When a Driller or team performs, there are four aspects of a performance that should to be measured.
The level of education, training and skill is evidenced in a performance. You need to ensure that your solo or your team’s performance has all of the following aspects locked in at your team’s level of performance.
- Drill: the choreographed design of what you march; your position in the drill area (staging) and the direction you face (orientation).
- Body work: whether you are marching armed or not, you must consider incorporating your body in movement, or even keeping your “T”/”cross”- I assure you, others will.
- Footwork: how your feet fit in with your performance. Do they accentuate certain moves? Or are they just there to keep you from falling over?
- Equipment Work: rifle, sword/saber, swing flag (for the Cali teams) or guidon, what you spin needs to be a seamless extension of your body.
What I see in the majority of solo performances that I judge is displayed here. Drillers concentrate so much on their equipment work that they tend to forget, or they don’t know about, the other aspects of a performance.
Initially, this is not necessarily a bad thing- one has to begin somewhere and the process of improving the performance begins with knowledge.
As another example, some drill teams will have a performance that looks like the picture at right. An unarmed team might look like the picture just below.
You can see how each performance aspect is at a different level. This makes the performance unbalanced and not as effective. Communication from the soloist/team to the audience, including the judge, is not clear. Clear communication is the standard to meet.
Disparities like these two examples show that training is unbalanced- either because the team does not know of each aspect, or because the team does not know how to address and improve the different aspects that are lacking.
The Sum of the Parts- Greater than the Whole
This image at left is, obviously, what you want. The synergistic affect of all of the performance aspects coming together at an advanced level gives the team that intangible feeling of performance perfection.
But how do you achieve it? Through the different techniques used in precise Training and then Practice and Rehearsal.
A trained judge can see training and practice come through in a performance. Trained judges, not briefed judges, are what we really need at JROTC drill meets.
What about the Team that cannot make it to the Advanced Level?
This is a great question! It is OK, to attain a certain of proficiency and remain there. This could be due to limited practice time.
It’s OK to maintain a certain level but keep striving for better excellence.