Majorette Lines of the SEC East

Purpose

My purpose for this project is to inform others about the twirling world, as well as to provide research and information about an aspect of the twirling community in the south. Surprisingly, many people do not know what a majorette is, let alone what they do. To help those out that may not know, I will explain. Most college marching bands have an auxiliary, which is the visual, non-instrument part of the band. The Auxiliary usually consists of Majorettes, Colorguard, and a Dance line. Majorettes twirl long metal sticks known as batons. The batons are most often used to throw, perform a trick, and catch. The Color Guard members spin flags. The Dance line does not often use props, just dance. Now that I have cleared up the confusion, I would like to introduce my project. I am very passionate about baton twirling, and I would like to inform others about twirling on a college level. Being a Freshman, I am also learning about this advanced stage that many twirlers never have the opportunity to experience. I have chosen to research and report on majorette lines of the SEC East because I am interested in comparing the lives of majorettes from other universities with my own. These are the lines closest to my area. I encounter them at football games, and I even compete against them during competition season. I hope you enjoy my discoveries, but first I will briefly describe what my life is like during the fall semester.

Life as a Majorette

Since I am a UGA Majorette, I will describe what life is like as a memeber of a major university marching band. The Redcoat band just marched its 100th season, and is a band with rich tradition. In the words of Robin Richards, author of The University of Georgia Redcoat Band, 1905-2005:

One of the most grueling yet rewarding days in the life of a Redcoat is game day. Whether they play in the familiar confines of Sanford Stadium or travel to hostile territory, the members know that the day will be filled with excitement and (hopefully) a bulldog victory.

This is very true. Game day consumes the whole day. Depending on the time of kickoff, band members arrive between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. for breakfast and morning rehearsals. Practice typically lasts for about three hours, and afterwards, we have about one to two hours to get ready for the dawg walk, which is when the band welcomes the football players into the stadium. Next the band chants into the stadium to our seats. According to Robinson, "Prior to the late 1990's the band occupied a section of the stands on the thirty yard line. In recent years, the band has moved to the northeast corner of the stadium to facilitate faster movement on and off the field" (70). The Redcoat Auxiliaries always sit on the first three rows because we are always the first to warm up for performances.

Right before kickoff, the band performs pre-game. The band enters the field and forms the arch, one of the most important symbols to the university. Also during pre-game, the Redcoats play "Battle Hymn," a particularly riveting piece which contains the famous "Glory Glory" trumpet solo played from the north deck. After pre-game, we return back to our seats and cheer for the football team until half time. Halftime is incredible! The band lines up on the side lines and waits for Tom Jackson, the Redcoat Band announcer to say, "Keep you seats everyone, the Redcoats are coming." We then take the field and do our performance. At the end of halftime, we do the famous "Spell Georgia Cheer," which idea of Phyllis Dancz, former auxiliary coordinator of the Redcoat, on the way back from a Georgia Florida game (Robinson, 73). As each letter is formed, Tom Jackson calls, "Give me a G! Give me and E!" and so on until the full word is spelled out.

I love being a part of this wonderful organization, and I hope I will be able to form many more memories over the course of my college years.

Here is some information about some of the Majorette lines of the SEC East.

Auburn

Twirlers

The Auburn Majorette line consists of nine members. Current Members include: Kimberly Freind, Brittney Garnett, Jill Hayes, Ashley Kolaczek, Hannah Lawson, Megan Robertson, Laura Sconyers, Sara Catherine Short, and Jessica Unger. Megan Watkins

Tryout Information

Date and Time: To Be Announced (Please check this website in late fall of 2006 for our spring audition dates)

Location: Goodwin Band Hall, Auburn University campus

Note: You must have applied and been accepted for admission to Auburn University prior to auditions.

