Exhibition Drill Moves

DrillMasterCommentary, Drill Teams, Instructional Leave a Comment

Unarmed Drill
When I was in high school (AZ-61, Agua Fria ’83)- just after the dinosaurs and as we started writing on parchment- our drill AFJROTC unarmed drill team marched a long list of different moves. We had 20+ moves and put four or six step in between each move. We incorporated some different arm movements and step styles and we were state champs for a number of years. I wouldn’t recommend doing that now since a routine really needs to have highs and lows purposefully built into it.

As an example, here is a drill move from my high school days from my book, Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team:

This move, Beta, is from the Parade Moves section of the book. There are many more moves from which you can build a good foundation of a great marching routine.


Adding Equipment
Writing drill and incorporating equipment (flag, rifle, sword/saber or guidon) isn’t just a “snap.” Careful thought needs to go into (let’s pick a rifle as our equipment) writing rifle movement into the routine. Especially when doing a solo or tandem routine; you really need to let the rifle guide you around the drill pad and not “march the rifle around.” For teams the process of writing the drill and the rifle work can come at the same time, sometimes not. As I write drill, I begin to see rifle movement ideas- sometimes they are standard exhibition drill (XD) moves, but sometimes you can begin a creative thought process that can tell you what the drill will be- solo, tandem or team. It all depends.

Keep it the Same or Start Over Every year?
During my high school days we were up against a team from Phoenix that marched the exact same routine each year and replaced it’s seniors with incoming freshmen. Team members would march the same thing over and over without a chance at creativity. I really discourage this kind of drill team program since as I said, it discourages creativity and does not allow the team leadership and members to learn on their own and as a group. Keeping some elements that were especially effective from a previous year is an option but, starting each summer, teams should work on creating something that they can feel a part of. When I teach, I always include students in the creative process, sometimes their ideas will work better than mine and sometimes they won’t- two heads are better than one!

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