Entertainment and Performance

LuceroLIFE (Foot Kick Trick)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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After posting this trick to Instagram I received messages from around the globe.

A Dutch friend cracked her eye pretty good, a boy from Kentucky is nursing a broken toe, and I don’t even want to ask what’s going on in the UK… instead of waiting to receive any more injury stories from folks trying to copy the trick, I decided to make this instructional video.

I suggest that those attempting the feat, protect their feet by wearing regular athletic shoes rather than thin dance shoes.

It is fun and easy once you learn and master it!  Good Luck & TWIRL STRONG!

LuceroLIFE (Baton Twirling fun in the Park)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Learning to edit my own videos by studying tutorials and scouring Google has been exciting, rewarding, frustrating and opened up a new art form for me. For years I have relied on others to create the things I imagined and it is a joy to now have the ability to bring my thoughts to life.

Here is a really fun glimpse at some cool baton twirling and the beauty of Queen Lilioukalani Park located in Hilo, Hawaii.

Please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and leave a supportive comment!

Follow @annetta_lucero on Instagram and check out my book, The Tao of Winning on Amazon: The Tao of Winning

 

 

LUCEROLIFE on YOUTUBE (Beg. Dance-Twirl)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Aloha baton twirling enthusiasts!

You’re going to love my NEW and IMPROVED YouTube channel, LuceroLIFE.

I will be posting ALL twirling ALL the time.  Beginning with my first NEW post today…

Learn and enjoy this fun and funky beginning dance-twirl for warm-ups or a daily exercise program.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the channel, LIKE the video and leave a comment!

I’d love to hear what you’ve enjoyed and what you may like to have me post for YOU!

I’m just learning how to edit these videos myself, and I know the quality will improve as I continue to create. I appreciate your enthusiastic support and understanding as I learn things like how to get the volume of each clip consistent.

I’m looking forward to sharing the fun and beauty of our wonderful sport with a wide range of those who are willing to learn and to be inspired.

TWIRL STRONG!

Follow me on Instagram:  @annetta_lucero

Buy my book, The Tao of Winning on Amazon:  The Tao of Winning

 

Practice Improves….. EVERYTHING

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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Fact: Focused practice causes improvement.
So, what is it you want to “get better” at?
What is it that you would like to practice and expand in your reality?
Twirlers, would you like to always perform “No Drop” routines? No drop… No DROP… NO DROP… DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP DROP.  
If you approach performance routines with the focus and fear of dropping you will pound that DROP right into your experience. Or…
You can shift your mindset to the CATCHES.
Place focus on the FEELING and JOY of the baton landing centered in your capable hand.
How about mentally celebrating every catch, and training yourself to stop responding to errors with negativity? Adopting a mindset of gratitude for being talented, and having the ability to pursue an athletic, artful activity will enhance your practice sessions.
How about not worrying, talking and obsessing over the story that Betty Bigtricks is doing a triple Hoo-Ha, and just focus on what is special about YOU? And YES, there is something supremely special about you that can easily be discovered when your focus changes from Betty to YOUR GIFT, your style, your strengths, your contributions.…and SURPRISE…. this goes for every aspect of life.
You get better at what you PRACTICE.
“Oh did you hear about Fanny Fake-Face? What a JERK!”
Practice improves EVERYTHING. If you practice speaking poorly of others, you are going to become a MASTER. And guess what the result of that skill will be? Yep, YOU get to receive exactly what you offered Fanny, from others.
What is it you desire from this experience we know as life?
Whatever it is, practice the highest and best potential of THAT thing.
Do you want more love in your experience? PRACTICE love.
Acceptance? Tolerance? Kindness? Joy? Prosperity? Generosity? Friendship?   
PRACTICE those aspects, and you will become a master of THOSE things. The things in life that are focused upon not only expand, but that expansion draws more of that very same thing to you in a variety of ways.
So….  No Drop, or ALL CATCH?  SHE is a jerk or I AM UNIQUE?
It’s your choice.
Choose, PRACTICE, Change, Expand….
LOVE!

My Name is Ned (Chapter 13)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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My Name Is Ned

Selected Working Excerpts by Annetta Lucero

Sheep

My mom dated a variety of losers, weirdo’s, underachievers and perverts who liked the way she looked in her cropped tops, hip huggers and way-too-short mini skirts.

Concerned for her well-being and lack of ability to pick a decent man, her sister Gloria stepped in by inviting us to attend church – a 4 Square, Christian church.

This was a new one for me.

One time previously, when left home alone, I had snuck in a little television watching when I was supposed to have been practicing. Bad idea. I tuned in to a television preacher who was terrifying! He was sweating, spitting and screaming about something called the “tribulation” and detailing the atrocious events that would surely befall humankind. After seeing this, I was wholly unable to control my nightmares!

