I get my camera charged up, I'll be teaching you the basics really soon!

In the meantime, let's go over what it takes:

It takes a lot of physical and mental dedication first of all. Pep flags is a year-long sport. In the summer, you prep your new members to reach the level of your veterans or the competition in August. You do the usual summer conditioning of running bleachers, laps, holding angles, and stretching for flexibility. You get only a short break before school starts.

Most of the conditioning for competition season takes place in the fall / winter where the weather is coldest. Because pep flags is considered a "minor" sport at most schools, they rarely gain the luxury of practicing in a gym or the sort. You almost get afraid of catching the flag because it will hurt so much. Being outside makes you vulnerable to wind, making it more difficult to catch your tricks or tosses.

During football games and basketball games you serve as just an accessory to your cheerleading team. If you are allowed to perform at halftime, it's on an uneven field with mud that's been run over by the football team all season or the dirt track with no room for formations.

When January competitions come around you get weeks of last minute cleaning before its time to compete. Because pep flags is such an "unknown sport" there could be one flag division early in the morning, and two flag scheduled late in the afternoon just to make everyone just as exhausted before you have to perform only 2minutes and 30 seconds to judges. Then there's that time lapse between performances and awards. If you miss awards, you don't know your placing and you don't get your scores or trophy, so you HAVE to stay.

Sometimes, competitions fall back to back on a weekend. In 2005, Nationals was on a Friday, West Torrance was on Saturday and the 2nd day of Nationals was on Sunday. Imagine having to go home only to go go compete the next day. It's very tiring. Not to mention the time it takes to prepare for competition. Appearance counts for 1/3 of your score. It takes much time to curl each member's hair the night before, wake up for breakfast, change, take out curls, make-up, change practice flags into performance flags, and carpool with your family and fans.

Competition lasts until March / April and then tryouts begin. Then the cycle starts all over again.

Sometimes practice can interfere with your social life when you have practice when others go out to eat after school. Or on a days when the competition lasts from 8am to the evening, you can't make it to a party on time (or if you do, your hair will still be in the curls).

It can hurt your emotional state, by doing everything you can only to watch some of your team mates drop flags around you. If you perform the best you have ever performed in the season, only to know you haven't made it to finals. When you keep on dropping you NEED to keep a smile on your face and pretend you did nothing at all, when in reality it just sticks in your mind. When you just can't seem to get back into the routine at all and just completely lose it. When your shoes comes off, mid performance, or when your flag hits the balloons at winter celebration.

It could hurt you physically, because the flag CAN hit you at any part of your body. Imagine how fast your flags are going doing chasers, if you get to close, it WILL harm you. You'll never get anything right at the first time, so you'll hit your head, ankle, face, arm, knee, or even someone else. It will add a lot of frustration so all you want to do is quit.

But you can't. Because you love it so much.

Think you can handle it?

Monday, December 17, 2007

San Pedro First Look

Thanks to Kate for uploading this latest video from San Pedro.

Other than the Winter Celebration in January, I was unaware that West Covina hosted a competition for Sharp International also. Hey San Pedro, could we see you guys here later this season?

Well this video..

I'm ultimately pleased that there are a substantial amount of new tricks I've never seen San Pedro perform before; which pushes their difficulty level up a few. What is a little disappointing though is that their music may be a little fast for them. The counts for the routine seem to be slower than the song which makes them appear a little slow.

There's also a LOT of ripples in the beginning of the routine. Sorry to say, it reminds me of Bishop a great deal; but that's just my two cents.

SPHS Varsity Shorties- West Covina Competition 12/8/07


Thanks again to Kate!

Flag Twirlers

I just thought this was pretty funny. Imagine them doing it with Chasers ... or windmills etc.

Friday, December 14, 2007

another view on posting competition videos

Here's a little recap and bit more about how I feel about posting NEW videos (as in the current competition season) on Youtube.

Like I said in the Chatterbox, the only way I think it would be okay is IF you had the coach OR team's CONSENT to post it. Sevenno is a great example of this since he has done it with Long Beach Poly's 1-flag & 2-flag routines from USA Nationals 2007. If you do not have consent, it would be a safe bet to save yourself the drama and post it after Miss Dance/Drill Team USA (which is typically the "end" of the competition season).