Eligibility: All students must have applied and been accepted to Auburn prior to the audition. If you are a current Auburn University student, you must have an overall GPA of 2.0 or greater. These will be verified prior to the audition. [back to top]

Attire: Attire for All Lines of Tiger Eyes: Black leotards, flesh-colored tights and jazz shoes or dance tennis shoes. No boots or character shoes may be worn. (Hair and make-up for all three lines should be completed as the individual candidate feels is most appropriate for a performance.)

Equipment: Batons and flags for respective units as needed for your individual routine. Each candidate will provide her own cassette tape or CD (music of candidate's choice). The tape or CD should have 45 seconds of music or less for the audition routine. It is important to have a good tape/CD that is ready to start at the beginning to avoid delays to the auditions. A backup tape/CD is suggested. If your music does not work for some reason, you are to continue performing. Do not ask to start over with your routine. [back to top]

Selections:Tiger Eyes members selected for the 2006-2007 year will be announced at the conclusion of the audition day. If you are selected to be a member of the visual ensemble, you will be required to attend a June mini-camp, which will be held on a Friday afternoon and Saturday in early June. Members who make the line will be expected to pay for uniforms and specified equipment. This anticipated total for these items is expected to be approximately $850. Selections will follow these guidelines: Majorettes: 10 or less, depending on the cut scores

Audition: Format: The audition will be organized and scored in the following sections: Individual Routines (45 seconds only) Performance of Basic Skills (Demonstrated in small groups) Learning of a Short Routine (Taught at audition Performance of a Short Routine (Demonstrated in small groups) Individual Routine Suggestions and Requirements: Majorettes and flags are encouraged to incorporate dance steps into your routine.

For majorettes, the routine must include 30 seconds of one-baton and 15 seconds of two-baton twirling. No props, 3 (+) batons, hoops, streamers, knives, rifles, sabers, or other novelties allowed.

Basic Technique will be selected and demonstrated from among the following skills per auxiliary unit:

Majorettes: continuous thumb flips, horizontal split fingers, figure eights, reverse figure eights, horizontal spins, vertical split fingers (all prior listed skills on both left and right); left hand back hand flips, horizontal one turn, back catch, one turn, two turn, jazz runs, prancing (shoulders), pre-game run

Viewing auditions: Auditions are not open to the public. Only candidates, judges and band personnel will be admitted into audition room. [back to top]

Scoring Information: The candidates will be evaluated by a panel of outside expert judges, comprised of one dancer, one majorette, one flag, and one band director, on the following criteria, using a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (outstanding):

Find Out More

For more in formation, contact Jennifer Bell at belljen@auburn.edu.

Official Site of the Auburn Marching Band .

Florida

Twirlers

Auditions for the 2005-2006 squad were held in May of 2005 with 12 girls being selected to the line. The 9 returning girls include Aubrey, Brittany, Cara, Christina, Elise, Jennifer, Laura Lee, Melissa and Sarah. The 3 new girls are Catherine, Jamie and Stephanie.

Tryout Information

Eligibility: Any student at the University of Florida or incoming freshman who has been accepted for admission.

Uniform: White leotard, nude or tan tights, white or nude shoes. NO SHORTS ALLOWED. Wear your hair down as you normally wear it, curled and fixed for your performance. Makeup should be appropriate for a field performance.

Equipment: A cassette tape to be used during your routine. Tapes will be handed to tryout officials upon arrival. All recording equipment and operators will be provided by the University. NO personally owned amplifiers, speakers, or phonographs will be permitted.

Dance-twirl routine: A 2-3 minute original Dance-Twirl Routine will be performed to your own music. A prop is required in addition to the following baton tricks.

Required elements: 3-turn or higher,Toss Illusion, Toss Reverse Illusion, High toss cartwheel and/or High toss walkover,Split right and/or left,2-baton,3-baton Applicants will be asked to march in a square to the Gator Fight Song, Orange and Blue. You will be judged on your ability to stay in step with the music and your strutting style. The Gatorettes use a high marching step.

