AYOP 2015 – A New Start

This past week I spent the week with my daughter at Notre Dame University for America’s Youth on Parade (AYOP).  We had been to AYOP four years previously but this was a year of firsts us anyway.  In past years I had attended with both daughters but now my older daughter is getting ready for College and had to work this week.  This was also the first year that we attended with our new Twirling Family, Revolutions Twirling Club.  My daughter joined their Competition Team last September and had spent many hours preparing for this.  It was a new challenge for her as it involved much more work than previous years.  In the past she had been part of a Corps that concentrated mostly on Flag Corps so that and Solo were where most of her practice time went.  This year she was part of teams that competed in Half Time, Twirl, Poms, and Dance.  There was a lot more to remember and prepare for but the girls did an amazing job.

The non competition side of the week was different too since we were the new family to the Club.  Most of the other girls had been here for several years together.  We had spent time with the other families at other competitions and practices all year but this was different since we would all be together for the week.  Things worked out just fine.  My daughter got to spend time with her teammates and they got to know each other a little better and that is always good for a team.  I spent time with other parents and got to know them better also.  We have a great bunch of families in the Club and I hope we can continue to add to that to help the Studio grow.

All in all the week was pretty successful. The team placed in the Top Ten in most of the events that they entered.  The highlight of the week for teams was the 2nd place finish in Junior Dance Line.  They did a Contemporary Dance piece that was much different than any of the other routines and the judges seemed to like it.  It was much slower and more somber than the other routines because it was based on the song the Via Dolorosa.  We had a number of positive comments after the performance.  The link to the video is below.

It was a great week and we are looking forward to starting a new competition season in September and a return to Notre Dame next July.

AYOP Recap

Well we got home from AYOP today and it was good to get home. The individual events for the girls were not as important as their Flag Corps team event so the last couple of days was not quite as exciting or stressful as Tuesday was. They are still disappointed with the outcome and that they are not going to the World competition but they are dealing with it okay. The team did a great job and they have nothing to be ashamed of.

One of the things I really like about our Corps is how everyone gets along together. All of the kids had a great time preparing for the competition and had a lot of fun being together for this week. It’s a little different for them to be together for all that time and not going home from practice at night. I also appreciate how the families get along as well. I really appreciate all the help that I got from the Corps Moms and older girls in getting my daughters ready for competition since my wife could not make the trip. You are all awesome. Now it’s time to wind down and start planning for next year. We will be back.

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Ready for AYOP

It was a long hot day and the kids worked their butts off this afternoon. Competition starts tomorrow for the twirl teams. The big day for the Corp is Tuesday. That is the day the Senior group will perform their Beatles routine and we will see if all of the time they have invested will pay off. i really hope it does. I have been watching them perfect the routine and I could not be more impressed with the group and how they really work as a team. I am amazed at the progress my daughters have made since they started this routine. The kids are having a blast and it’s great that they all get along so well. Will have to post some results tomorrow.

In case you are wondering, AYOP stands for America’s Youth on Parade and it is a national baton and flag corps competition. This is a huge year since it is a world qualifying year and the top groups will compete in Switzerland next April.


AYOP – A New Experience

I spent most of this week at Notre Dame University attending AYOP. AYOP stands for America’s Youth on Parade and it is the premiere event for Baton Twirlers and Flag Corps. My daughters were competing in some twirling and some flag corp events. This was a new experience since all of the competitions that I had previously attended were much smaller. There were kids here from all over the country and different parts of Canada.

There were some very talented groups in attendance. The groups ranged from very large to very small and every where in between. With different events every day, it was pretty chaotic most days but the girls had a good time and learned more about an activity that they enjoy.

My wife had to work this week so I was a solo dad at AYOP and that was a challenge. The girls have to have different outfits and hairstyles for their different events. I am very grateful to the mothers of other members of our corp that took pity on me and helped with the girls hair throughout the week. The families in our Corp do a really nice job of helping each other out and I really appreciate their help this week.

My girls are already looking forward to next year.


Veterans Day Parade

This was taken of the girls as we were waiting for their group to assemble for the Milwaukee Veterans Day parade.

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