I don't know how other people feel about this issue, but I personally don't think it's appropriate to record a competition and post the routines on Youtube until AFTER competition season, especially if the routine is NOT yours.

Let's not forget the fact that at many competitions, "technically" (and use the term VERY loosely) we are SUPPOSED to only be recording our OWN teams' routines. AND that, again "technically" you are not allowed to post a video on YOUTUBE of someone else without their consent. It's in the So a team can submit a complaint to Youtube, and have a video taken down.

Now, it's unlikely any team would do so about old videos, because heck... we all love watching pep flag videos. But if some renegade decides to post NEW videos, they can easily be shut down with a complaint to Youtube.

For the love of pep flags, I know that many of us love to watch other team's routines. And therefore, we record other teams to watch at home or we wait anxiously for someone to post a "new" video up. But I believe these videos are watched for their nostalgic values: to remember that specific year's routines. The whole excitement of a new competition season is to see these routines LIVE. Not on some small screen on your computer. If we started posting every competition, by Nationals we'd be bored...

We would have already seen everyone's routines 100+ times.

Let's not kill the excitement. Save the Youtube postings to RELIVE the routines. It's comp season, so let's go to the competitions and RELISH the routines.

Posting competition videos

With the upcoming competition narrowing down the days for Hoover, Oxnard, Channel Islands and Glendora to compete in the first USA competition of the season, many are highly interested in new videos of their new routines. Which raises the question:

When is it acceptable, or unacceptable to post videos?


Some has stated that it's inappropriate to post any videos while the season is underway. This can.. create a source for schools to "study" routines to "borrow" ideas for the current competition season. It's a definite red flag to see your own choreography in another school's routine and with the rise of your audience (live, youtube, privately shared), how could you keep it from them? Having videos just allows any viewer to rewatch the same routine over and over again until they assume they know and can imitate it (a viewer on youtube has stated more than once that she could perform a competition routine if she "watched it enough").

Every competition team knows all too well that a video is more than meets the eye; with the diminished quality a video has to watching the routine unfold before your eyes just doesn't compare.

Many of the so-called "new" videos being posted are often of routines from past years (see carson 2006) or the camp routines at Sharp's competition in the summer: which are ultimately remakes of the previous season routines.

So I ask each team, Do you think its inappropriate for anyone, other than someone from your own, to publicly post a video of your routine? I'm sure there will be a renegade in the bunch who will decide to post a video despite suggestions to not post at all.


To sevenno: I am not sure if I can make it to the competition yet, I have work schedules to work out.
To Freddy: I apologize for mixing up the colors on the flag, I'll fix the current graphics to include the update as soon as I have time.

To the teams competing on Saturday: Good Luck, I know you'll do a great job and put on a show for whoever comes to support you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Carson 1996

Thanks to Sevenno for posting so many Carson links..

Here's the latest one from 1996:




*Note, I'll be having all my posts under a "cut" which you can see by clicking "more?"

As for the videos..I am having technical difficulties. Technical meaning my camera, difficulties meaning no charger. Sorry. I'm looking for a replacement though. Won't you go support your teams?

Upcoming: So. Cal Holiday Classic

If you don't already know December 15th, THIS Saturday, marks one of the first competitions of the season! USA has posted the final line-up schedule (pdf link) featuring Channel Islands, Oxnard, Glendora, and now HOOVER!

Because of this late addition, I have added a "Support Hoover" icon (see post) for you Flagger fans out there.

Both Channel Islands and Oxnard are listed for performing their one flag AND two flag routines at this event.

The next major competition isn't until January of "next year" so go out and support your favorite teams!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

For 'holiday classic' Competitors

Please save to your own server, thank you!











EDIT: I will be coming out with better graphics for you as the season continues. Good luck this Saturday! and here's one more for you..




Friday, December 7, 2007

Carson 1997



It's hard to believe that this video was taken 10 years ago (thanks Sevenno for the upload). I really enjoy Carson because they are one of the few teams that have stayed with their traditions of twirling while still bringing something new to the plate.

I'm sure this season will be no different.