Other Information

AYOP 2005: The 2004-2005 Gatorette Squad is attending the National Baton Twirling Association's National Championship - as called America's Youth on Parade - in South Bend, Indiana on July 20-24, 2004. The squad is entered in 6 group events and numerous solo events.

SPRING/SUMMER 2005: The 2004-2005 Gatorette Squad won Collegiate title in both the Southeast Regional competition and State competitions. This marks the eighth consecutive season that the Gatorettes have won the State Collegiate title and the ninth year they have won the Southeast Regional Collegiate title! The Gatorettes are making plans to return to the NBTA National Championships in summer of 2006

Find Out More

Please contact Gatorette Coach June Stoeber by email or phone (352-486-6516) for more information

Official Site of the Florida Gatorettes .

Georgia

Twirlers

Team members include Ashley Grant (captain) of Monroe, a junior; Liza Pitts (captain) of Elberton, a junior; Meghan Banks of Elberton, a freshman; Samantha Buxton of Gainesville, Fla., a freshman; Amy Demers of Lavonia, a freshman; Cecilia Epps of Decatur, a sophomore; Amanda Farmer of Bowdon, a freshman; Amanda Fleeman of Lavonia, a freshman; Sierra McBee of Jesup, a freshman; Amy Wendel of Brunswick, a junior; and Jessica Wilhite of Elberton, a sophomore.

Tryout Information

Auditions for the UGA Redcoat Band Auxiliaries are held at Stegman Coliseum on the UGA campus. Check-in for all groups is at ticket booths three and four. Following check-in, each group will learn the required routine in a large group. This portion of the audition is closed to the public. Once the routine is taught, the large group will be divided into audition groups of four or five. Again, this portion of the audition is closed to the public.

AUDITIONS ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Candidates are scored in the following captions: technique, memory and recovery, appearance and overall performance. The announcement of new members is made the same evening of the auditions. At that time, each member is required to sign the University of Georgia Redcoat Band Performance and Appearance Standards *. Following the announcement, all candidates are invited to Welcome Reception in the band room.

What to wear to auditions: Black leotard, tights and dance shoes (whatever you choose). You may wear warm-ups to learn the routine if you would like. Full performance hair and makeup is required. Hair is worn half up on the field.

How many girls will make the line? Currently, there are 13 girls, but there is not a set number each year.

How much twirling experience is required to make the line? As long as you have an advanced understanding of the twirling skills required, there is not a set amount of experience required.

What is the cost associated with being a Majorette? Each member is responsible for purchasing her uniform, matching warm-ups, practice attire, game bag, and any other items specified by the Auxiliary Coordinator and/or Captains. A good estimation is $1,000.00.

Who choreographs the routines? The Captains are responsible for all choreography at the discretion of the Auxiliary Coordinator.

Do members audition every year? Yes. The purpose of returning members going through the audition process every year is to maintain ideal physical condition and to maintain skills required.

In addition to agreeing to the UGA Redcoat Band Performance and Appearance Standards, to audition for the Majorette line, you must participate in an interview with members of the Redcoat Band Staff, and execute the following: Toss Walk-over, Toss Cartwheel, Toss Illusion (forward and reverse on the right leg), 3 Spins (Horizontal & Vertical, 2 Baton Combinations, 3 Baton Combinations, Tour jetes, Laybacks, Advanced understanding of bodywork and dance combinations, Grandjetes on both legs

Other Information

For the first time in 10 years, the UGA majorettes competed at the National Collegiate Baton Championships at the University of Notre Dame and brought back three national titles. Here is an article about our accomplishments from Coloumns, the UGA Office of Public Affairs faculty and staff newspaper.

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Redcoat Band majorette line won three national collegiate championships at competitions held July 19-23, at Notre Dame University.

The Redcoat Band majorette line won the USA and National College Halftime Show Team Championship, the National Collegiate Majorette Line Halftime Show Team Championship, and the USA and National Senior Large Dance Twirl Championship.

