Xavier Caylor



Xavier Caylor

Type of Artist

Spins Flags



My History

How would you describe yourself as a flagger?

Sensual. I tend to flag slower than most. I love to change the texture of my flags by walking my hands up and down the spine of the flags. I dance within them, transitioning continuously and spinning my body within the rotating fabrics. I love to pull the fabric across my body, face and shoulders – I call it draping. I also love to play the flags from the lead corner causing them to look more like serpents. I spread flagging, dropping seeds along paths traveled. Teaching and trying to inspire others in the art while partaking in the dance when ever I can.

What is it about flagging that you enjoy the most?

There are several things that draw me towards flagging. Picking one thing that I love the most would be to difficult, how about the top three: Meditation: There is a sense of being that we all subconsciously crave. In flagging I find a reliable place to drop in and experience the joy of life, spend some time with my inner self, and get a workout. Comradery: The shared experiences and frustrations, the commitment to creativity and meditation, and the magic of expression draw to it people I feel are my family. Within the tribe I have my best friends, people I can talk with and share anything. Creation: Everything around flagging has inspired me to create. Sewing weights in flags inspired me to make comfortable form fitting clothes to flag in. Organizing a group of people to go have a shared experience around flagging has pushed me to grow in countless ways. The art of tie-dye has given me a way to push myself outside the box. Sharing the art and the dance continues to teach me expanding my knowledge when I least expect it, that keeps me wanting to do it more.

What was your first flagging experience?

My first time into a gay bar, The BULC in San Diego – 1985, I remember seeing a fan dancer twirling his wares on an empty dance floor. I remember vividly being repulsed and thinking: what is that queen doing? Now I’m proud to say I’ve become that lone flagger on the dance floor. The next time I saw flagging it was at the Palm Springs White Party. A couple of hunky circuit boys were practicing by the pool- I was fascinated. Two months later, after asking everyone I knew where I could get my hands on a pair, my life changed. My boyfriend, Dean, and I ran into an acquaintance, Paul. Dean had asked Paul for a set of flags prior to the L.A. Morning Party and been turned down. But the moon was in the seventh house, Jupiter aligned with Mars, and Paul gave a beaming party boy his first set of flags. He told me to “think, figure eights” (advice I have repeated on more than one occasion) and I was off. They were primarily lemon yellow with a multi-colored pattern made of a light polyester. YES, I still have them. The next day, another of Dean’s friends responded to our request for flags. Richard brought us a pair of yellow sheer chiffons and managed to teach Dean and I the basic forward alternating movement. I was hooked. Dean and I taught ourselves by practicing countless hours, searching for new fabric and figuring out how to make them ourselves.

What was one of your best flagging experiences?

I have had several noteworthy flagging experiences that vary due to my perspective. As an individual flagger, as a group member, as a community builder, and as a artist creating for Burning Man. My ultimate experience as a sole flagger in a club had to be during the Miami White Party Weekend, 1998. It was my first weekend immersion with the Tribe. The group took over a floor of a small motel in South Beach. The whole weekend was magical, the beach was amazing by day and the parties were awesome by night. We stayed through Tuesday knowing that leaving the loving space that was created with all of our friends wouldn?t be easy. I had introduced myself to Warren Gluck earlier in the summer when he was spinning in San Francisco, the ReUnion Party, and again in San Diego, the Zoo Party. This weekend, however, I had the chance to hang out with the legend and came to the realization that he was a real bundle of joy. Warren was spinning a Monday tea at Warsaw. He had given me a casual invitation to come see him and I decided I couldn?t not take him up on it. It was the last party of the weekend and I hadn?t budgeted properly. I was out of every thing and pennyless. Still floating on the buzz of being with my brothers over such a weekend I went out alone. The cover charge was to much and, ouch, my name wasn?t on the list. Standing across the street waiting to see if any one I knew would come along and help me out, I watched as people walked in and a few minutes later walked out. Finally the door man invited me in, I guess figuring that I would stay? The club was empty, there was nothing going on except magical music. Warren introduced me to the lighting guy whom was nice enough to set up a place for me to flag, after all I was the only one there two hours into the party. Dino had found a chartreuse flourescent dye that he infused into a magical set of silk flags. The flags had been busy all weekend on the beach and at a few of the evening parties. But, at Warsaw, with black lights and a rotating set of green eye-beams shining from behind me out onto the dance floor, a dash of fog, and amazing music, they came to life. I remember getting up on the stage and starting to flag. I noticed a few people walking in the door looking my way, mesmerized. I wasn?t sure how comfortable I would be at first giving the few people in the club eye candy. Then I was gone, Warren?s set transported me to another plane. Describing the place I went is difficult but I?m sure if you?re reading this you?ve probably touched upon it yourself. I attributed it at the time to the flags and the dance, now I would describe it as a place of meditation. I became one with the music, the flags, my heart and my soul. Several songs and layers of sweat later I came out of the trance. Exhausted, I let my flags drop and looked out into the club- it was packed. My only regret: I wish I had the energy to stay and dance more because the crowd was on fire.

Who has inspired or taught you?

My first set of flags came to me at a circuit event with very little instruction. I was lucky in that my partner and I both immersed ourselves. If I were to credit anyone for being my teacher it would be him, Dean Vitale. It was not the formal teaching that could’ve been acquired through a good mentor. I was thirsty to learn more and we didn’t see other flaggers for months and then months again. Each time I encountered someone new I was observant, attentive, and thankful for what ever lesson I gleaned. Luckily there was always something, sometimes in the most unsuspecting of places.

What nice/unusual comment has anyone said to you while flagging?

After watching me flag a deaf man said, “Now I feel as if I’ve seen music.”