UCSD and Collegiate



Here's University of California San Diego's flag team: it's great feat to bring a team to a college campus. Although there is one another team, UC Berkley (Pep Flags wikipedia), competition between the two schools is practically non-existent.

I know of many people, including myself, who are alumni of their respective high schools only to enter colleges without a welcoming pep flag squad to join. It would be nice to see a collegiate pep flag division, and as many alumni of various schools attend the same colleges (i.e. California State University Long Beach), it would also be interesting to see such different styles collaborate at a more established level. If you consider how long some alumni spend on each school, 1 to as much as 4 years, the collegiate (or maybe even All star?) level could permit for more advanced choreography.

If you're interested in more UCSD videos check out Dnormus's channel on Youtube.

San Gabriel High School


Here's San Gabriel High School to Jennifer Lopez's "Let's get Loud." They're flags are designed similarly to Bell's. From watching their progress from their James Brown routine, they seem to be improving substantially. It'd be nice to see them in competition, because they could qualify for Nationals if they had a little bit more dynamics.

Here's the link of them doing a routine to James Brown's Get Up Off of That Thing added back in October and another one of them at their homecoming pep rally.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Kyoei Gakuen 2006

In case you missed the Miss Dance/Drill Team competition last year, you missed out on quite a show! This was the year they held the international competition in UC Irvine along with many foreign teams to compete in prop, pom, and other divisions. Fortunately, one of them were competing in the pep flag division from Kyoei Gakuen High School in Japan.

(Although the video is not from MDDT, they are performing the same routine)


Here is a picture we took with them at Miss Drill. They threw up the peace signs so naturally lol.





Requested by 3ipplethreat78

Tutorials!

Since this website has been gaining in popularity (thanks to the wikipedia!), I'd like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be posting up video tutorials on Twirling!!

I've already coming up with ideas of what to do for the introduction videos (i.e. how to properly hold a flag, twirl it, freehand, etc.).

Of course the terminology used in the succeeding videos will be based on what I was brought up on, but I do not consider myself politically correct. That's just what you call it (see Pep flags vs Short Flags)

So if you have any ideas on what you'd like to see or any concerns, feel free to leave a comment or send an email.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

on wikipedia!

Hey thanks to whoever updated the wikipedia article on pep flags to include a little synopsis on this site!

shortflags.blogspot.com/ is the newest website with fact pertaining to the Pep Flag world. It is a community based blog, where various authors in the Pep Flag scene collaborate to contribute to the site's posts. This is unlike the xanga.com/qtwirl, where the sole author is an anonymous person. Unlike the negativity produced by the xanga qtwirl blog, this blog serves to inform and unite the community.


I'm glad that people are interested in contributing to this website, and that my intentions are being welcomed by members from the pep flag community!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

For you

I'd like to remind the audience what the intention of this website is: sharing with you the ins and outs of pep flags. I'm afraid I can't do that alone, I'm just one girl from one team.

So I'd like to also ask you an important question:
What would you like to see here?

Please post with responses.

I'd also like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to be able to post to this blog. Since this is about the entirety of the pep flags community, it'd be nice to get a point of view of someone other than me.

So, If you're interested in contributing content to this website, regardless if its, posts, articles, facts, history, media, or if you just have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email me at jen.famularcano@gmail.com or leave your email (as a comment or just email me) if you'd like to be an author on the blog itself. You can post here and stay anonymous while posting what you want to a large audience. The only limitation I would give is to post your TRUE opinion on something, instead of straight lashing out on what you dislike.

I'm opening up the floor to ANYONE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bishop Montgomery at Agoura 2005

One Flag
video

By request of Emily Ting.

I'll be posting the remainder of my videos here, so you won't have to look for them here AND Youtube.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pep vs Short vs Small vs....??

We've all heard it before. The long list of titles each team has labeled their Pep Flag squad: Pep Flags, Short Flags, Flaggies, Small Flags, Peppers, Twirl Flags, Shorties, Trick Flags, Flaggers, Twirlaholics etc.

With so many names, who could know that it's all the same thing? To each team, they are different meanings. Let's list a few, shall we?

Pep Flags

The most generic title of the discipline. If you're looking for the division in a formal competition, such as MDDT or USA or Sharp, you're best bet will be looking for Pep Flags.

