Military Drill Team

Military is a precision dance that requires a great amount of control and focus.

Military is restricted to clean crisp movements that are defined by the 2009-2010 Yearbook Drill Team UHSAA as:

Definitions of Categories for 2009-2010

MILITARY: Any basic military maneuvers or steps such as pinwheels, blocks, ranks and files, etc. may be used. Overall emphasis is on precision; straight arm sequences. School uniform or military attire may be worn. Kicks and ripples may be used.

DO NOT USE DANCE STEPS. No jazz hands, no head rolls, no body rolls, no hip movements, no jazz runs, no pyramids, no arch backs, no toe touches (Russian or Straddle), nor tumbling may be used. General emphasis is on clean, sharp movements. Props and backdrops/sets may not be used.}

Military also has a strict dress code that does not allow performers to wear any jewelry what so ever.  Fake nails and polish is also not allowed.  Each dancer is to look identical.  Pants should not drag the ground – it is an automatic deduction if they do.

Facials in military are generally stern and/or puckered (fish face).  Teams can smile if the style is appropriate toward the theme.

Most military routines are done to instrumental sounds – no words.  Heavy emphasis on down beats.

Marching is also a standard part of a military routine.  It is also good to practice drill down techniques to help students learn proper footing and hand and arm control.  The level of the head is also important.  Kurts and nods of the head during marching sections can add effect.

Many teams in the midwest use head stands and leg lifts to add to the drama of the routine.

Below is a  59 second video  clip depicting a typical military routine that might be used for competition.

Students should work on their drill down to help them develop proper hand movements (see list below).  Students need to hold the hand in a spade position.  Slaps to the side of the body are not light.  They actually should make a decent sound.

Kicks are also a part of military dance.  Kicks must not include any ballet or cheer prep methods.

Arm combinations can vary in difficulty.  Being able to put together combinations is only as complicated as the level of your team.  Using all parts of the body to provide the audience and judges with a style that is new and fresh is points rewarding.   Synchronization  is critical in military precision dance.

There needs to be an adequate number of transition and formation changes.  At least 5 to 8 formation changes combined with X number of transition up and down to the floor.

Remember that military is not dance, nor is it pep dance.  Absolutely NO dance moves will be allowed.  It is an automatic penalty if you do.

Research the types of movements that are allowed in military.  Remember that one part of the country may have a different set of rules than another part.  The rules are NOT equal.   Please be careful to remember that when you start choreographing your routines.

Drill Down will help students become better listeners, and to follow directions easier. Students should be able to execute instructions better having learned drill down,  as well as  preforming the movements correctly. Drill down helps train the mind to respond and respond quickly as new skills are mastered.

To help your students learn the basic commands, below is a list of Drill down commands: (borrowed from my Stars Teaching manual: teaching the right way)

At Ease
Dress Center Dress
Ready Front
Hand Salute
Right Face
Left Face
Half Left Face
By the numbers: ( to execute a command on counts)
Cancel by the numbers
Cover Down/fall in
Files – any number of individuals arranged front to back
Ranks – any number of individuals arranged side to side
As you were – erase the last command
Carriage – don’t look at the ground
Mark Time March
Company Halt
Change Step – step-ball-change
By the Right Flank, March
By the left Flank, March
To the Rear, March
Double to the Rear, March
Right Oblique, march
Left Oblique, March
In place Halt/Squad halt – 3 counts
Forward march
Resume Forward march
Multiple commands – combination of commands given once.

Students are on the honor system during a drill down. If unsure, a teacher will touch them on the shoulder.

Enjoy – it’s a nice fun thing to do in a class, while teaching students to follow commands.

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