Now here I was being ushered into the very place where the knowledge of these petrifying events originated. YIKES! I was not an average kid. I knew things and saw things that other people didn’t. I had not yet been diagnosed with epilepsy but I knew I was different.

My first day in Sunday school was uncomfortable. I just didn’t get it- how could all of these people be so happy about being sheep? They were actually joyously singing about being sheep. My mom, who has always had issues with self-confidence, was immediately sucked in. She has always believed she was unworthy of…well, everything, and so church was the perfect fit for her.

“Mom”, I mused, “they all like to be sheep.”

“Honey, this is the kind of stability we need,” she retorted.

I think my mom accepted Jesus in to her heart as her savior that very first day. She was gung ho immediately, and life would dramatically change for us within a few months time. From one extreme to the next, the theme of my life continued.

We faithfully attended church every Sunday and after a brief time period, Wednesday nights became part of our routine as well. This put a cramp in my regimen since I now had to fit in my twirling practice, accordion time AND boring sheep training!

One thing about Sunday school I did look forward to was the memory challenge. I discovered you could win prizes for memorizing scripture and answering Bible questions. PRIZES! In a brief amount of time I had become a virtual Biblical scholar. I won every challenge every week. I could spout out pages and pages of memorized scriptures at the drop of a hat. I became the biggest prize hoarder of all time. It didn’t matter what challenge was presented; I refused to lose.

After a while those scriptures started getting under my skin. I began feeling guilty about the things I did that were less than holy. I began modifying my thoughts and actions. It was almost entirely based on fear, but I must admit, I was becoming more aware of my behavior. These Bible scriptures were kind of like instructions on how to keep from burning to a crisp in hell. I decided it wasn’t so bad and figured it was better to pretend to be a sheep than end up as a human shish kabob.

BAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

My Name is Ned (Chapter 12)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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My Name Is Ned

Selected Working Excerpts by Annetta Lucero

Baton Twirling

I am a baton twirler… Okay, stop yourself right there. I know you just conjured up an image of a smiling cheese-ball in a cheerleading costume marching in a parade. Do you really think that all of these hours of practice, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears I have been alluding to thus far are for the benefit of neighborhood parade attendees drinking beer and cheering on the local senior citizen garden club? PAALLLEEAASE!

I was born into a family of baton twirling nuts. I was raised and trained to live and breathe the sport of baton twirling. I am an elite dancer, and floor exercise gymnast. I can remember more routines, tricks, and series of movement than any math scholar on the planet. I am an athlete, artist and sports psychologist all wrapped up into one skinny, strong, baton-slinging body, and I’ve got big news for you: I am not alone.

For your quick education here is a short twirling glossary:

SPINS = The amount of pirouette turns your body completes under a tossed baton.

ROLLS = The tricks that roll on and around your shoulders, arms and neck. It looks like a  magnet is holding the baton there as it twirls.

CONTACT MATERIAL = The super fast, low tossed, flips and whips that build speed in your routine.

BREAKS = Penalty! When the baton stops and jerks unintentionally rather than flows.

DROPS = Obvious. Go kill yourself now. You’ve lost and your mother is coming to beat you senseless.

Twirling was HUGE in the 70’s and 80’s. Competitions lasted for days and were so ferociously stacked with talent that any one of the top ten at Nationals could have been the champion. At the State championships my single age division boasted more than a hundred entries. Just to get to the final round you had to make it through several preliminary age cuts. The top three then moved on to compete against the top three from the other age divisions in that category.

For example, the Juvenile division was comprised of 9 to 11 year-olds. The top three 9 year-olds competed against top three 10, and top three 11 year-olds. THEN, the single champions from each Division would compete against one another for the Grand title.

In the end ONE Champion was left standing as the winner.

If you won Grand at Nationals you were truly a GOD. You were awarded the DIAMOND CUP (a monstrous trophy bejeweled with five real diamonds) and you were plastered on the cover of TWIRL Magazine! (Insert angelic chorus here)… and that was just USTA!

The United States twirling Association (USTA) has flourished since the 1960’s. It was a branch off of the other original twirling organization, the National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA). NBTA is a mega federation of countless twirlers. NBTA was less concerned about “technique” and more focused on speed, tricks and showmanship.

The two organizations were brutal enemies back in the day. It was political suicide to jump from one to the other and the style differences between the two organizations made it nearly impossible to win in both. Only one person had ever succeeded in capturing both Grand titles: Cathy Fujymi. You may bow humbly to the ground now.