Short Flags

A more frequently used term used by Channel Islands, Bishop Montgomery, Bell, and Oxnard (some only on occasion); This is also to oppose a similar term, "Tall Flags" aka color guard which is just a limited and larger scaled version of pep flags.

Small Flags

Used solely by Narbonne. This term has often been associated with the graceful traditional style of Narbonne.

Flaggies

Used initially by Carson. This term has been linked with Carson's cute bouncy and energetic style.

Peppers

Long Beach Poly and sometimes Bell (to refer to the vegetable Bell Peppers); A play on the word "Pep", from "Pep Flags"; It's relatively new and doesn't have a style linked with the term.

Twirl Flags

Morse and UCSD; stems from the actual verb of handling the flags without letting it leave your hands, "twirling";

Shorties

San Pedro; Similar to Peppers from "Pep" in "Pep Flags" Shorties stems from "Short" in "Short Flags";

Trick Flags

Adolfo Camarillo; Referring to the noun of letting the balls out of reach to re-catch in any manner; can also mean, to embellish with techniques for attention.

Flaggers

Hoover; Similar to "Flaggies";

Twirlaholics

Oxnard, also used; The suffix "aholic" is used to hint at their addiction to twirling.

Sho' Flags

Channel Islands, also used; A contraction (or shorter version) of "Short" relieving from RT; can also be used in reference to the word "Show" which Channel Islands is popularly known for.

Short Flagstuhhs

Bishop Montgomery, lesser used; Just adding the suffix "STUHH" after "Short Flags"; Just used by the team in reference to themselves in jokes or to friends.

Non-Competing Schools

Ever hear of South Pasadena, Leuzinger, CAMS (California Academy Of Math and Science), Adolfo Camarillo, Gardena, Crenshaw, Dorsey, Westchester, or Wilmington High Schools?

All of these schools (and even more) are known to have had or currently have a pep flag team representing their respective school. Most of which are decent enough for competing and maybe even qualifying for USA Nationals.

Yes, I really believe that they could qualify for Nationals. I haven't been seeing them in most, if not any, competitions the last couple of years. USA Nationals had at most 20 schools compete, which has been dwindling down throughout the years. Could it be intimidation? The top ranked schools have been focused on competing for years while the newer established teams haven't yet to set foot on a competition floor.

But why can't they? Pep Flags/Short Flags/Flaggies/Sho' Flags/Twirl Flags has the opportunity to establish themselves more publicly if they make their skills more available to the audience. Cheerleaders? They were initially established as crowd leaders for schools. That's taken care of. Pep flags is pure entertainment, and its not enjoyable unless you have 3 or more members performing that routine. If you're lucky enough to have an established team I say give it all you got to make sure you're known. You only have so many years to be on a competitive high school team, and then you have the choice to enter college...with only two schools at collegiate level, there's hardly any competition to speak of.

So to all you non competitive schools out there, I'd love to see your schools being announced on the intercom succeeding "ON DECK". I think you have something to show for yourselves, and it'd be nice to see your progress. Do not get intimidated by the flashy military style so many of the schools have adopted. Look at Glendora, they have placed in the top 5 for the last two years in Nationals. You can do it too, and it's such a great opportunity that you guys do NOT deserve to miss.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Music?

This post is in response to FlAgSMiXtUhHh.

The earlier years have used DDR soundtrack mixes. There is also the anime known as Initial D that features fast paced music in its driving sequences. Some have found songs just watching tv and using soundtracks Narbonne's two flag from 2005 sounds distinctly similar to the ESPN theme song or other fun sounding songs from television. Other sources include Japanese, Korean, or Chinese pop sources.


But lately I've come to realize that there are no set type music used for the teams. The theme for some teams in one flag have been to use familiar oldies songs, such as Carson, Channel and Oxnard's Beatles Mix. Long Beach Poly used "Let's hear it for the boy" in recognition of their single male member on the team along with Saved by the Bell theme song, "Hey Mickey", and "Jitterbug". Both Bishop and Morse has used an 80s mix in 2006. Channel Islands used just last year the theme song to the movie trailer "In the Land of Women". Carson used a clip from the song "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani, suitable because they were featured in the same music video.

As there is no set type of music for the discipline, most songs used are 130-150 BPM (or Beats Per Minute).

