Update from the Education Department – News for Judges, Coaches and Professionals

The Education Department Members recently met to work on a variety of projects.  In order to keep our professionals apprised of the updates we are sending this important correspondence regarding reminders and changes for the 2016 season.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact the Education Department Director, Jackie Stewart.

 

COMPETITIVE ACHIEVEMENT SYSTEM:

Evaluators: in an effort to preserve the integrity of the Competitive Achievement System and fully assist all participating athletes in their progressive development PLEASE remember the following:

Athletes who DROP a compulsory move are only permitted to re-do that move ONCE.  If they drop the compulsory a second time, it’s an automatic T1 or T2.  The athlete can NOT PASS this level if they drop or do not complete a prescribed compulsory.

There is concern that some evaluators are not adhering to the proper procedures.  Passing an athlete incorrectly does not service the athlete as they are sure to encounter problems in the next level of evaluation.  Take great care in assessing each athlete and that they are FULLY prepared to advance.  An evaluation is NOT a lesson!  It is inappropriate for the evaluator to “coach” the athlete during the process.  Part of the training and preparation revolves around the physical AND mental demands of MEMORIZING the compulsories/movement.

LET’S MAKE SURE THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM IS PRESERVED AND THAT WE ARE ACCURATELY ASSISTING THE ATHLETES IN THIS IMPORTANT PROGRESSION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR SKILLS.

 

CONCEPT SUMMARIES:  Updated concept summaries have been written for Presentation, Rhythm Twirl, Solo, Two and Three Baton, Strut, Dance Twirl, Pairs and Dance Twirl Pairs.  They are provided below for your information.

Presentation

Presentation is a body dominant event with complimentary/enhancing baton work resulting in a fluid and expressive form of movement.  Both body and baton demonstrate proper training and technique.  Maximum amplitude of body work is the ultimate goal.  It is executed to the first 44 counts of the strut music and should not be choreographed to be “in step”.

Rhythm Twirl

Rhythm Twirl is a body dominant event which has dance choreography as its base.  It is a combination of dance and baton movements that are correlated to the musical phrases, tempo, and rhythm of the current USTA Rhythm  Twirl selection.

Solo

The solo event is a baton dominant event comprised of a balanced representation of the 3 twirling modes: aerial, rolls, and contact material, all enhanced with body skills and simultaneous blending.  It is the job of the choreographer to make sure the 3 modes are connected and demonstrate continuity and flow.  The athlete should utilize performance qualities appropriate to solo.

Two Baton

Two baton twirling is the continued and simultaneous manipulation of two batons by one person.  It encompasses the balanced representation of the three modes:  2 baton aerials, 2 baton rolls, and 2 baton contact material.  Unique to multiple baton events is the interrelationship and intricacy created through the use of timing and coordination, multi-patterns/planes and opposition.  The finished product should reflect the continuous movement and flow of both batons.  The athlete should utilize performance skills appropriate for the 2 baton event.

Three Baton

Three baton twirling is the continued and simultaneous manipulation of three batons by one person.  It encompasses the balanced representation of 3 baton aerials complimented with rolls and contact material.  Unique to multiple baton events is the interrelationship and intricacy created through the use of timing and coordination, multi-patterns/planes and opposition.  The finished product should reflect the continuous movement and flow of all 3 batons.  The athlete should utilize performance skills appropriate for the 3 baton event.

Strut

Strut is a body dominant event with complimentary/enhancing baton work resulting in a fluid and expressive form of movement.  Both body and baton demonstrate proper training and technique.   Maximum amplitude of body work is the ultimate goal.  It is performed to the strut music.  The forward motion section must be executed in step with the music.

Strutting is comprised of

  • A twelve-count introduction which sets the tone for the athlete’s performance.
  • A thirty-two count presentation which should not be choreographed “in step”. It should include a variety of body work blended with complimentary baton.  Athlete should acknowledge the ending of the presentation within the last 4 counts.
  • An eighty-eight count forward motion which hits every beat of the music “in step”.  It should be designed to utilize the performance area with a complimentary, well-staged floor pattern.
  • Eight count ending which does not have to be choreographed in step, utilizing the final beat of the music as an acknowledgement.

Special note:  strut draws from many sources for its material; ballet, jazz, modern dance, gymnastics, ice skating, etc.

Dance Twirl

Dance Twirl is a body dominant event which has dance choreography as its base.  It is a combination of dance and baton movements that are correlated to the musical phrases, tempo, and rhythm of the current USTA Dance Twirl selection.  All dance movements and baton work must be executed with proper technique and appropriate performance qualities for Dance Twirl.  The simultaneous blending of body and baton will be demonstrated while displaying a broad base of skills.  The ultimate goal of this event is that the dance choreography (without the baton) can stand alone.

Pairs

Pairs is a routine performed by two persons.  A pair should perform as one with the same style and ability level and conforming to the standards of correct technique of body and baton.  The choreography should include the same type of material as solo with the additional responsibilities of:

  • Variety of exchange work
  • Interaction and interrelationship of the members
  • Precision and unison
  • Staging, to include leveling, movement, and variety of positioning

Dance Twirl Pairs

Dance Twirl Pairs is a combination of dance and baton movements which are correlated to the musical phrases, tempo, and rhythm of the current USTA Dance Twirl selection.  A pair should perform as one with the same style and ability level.  Pair members are expected to perform not only to the music and to the standards of correct technique, but also to each other, with performance qualities appropriate for dance twirl.  The choreography should exhibit simultaneous blending of baton and body, a broad base of skills, and a variety of exchanges.  The ultimate goal of this event is that the dance choreography (without the baton) can stand alone, showing not just a dance performed by two people, but a dance with interaction and interrelationship.

About Kathy Butera

Kathy Butera is USTA's National Judges Chair.