Jots From Joyce
compiled by Joyce E. Pennington, Pres. CEO 
of American Dance/Drill Team

Here is a collection of ideas from the many creative and successful directors that I have met through the years. I hope that by sharing these ideas, you can experience some of the success that they have.

JJ #1--A nice gesture for the "home" drill team to do for the "visiting" drill team would be to bring an extra blank video tape to the game and do a separate video tape of their performance. Many times if they are facing the press box and out of town, they may not have the chance to video. 

JJ #2--It is always helpful to be on the good side of the teachers at school. Here are several suggestions:
1) Put an apple in each teacher's box with a special note from the team. 2) Have a special "appreciation" breakfast for the teachers one morning of a staff development day (donuts, coffee, juice). 3) Decorate the doors of the teachers and principal's on a special day. Each team member will have her own "teacher buddy". 4) You can purchase large plastic paper clips, plastic coffee mugs, or smooth rocks (paper weights) to paint the teacher's name on and place in their box.

JJ #3--A great fund-raiser for me was our cold drink machine in the P.E. dressing room. I had my manager's fill the machine every morning and count and roll the money as well as prepare for the school deposit. At the end of the year, the manager's could select their favorite restaurant in town to go out for dinner-on the cold drink machine!

Articles on Organization

Your Student Teacher
Surviving Budget Cuts
Big Sis/Lil' Sis
Block Scheduling
When a Member Quits
Spring Show Mania
Delegating Duties
Drill Team Constitutions
Saving Sense: Deductions
Director Organization 
Director Etiquette
Drill Team as a Business
Importance of Discipline
Jots from Joyce
Team Training Needs
Music/Band Coordination

JJ #4-- Thinking of managers-I always had the best success with my managers when each of them had a "title" and specific area of responsibility. One would be my "business manager"; one would be the "music specialist"; one would be the "prop director"; one would be the "trainer" to take care of medical forms, first aid kit, wrapping & taping. They would also share their duties when needed.

JJ #5--Have ribbons printed with your team name to give out as daily incentives at rehearsals.

JJ #6--Find a stuffed animal that might serve as a special symbol of your team. Use it when you need to have a "round circle" discussion. (Ex., lion-"Lion Toss") When the animal is tossed to a member she must say what is on her mind, whether positive or negative. If her statement is negative, she must follow it with a positive.

JJ #7--Always keep up with the history of your team. If you do not have a historian, select one. It is so special if you can invite all former members to one event a year (spring show, homecoming, etc.), and host a special reception for them.

JJ #8--Have each team member sit down and write three goals for herself to achieve by the end of the first semester and by the end of the year. Keep these goals and hand them out for each team member to check their progress. 

JJ #9--KEEP ORGANIZED!! Maintain a handy stack of manila file folders to keep up with all communications and projects. Nothing is more frustrating than wasting valuable time searching for something that could have been handy. 

JJ #10--A special gift for graduating seniors is a special small silver candy dish with her first name and years on the team. This is a lifetime gift that she will treasure and set out in her home for years to come. 

JJ #11-- If you have several drill teams in your school district, city or county, hold auditions at the end of football season for an "ALL CITY DRILL TEAM" that would have representatives from each school. They could learn a routine at auditions that would perform at a couple of basketball games or community functions. They could their team uniform or all wear a black leotard with a sequin belt in their team colors.

JJ #12-- If your team strives for high kicks, hold a team audition for a "MISS HIGH KICK" poster girl for the team member with the best kick technique. Have her picture taken (kicking, of course!) and have blown up to poster size to hang all year in the school.

JJ #13-- Make sure to have your performance music taped PROFESSIONALLY. It is always a let down for both the audience as well as contest judges to see beautiful costumes, great choreography and hours of practice, presented with a poor quality tape recording. Insure that you have a high quality tape to begin with , and follow up with a recording that has clean edits, and proper endings or fade outs. 

JJ #14-- Do not forget to bring recognition to your drill team members who excel scholastically through the AMERICAN DANCE/DRILL TEAM© HONOR ROLL. It will be an incentive to others and a reward to the BEST! (Honor Roll recipients receive a patch, letter of commendation and certificate.) 

JJ #15-- A different idea for fund-raising would be to have a baked casserole sale. You will need three recipes to be followed for all casseroles (Mexican, Italian, Traditional). Go to your local grocers to ask for ingredients to be donated. Have sales slips made to pre-sell the casseroles (every school teacher would love to but one to save cooking one night!). Once they have been pre-sold, the girls will bake and freeze the casserole and deliver on a specified date. One team with 8 members raised almost $2,000!

JJ #16-- Have one of the Dads or your school shop to construct a special kit to take to football and basketball games or contest to "rope off" the seating are for your team. A screw or vice clamp with plastic pvc pipe and a bright plastic surveyors tape or flagging at the top will be the main points to block the section and it is connected by plastic chain to discourage spectators from walking across the drill team section when you are not seated. It can be carried in a draw string canvas bag to all events. 