Cathy Fujymi was the untouchable deity of my dreams. She lived in my imagination. She was real but I had never seen her. Cathy Fujymi was IT for me. My hero. My fantasy. My reason for daydreaming that one day I might, on a fluke, make the top 3 in my age division at State. My mom told me magnificent stories about her.

“She caught a 6 spin, split leap pull-out on the grass! She has a roll named after her, the Fugymi Roll!”

Nobody could ever be arrogant enough to think that the accomplishments of Cathy Fujymi could possibly be matched. To do that, somebody would have to be strong enough to bust through political boundaries, be ten times better than everybody else athletically, be persistent, confident, superior in every way . . . wow . . . I would have loved to been able to catch even a glimpse of someone like that. They would probably come from a great family with lots of money, they’d have beautiful costumes, a sparkling personality and they would definitely be trained by the perfect coach.

Anyhow . . . back to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Name is Ned (Chapter 11)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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My Name Is Ned

Selected Working Excerpts by Annetta Lucero

Believe

My yearlong sentence to the hell that was Rhode Island ended and my mom, cat and I once again conquered the highway and found our road home to Southern California. I enrolled in my former elementary school, reacquainted with my few friends and trudged forward with my practice regimen and now-tainted childhood existence.

My hair had grown out to a shaggy, who-gives-a-shit length and I can see from photos of that era I had a very haunted look in my eyes. It was a look that even a smile could not disguise. I was no longer a problem in school. I was more . . . invisible.

One day, while on our back patio grinding out my daily twirling routines, I heard the doorbell ring. This was unusual, as nobody ever visited.

I heard a man’s energetic, booming voice and my curiosity got the best of me. Peeking around the corner I saw a man in a funny, ill-fitting suit opening a big black case.

My mom, proclaiming her disinterest, was powerless to stop him. When he pulled out the contents from the mysterious case it was as if the heavens opened and I heard a chorus of angelic hosts lifting their voices just for me. I may have actually seen a giant sunray beaming through the front window, highlighting the most amazing treasure I had ever seen.

AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! My eyes actually lit up.

The cheesy salesman lifted the heavenly object to his chest, strapped it on and began playing a magnificent polka. That sealed the deal for me. Although I already had practice responsibilities beyond any average 9 year-old kid, I begged my mom to sign me up for the six-week, door-to-door accordion rental and lessons.

Did she give me the If-you-sign-up-you-will-stick-with-it-for-a-year-without-complaint speech? YES. Did she make sure I understood that I would practice this skill for a minimum of a half hour per day, everyday? YES. Did I tell her that I had found my calling in life, I couldn’t live without this divine instrument and I would become the most famous accordion player of all time? ABSOLUTELY.

And so it began.

I loved playing the accordion. I practiced more than my assigned time and I was quite a natural. The small, white, rented accordion was sufficient and I was satisfied with my blossoming music career.

During an outing to purchase sheet music I spotted something that obliterated my contentment. Displayed in a faux black alligator case was the largest, shiniest, most impressive accordion I could have ever imagined. Pearly, iridescent keys that spanned miles, so many black button chords I couldn’t even count them, so large, so beautiful . . . my eyes swirled like a cartoon character.

“MMOOOOOMMM!” I yelled through the store. “THIS is my LIFE! I MUST have it!”

My mom gazed at the atrocious instrument and with a lump in her throat she sadly stated, “Honey, this is $600. We just can’t afford it. EVER.”

Oh no! On the silent drive home my mind was racing. How can I get that king of accordions? There must be a way. I can be sold for child labor. No. How? How . . .

“MOM! I’ve got it!” I squealed with joy. “Christmas is only two months away and SANTA can bring it! Santa doesn’t have to pay for it!”

What an awesome idea! My world was complete again. I just had to wait two months and that magic man would deliver my dream-come-true right to my living room. Now my mom didn’t have to worry. After all, we received food stamps. $600 dollars in two months was more than her hard-earned paycheck could supply. Thank goodness I had Santa!

As the weeks rolled on, my conversation always found its way back to the beautiful accordion. I visited Santa in front of 7-Eleven and described in detail the gift he was to deliver. Knowing how special it was, I informed him I would hold no grudge if it was my only gift.

Things were going great for me.

For some reason my mom was working a tremendous amount of hours and I was able to cheat on my practice chart, completely bamboozling the babysitter who knew nothing about baton twirling. About a week before Christmas my mom sat me down for a serious talk.

“Ned, honey…is there anything else you can think of that you would like more than the accordion?”

Easy answer, “Not a chance.”

My mother blinked.

“Well, I know it is a big deal to you and I just don’t want you to be too disappointed. I think the elves may not be able to build the kind you want. It is very detailed and large.”

I was undaunted, though.

“Oh, don’t you worry mom. Santa will bring me the perfect accordion. I believe it.”