UGA feature twirler Hope Carrell won the National Two-Baton Championship and qualified to represent the USA at the World Championships in the Netherlands this spring, her fourth trip to the worlds. Carrell was also the fifth runner-up in the Miss College Majorette of America competition.

“Twirling for the University of Georgia Redcoat Band national champion majorette line just became serious business,” said Candy Byrd Roland, auxiliary coordinator for the Redcoat Band and majorette coach.

Roland, a former UGA feature twirler (1992-96) and seven-time national champion, said the UGA majorettes practiced as much as 10 hours a day during the weeks leading up to the competition, perfecting their two competition routines.

“This is definitely one of the most talented majorette lines in the country and one of the best that the University of Georgia has ever had,” she said. “I could not have asked for better representation of the University of Georgia Redcoat Band.

“The desire to win and tireless efforts of these girls is to be commended,” Roland said. “We all really appreciate the support that we received from not only the Redcoat Band and Alumni Band, but also from the athletic department and the Athens community. Now we look forward to the nearing football season and performing in front of 92,000 ‘Dawg’ fans” (Peevy).

Find Out More

The Redcoat Band Auxiliary Coordinator is Candy Byrd Roland, former Feature Twirler 1992-1995, N.B.T.A Grand National 2-Baton and 3-Baton Champion as well as former Captain of the "Hot Shots" (UGA Basketball Dance Team, now known as the Dance Dawgs). She may be contacted by email at georgiaaux@aol.com or 706-542-1505.

Official Site of the University of Georgia Redcoat Band Auxiliaries .

Tennessee

Twirlers

The Tennessee Majorette line consists of 11 twirlers. The 2005 line includes: Hollie Countiss, Kelsey Spears, Natalie Powell, Brittany Cimprich, Katie Lee, Kacie Boguskie, Caroline Pennington, Macie McBride, and Courtney Cormier. Head Majorette: Audra Level Feature Twirler: Lindsay Cupp

Tryout Information

Date: Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.

Location: WJ Julian Band Room, Music Building, Volunteer Boulevard (across from Stokeley Athletic Center), Knoxville

Eligibility: Any UT student or incoming freshman. Applicant must have been accepted and committed to attending the University of Tennessee.

Attire: White short shorts and top. Dressing room will be available.

Equipment: Batons as needed for your routines and taped audition music.

Required Routines: (Twirling/Dance Twirl Routine): Time limit is 1:30-2:00 minutes. Judging categories include: variety, difficulty, coordination, appearance, gracefulness, twirling/dancing techniques, posture, originality and showmanship. Applicant's routine must include a minimum of one minute of one-baton twirling. Routine may include multiple batons and dance twirl. (Strutting): Each applicant will strut (basic) to a march tempo. Appearance, form, timing, gracefulness, and ability within a style will be judged. Marching style is applicant's choice. (New Routine): At 10:00 a.m. the head majorette will teach a twirl/strut routine to all candidates. Ability to assimilate and perform new material will be assessed.

Music: Each applicant will provide her own cassette tape or CD (music of applicant's choice). The tape/CD should have 1:30-2:00 minutes of music for the audition routine. It is important to have a good tape/CD that is ready to start at the beginning so there are no delays or problems with the music. A backup tape/CD is suggested.

Candidates report to band room for check-in between 12:00 noon and 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, 2006. The band room will be open for rehearsal from 12:00 noon until 1:00 p.m.

Appearance and Physical Fitness are very important in the majorette corps. The UT Majorettes perform with the band in front of 106,000 fans. Majorettes must be in excellent physical condition and maintain their physical fitness during the year. Appearance includes personal grooming, proportion, poise, and posture. As part of these requisites, each applicant will be weighed and measured before trying out. Hair and make-up should be worn as you would for a performance. Hair may be worn up or down. Present yourself in your most favorable way. Each applicant must include one full-length (5x7) picture in uniform with application. If desired, a good quality color copy may be used.

Order of Events: (1)Learn new routine, (2) Strut (basic), (3) Individual twirling routine, (4) Perform new routine in small groups.