If you have money to spare and are looking for a mix, my friend Ren makes mixes for pep flag, cheer, and dance teams at a reasonable price. Please visit:

www.facebook.com/renfx

But remember to NEVER use another school's entire mix in competition. Bell used Narbonne's 2004 mix and have been targeted for stealing etc. Good luck!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Channel Islands in the lead

By watching the few votes shown in the poll, I can take a wild guess that Channel Islands will be the one to beat for this season. Here's my opinion on this Champion team:

Note: The following information may be incorrect. I do not believe I know every single thing, so please do not throw rocks at me for being wrong.


Last year, the 2006-2007 season, they have won 1st place in every single one of their competitions (except for the 2nd Place at Agoura for two flag and the 1st Place under at West for one flag). But that was at the beginning of the season for mediocre qualifying competitions. They have also made their routine chock full of innovative choreography that is also clean and sharp (I personally enjoyed their line exploding into a "starburst" in their one flag).

I could imagine many schools trying to imitate Channel's best moves..but the majority WILL fall short. We've seen attempts throughout the years, and we all know how they turned out.

2007-2008 Front Runner

If you haven't noticed, I have posted a poll on the right hand side for who YOU think will be the front runner for the 2007-2008 competition season.

This is where you can openly (and anonymously) voice your opinion on who you think will come up on time this year. You can only vote once so choose wisely!

Note: Schools listed are based on USA Finalists with NO particular order. If your favorite school is not listed, do not despair! Just pick your favorite of the list thus far, and leave a comment on which school you think deserves a spot on the list. I'll consider it for the next poll. ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Belief in Bishop



It's nice to know that there are people out there who believe in my team. The only thing I don't like about the video is that it's from behind and you can't see everyone. But that's O.K. In the about me it states:

second place. two "YEAHS" i believe random yeahs were from the audiences from the nationals, dance/drill videos. one of the cleanest performance from bishop this year, no disrespect or to insult the team or anyone. great job! this team started strong at camp placing first and hopefully they can manage to keep it strong throughout the season! good luck

note: i uploaded this video due to the fact that bishop can pull a great routine and performing it at their very best. please message me if you want it taken down.


I believe in my team also. Go Bishop Montgomery!

Bellydancing Twirling



A rather interesting take on combining military style small flags and belly dancing. I say small flags because she is an alumni from Narbonne Small Flags and was actually on the team my sister was on it. Her name is Millie Velasco, as stated in the video. Please don't throw rocks at me if I'm wrong.

Japanese Elementary School



Just goes to show, children can twirl too. The Japanese seem to take Carson's show off to a new level, and I really love what they did with those yellow and pink circles. I wonder if anyone would actually try that with double sided flags! That'd be pretty cool, but also heavy maybe? Wouldn't hurt to try.

Baton Twirlers from 1990



Here's a video from 1990 from Japan. It'd be great to see THIS many people on a team.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How can I get a pair of pep flags

Purchase a pair (2) of poles.



These poles sell at various lengths in various styles. The ones used by most competitive teams are the 28 inch pole with a shaft and a [rubber] ball at one end. The shorter ones don't have as much weight as the 28" ones, and it makes them more difficult to handle.


You COULD make your own using the wooden sticks and wooden ball handle attachments they sell at most craft stores, but I wouldn't recommend it because I've never tried it before.
If you live in the 310 area code I would suggest going to Moore's dancewear (it's off the 405 freeway @ 4068 Redondo Beach Blvd Torrance Ca 90504). If you go to Moore's, then get the "Junior" flags as opposed to the "Juvenille" ones. If you can't remember, they SHOULD be slightly longer than your arm (about 28 or 30 inches as previously stated). Each pole would price about $25 dollars (I haven't been there in a while so the price might have raised).

The Internet contains may sources to purchase such flags, but be careful! since you can't measure up the flags with you in person, you won't be sure of the quality of the poles. Here's a list of online website sources for you to purchase your poles: Star Line Baton Company's & dancecheer.net

Sewing your flag




Here's a little diagram of how I sew my flags (You should be able to click on it). The light pink lines are where you sew, the dark pink lines are the length and the light blue is what those parts are. The actual shaft of your flag would be about 20 inches, but I don't like my flags too humongous.


