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Mastering the Tambourine

Did you know that the first known use of the tambourine was recorded as early as 1700 BC? This ancient percussion instrument has been part of worship music for thousands of years, and is still used by church choirs and praise teams around the world. If you’d like to master the tambourine, here are a few of the different playing techniques you’ll need to know. The leg tapping method is the easiest way to familiarize yourself with playing—and keeping rhythm with—the tambourine. To start, hold the tambourine in your non-dominant hand, resting your thumb on one side of the frame and curling your fingers around the opposite edge. Then, tap it against your hip or upper thigh to a steady rhythm. You can start off slow with the leg tap and increase the speed as you become more comfortable, but don’t forget to stay on beat. Once you’ve grasped the basics, you can start to learn some tambourine rolls. The most basic type of roll, a shake roll, involves holding the tambourine upright and

Posted: 3/19/2021

Types of Baton Twirling

When you hear the term “baton twirling,” what picture comes to mind? A traditional drum majorette leading the school marching band across the football field, or the dazzling, fire-wielding performer at a halftime show? There are many different types of baton twirling, and all require an equal level of skill, commitment, and enthusiasm. Here are just a few kinds you’ll see being performed across the globe today: In marching band twirling, the oldest and most common form of baton twirling, performers called “drum majors” or “drum majorettes” lead the band with colorful uniforms, synchronized movements, and of course, intricate twirling routines. This type of twirling has its roots in rifle-spinning military parades, and has since evolved into a competitive sport that is practiced around the world. Marching band twirlers typically use a standard metal baton with weighted rubber ends—often shaped like stars, flutes, or balls—for utmost flexibility in their routines. They also use h

Posted: 3/5/2021

Winter Guard Around the World

Color guard is a challenging sport, and winter guard is like color guard with even more athleticism. Winter guard combines color guard, which mostly consists of twirling rifles and flags, with complex cheerleading and dance routines. While color guard in its original form is mostly confined to the United States, winter guard groups exist in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Two places where winter guard has made a real name for itself outside of the US are the UK and the Netherlands. Teams in the UK and the Netherlands Unlike American schools, European schools do not offer color guard as an extracurricular activity. However, Europe caught on to the trend shortly after it was established as a sport. In 1980, the UK formed its first winter guard team. Their current team — Mayflower — is now one of the most celebrated winter guard teams in Europe. The Netherlands formed its first team — Pride of the Netherlands — in 1983. Recruitment at European Schools Since schools in Eu

Posted: 2/5/2021

Baton Twirling Goals for the New Year

The new year has arrived, and it’s the perfect time to set goals for yourself. Mastering the art of baton twirling requires years of practice and dedication, so make sure to set realistic goals for this year. Think about what you really want out of your baton twirling practice that you can do as you wait impatiently for in-person baton twirling events to return. Master New Tricks Now that you are spending more time at home, set time aside to learn tricks that you were afraid to try before. Watch video tutorials to see how the pros do the tricks you are interested in trying. Make sure you are not too close to windows, ceiling fans, or expensive vases, and try these moves yourself. Don’t worry about how it looks when you’re just starting to learn it. No one’s watching anyway, except maybe your dog. Practice Flexibility This might just be the year to take up a new hobby, like yoga. When all your time is not being occupied by practicing for a big event, take some time to work on i

Posted: 1/18/2021

A Year Ago

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