Christmas Eve was exciting. I couldn’t go to sleep. I lay in the hall facing the tree, waiting. I was determined to see how the hulking gift would be delivered. Of course, I eventually nodded off.

When morning came there was a giant gift, wrapped in the most beautiful paper I had ever seen. Even though I knew it would be there, I have never been so giddy. Tearing through the paper my heart was racing. Oh My Gosh! There it was. THERE IT WAS! It looked exactly like the one at the music store! Santa was the smartest, best, nicest, most generous, amazing guy EVER!

I couldn’t stop talking about how great he was! My mom was kind of tired, but had a satisfied look on her face. I tried to motivate her by giving her a lecture on the power of BELIEVING! Then I hammered out song after song in an effort to help her stay wide-awake all day!

 

My Name is Ned (Chapter 10)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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My Name Is Ned

Selected Working Excerpts by Annetta Lucero

Santa

I am a believer in magic – the magic and hope in life. I have faith in the unexpected, life altering magic that appears right when it is needed. I never doubt that a new possibility is going to flourish at any moment. My mom gave me this gift of belief. One of the many ways she did this was through Santa Claus.

For me, Christmas was always the most amazing day of the year. Not only did I get material gifts and a visit from the Fat Man, it was the ONLY day of the year I had a “No Practice” pass!

Many children believe in Santa Claus, and many parents conjure up magical scenarios for their children to enjoy; but I have never come across any presentations more convincing than those concocted by my mother. My mom was not blind to the fact that we led a tough life. She knew I suffered in many ways. She was determined to push magic into my world . . . and she did.

The year we lived in Rhode Island was the worst year of my life and so I had many concerns as Christmas approached. Would Santa bring me anything? I had lied to everyone at school about my gender and beat most of my classmates to a pulp. I secretly wished horrible things would befall my creepy, mean cousin. I cursed like a truck driver and I cheated on my practice chart when my mom was unable to watch my every moment. These were unforgivable grievances in my mind and I was sure Santa would not be able to reward my existence.

Aside from my behavior I was terrified that even if he had some small token for me he would not be able to locate me in the tool shed for lack of proper address and I was certain there was no room on the roof for all eight reindeer. Restless and guilt-ridden I eventually fell asleep on that cold, snowy Christmas Eve.

Morning came and my stomach sunk with disappointment. As I had feared, Santa had bypassed my home. There was nothing in the tiny room where I slept. Nothing. As I sat on my bed, filled with remorse I heard my mom’s excited voice yelling from outside.

“Ned! Ned! Get out here right away! Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it! It’s amazing!”

I ran outside immediately and was astonished to see such a miracle. Our shed roof slanted drastically. Carved into the thick, icy snow were very obvious sled tracks! Sled tracks and reindeer hoof prints! Sled tracks, reindeer hoof prints and . . . could it be . . . lots of presents! Stuck in the snow, on the roof and surrounding the shed at various distances were loads and loads of presents!

Obviously Santa did have a difficult time delivering to my home. Although the reindeer could fly they had a hard time floating. Not all of them could fit on our roof, (as I had suspected), and the others simply could not float off the side long enough for a proper delivery! I was overjoyed! From agonizing disappointment to unimaginable joy…that was my life!

The real topper came as I moved along collecting the gifts. A bit of a distance down the road I saw a large, colorful package. I ran to it, snatched it up and couldn’t believe my good fortune. Written on the label was this: To Tommy, From Santa.

WHAT! Not only did I hit the mother load, this extra gift, meant for someone else, had fallen from Santa’s sleigh right into my grasp! HAHAHAHA! What a bonus! What a miracle! I was so grateful. I repented a thousand times over in my mind as I laughed and jumped and yelled. And then I had one quick thought for poor Tommy . . . “SCHMUCK!”

 

My Name is Ned (reflection)

// Author: Annetta Lucero // 0 Comments

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My Name Is Ned

Selected Working Excerpts by Annetta Lucero

 

Reflection

I have experienced a lot of horror in my life. I am not sad. I am not bitter. I haven’t much self-pity regarding the harsh, unfortunate circumstances. I think it may have to do with the amount of love that I received as a counter balance to the evil.

My mom had many issues, including an explosive temper. I was beaten mercilessly on a regular basis. I was also loved beyond measure. In the end, the love has outweighed all else, though the volatile extremes have undoubtedly affected my choices in life. The mixed messages have also caused me to search, study and dissect my own behavior, leading me to a better understanding of myself and the pain of others.

I am grateful for the lessons I have learned through my suffering. I no longer accept abuse for myself but I have been given the gift of compassion towards those who lash out. Nobody deserves to be a victim of those who inflict hurt, not even the perpetrators themselves.