The type of material is a sort of nylon that is really thin. I can recognize it relatively easy because when I look closely at the fabric, you could see little squares in them, almost like a grid all over (Some people say to buy "nylon ripstop" BUT that is actually a different type of fabric than the actual material I use). But with the fabric it's not too light to have some control over the poles, but can make the "snap" sound extra loud.

When you put it on your shaft, you COULD use the velcro that comes with your poles. But I would recommend investing in electric tape. This tape is flexible and can stretch and is relatively cheap. Take off the velcro already attached to the plastic shaft and just tape the material to the shaft.

You could also use the same electric tape for taping up the tip of the flag, rather than using the plastic tip. The plastic tip tends to fall off when using it often and under lots of stress, plus the electric tape is a little softer and more available than replacing those tips.

Legally Blonde the Musical



This is a clip from the Today show on June 13th 2007 featuring the cast of Legally Blonde the Musical performing with Flags. It starts at about 2:00 into the video with the blue and yellow flags girls going, "How's this for a personal essay?!". I'd like to see someone at a competition with those.

If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was looking a musical version of Gwen's Hollaback girl video.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hoover at Sharp Camp 2007

Monte Vista



I give major props to schools who still do their thing. It's amazing to keep up this program ANYWHERE.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Opinion / Hate?


Since the dawning of xanga's qtwirl, much uproar has surfaced from the pep flag community. The larger percentage proving to the afore mentioned blogger his (or her) standard weak arguments. Others, however, began to point stern fingers at who the culprit may be. From this opened the door for many people to create anonymous accounts to express their opinions to their full extent (no matter how hateful or glorified their comments would be).

My question is why can't these anonymous posters, bloggers, commenters, etc. Just come out and publicly express their opinion as their true selves? Qtwirl, I'm talking to you. You've become the leading target in this one. You need to crawl out of the rock you're living under and be a man (or woman). Tell your so-called "critiques" to the teams' faces. As for the rest of the anonymous others, be kind to each other. This is a sport that has connected us into a common community with a straight passion for the game.

I can't wait for competition season to start.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Graphics extraordinaire

Here's a sampling of my work. I have an idea to offer my services, but I don't know if they're quality enough for that.

Let me know if you want anything done for you, I have an open schedule.
 

 

 

 
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Introduction


Hi, my name is Jenny! I graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School in 2006. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a Short Flags team from my sophomore to my senior year.

Both of my sisters, Cheryl ('89) and Amy ('93), were a part of Narbonne's Small Flag team back in the late 80s and early 90s. During Cheryl's year, Narbonne went on to compete internationally in the country of Japan.

With my sisters' inspiration, I've had a pretty good experience of the pep flag world. For my Sophomore year in 2003-2004, I started on the Junior Varsity team as the only new member to be performing for camp. I was considered the "weak link" and didn't take to the sport quickly. I was an awkward looking girl performing with glasses and braces. This year proved to be an introductory period into Pep flags.

The following year, I was chosen to be a part of the 2004-2005 Varsity team. After the announcement, Rachael (alumni) told me that I needed to improve greatly. I don't think she thought I was good enough to be there. This year, we earned the highest score in preliminaries for USA Nationals, and lost 1st place in the finals by only one point (2nd by .5 points); with these scores, I believe the rankings were accurate.

My final year, 2005-2006, I was chosen by the coaches as co-captain for the season. This was the first year we had a male compete (David), and also the last year we had the JV team. This final season wore on with many problems, most self-inflicted by my naive high-school self, but we were able to get through it. Towards the end of the year I was the only senior in my team. We were unable to qualify our two flag in finals but placed 3rd in our one flag for USA Nationals.

In the Summer of 2007, I became part of the Sharp International Sharp Extreme Camp Staff. Because of my experiences of camp, and how memorable they were to me, I believe it was good decision because it kept me so close to the team that has made such an impact on my life. I taught the intermediate / Advanced Pep Flag class in place of Loren who was unable to make it last minute (although I don't think I compare).


Note: Unfortunately, I'm no longer involved with any updates added to this website. Any future postings are the work of the current short flag / pep flag / small flag / flaggies community.