Twirling Tricks: The following tricks and movements may be required and included in the strut/twirl routine taught by the head majorette: 2 turn catch left and right (vertical and horizontal), 3 turn, toss-illusion to right, illusion to right and left, 1 and 2 blind catch left hand and 1 and 2 turn with right hand backhand catch.

No specific number of majorettes is chosen. The number of majorettes has ranged from 7-15 in past years and depends on the caliber of applicants as determined by the judges. Candidates selected are members of the band and are subject to the same rules and regulations as other band members. Any unexcused absence will be cause for immediate dismissal from the squad and replacement by an alternate at the discretion of the Director of Bands. UT Majorettes must audition each year. Should a selected majorette withdraw from school or leave the corps for any reason, the first alternate may be moved up to twirl with the squad. The list of alternates will be kept confidential and used at the discretion of the Director of Bands.

Featured Twirler tryouts will immediately follow majorette line selection. Candidates wishing to audition for featured twirler must first make the majorette line. Featured twirler candidates will perform a 2:00-2:30 minute routine which may include 1-2-3 or more batons. No flag, hoop, knife, or fire baton twirling. Each candidate must supply music on a cassette tape or CD. Location for featured twirler auditions will be announced following the naming of the 2006 majorette line. Family and friends may observe from a designated area (no one other than the contestants and judges permitted in the performance area). Featured twirler applicants will be judged on variety and difficulty of routine, coordination, appearance, gracefulness, twirling/dancing techniques, posture, originality, showmanship, and audience appeal.

Auditions are not open to the public (except for featured twirler). Only candidates and judges will be admitted to the tryout room with one exception: two band assistants will be present to operate a tape/CD player and serve as door persons. The band room will be open for practice from 12:00 noon-12:00 p.m.

Majorettes chosen for the line will receive a scholarship award of $700 per year. Featured twirler (if selected) will receive a $900 per year scholarship award.

All candidates must audition on April 9, 2006.

Head Majorette will be selected by a committee of band faculty and assistants prior to majorette line auditions. Leadership skills, twirling ability and ability to choreograph routines are among the criteria considered.

Majoretes selected will meet immediately following tryouts to receive additional information regarding summer practice schedule, uniform fittings, majorette requirements and financial responsibilities.

Other Information

42nd Annual University of Tennessee Twirling Camp (June 17-20, 2006)

General Information

All campers will be supervised by trained, experienced personnel. Twirlers under age 12 must attend as day students unless accompanied by a sponsor, parent or teacher. Very young day students should attend with parent or teacher. Resident assistants will be on duty in the dorm at all times. College students will serve as camp counselors. Camp registration must be received by May 16, 2006. Detailed camp information will be mailed to each camper. Included in the information will be a medical authorization form that must be completed and signed by parent/guardian and turned in when you arrive for camp. Classes begin on Saturday, June 17 at 3:30 p.m. in the Band Room and conclude Tuesday, June 20 at noon following the Performance Program.

Find Out More

For more information, contact Judy Dooley at (865) 974-7520.

Official Site of the University of Tennessee Majorettes .

Sources

Auburn University Bands Online. University of Auburn. 2 Apr. 2006 http://www.auburn.edu/auband .

Gator Squad. Univerity of Florida. 2 Apr. 2006 www.twirlbaton.com/G8rette .

Peevy, Jason. "UGA Redcoat Band Majorette Line wins three national championships." Coloumns. 29 Jul, 2005. 2 Apr. 2006 . http://www.uga.edu/news/artman/publish/050729majorettehonors.shtml.

Richards, Robin J. The University of Georgia Redcoat Band, 1905-2005. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., c2004.

University of Tennessee Band Program. University of Tennessee. 2 Apr. 2006 http://web.utk.edu .

Redcoat Band Auxiliaries. University of Georgia. 2 Apr. 2006 http://www.uga.edu/ugabands/redcoats/auxiliaries.