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.