JJ #17- -Hold a Junior One Day Clinic for girls in first through 8th grade. Hold on a Saturday and teach them a routine that can be performed at a basketball game the following week. Your basketball coach will LOVE you for generating the extra paying parent spectators at this game and the young girls will LOVE being a part of your program!

JJ #18-- Have your parent's booster club establish a scholarship fund for a senior girl(s) that may be continuing their drill team participation in college.

JJ #19-- When "charting" your formations for routines, use graph paper to mark yard lines for your football field and mark off the lines of a basketball court for contest and pep rally. Make enough copies for the year and keep hand in a file folder. After use, keep your charts to refer to in the future for patterns and formation ideas. 

JJ #20-- Recognize your team members that are always the hardest workers: on time, always volunteering for fund-raisers & extra work, positive attitude, highest GPA, most community volunteer work, etc., by awarding a certificate or ribbon each month for the member that has displayed the highest achievement in those areas. Remember, you must PRAISE what you want to RAISE. 

JJ #21-- Next time that your team is feeling low, sit them down in a circle and have each girl tell something special about being in drill team. This can also be a special way to thank the band director, administrator, guest instructor, officers, etc., by placing them in the center of the circle and each team member tells something special about them. 

JJ #22-- For the next tryouts you have, a special touch to let the candidates know how much you appreciate every special effort, give each candidate an envelope with her name and number on the outside. If she has made the team, she will open and find a special sticker or paper cut out inside (ex., heart for "Sweethearts", bell for "Belles", etc.). If she does not make the team, include a special note of thanks or special poem that will not take the hurt away, but ease the pain.

JJ #23-- A great way to 'kick off' the year is to contact all of the bands and drill teams in your district or area to have a "Super Show" one evening for all of the parents, families and friends in the community. Each school can present their halftime show and perhaps all could join in for one big finale. This could be offered free of charge to be a community relations project, or you could accept donations as admission that would go toward a scholarship fund to award to a senior band and drill team member from each school.

JJ #24-- If you have any white uniforms or leotards that may have started to look a little gray from dry cleaning or washing, try livening them up with white RIT dye. It will make them look like they are new! 

JJ #25-- I have found that mesh draw string laundry bags are ideal to store pom pons. The mesh allows you to see what is inside and the bags will hold a lot of poms.

JJ #26-- In continuing to make our managers feel important, I had my trophy company make special nametags for them with their name, team name and manager. This also helps to identify them to others at school or away when you are sending them on errands.

JJ # 27-- It will be a constant motivator if you have a permanent sign in your gym with the team's name and logo hanging on the wall. This could be on the wall behind where they sit, or could be a "SMILE" sign on one side that will remind them of projection each time they perform. This could be a project for your managers or booster club.

JJ #28--Never assume that your officer candidates automatically know the duties and responsibilities to be a good officer. I would hold weekly workshops for several weeks prior to tryouts to teach them to chart music, go over leadership skills, etc. After the first of January, we would begin "free" drill team workshops once a week for drill team candidates. The officer candidates would each have a workshops that was their responsibility to plan and teach. This would give them "hands on" training with the beginner students and give me an opportunity to evaluate them in an actual leadership role.

JJ #29-- To curb spending for Big Sis/Little Sis gifts, I would designate a certain "theme" to follow for the gifts that would automatically keep costs low. Example: pencils, mugs, cups, sucker, pocket mirrors, key chains, home-made cards, decorate locker, etc. Each girl would use their creativity to come up with a unique version of these gift themes. 

JJ #30-- At homecoming this year, invite all of the former drill team members to a reception that you can hold at school either after the game or after the pep rally. Have all of the old and new pictures out of the team and have the team perform for them. This could be a committee of parents club that could research and send out invitations as well as announce in the community happenings of the newspaper.

JJ#31-- Have a mom that can sew make covers for the bleachers where the drill team sits. This can be in washable fabric in school colors. This will protect the uniform as well as avoid "cold bleachers". (Thanks to the Round Rock H.S. Dragonettes). Also, Tote Unlimited can make these in your school colors with your team name on them!

JJ#32-- Have the parents club or managers make yard sign in the shape of a boot or your team symbol and paint with the team member's name. Example: A large cut out heart shaped sign, "A Lakeview Sweetheart Lives Here". 

JJ #33- -Four more good ideas for special gifts or fun: 1) take a plastic hanger and personalize for Big Sis/Little Sis that is for a special game that says, "Hang the Bobcats"(opponenent); 2) designate a day that the girls will have their 'pep rally' outfits on and have girls bring their cameras to have 'buddy pictures' made for fun; 3) get an old drill team boot, paint name, drill team name, decorate for Big Sis/Little Sis gift; 4) designate "I'm a sucker for you" day and each team member brings the most creative or original presentation of a sucker(s) for special gifts.

JJ #34-- A couple of new fund raising ideas-North Garland Mam'selles sold Glamour Shots coupons before Christmas for a successful fundraiser. Two Houston drill teams sold over $75,000.00 worth of Christmas cards and wrapping paper this year by selling cards to corporate businesses as well as individuals.

JJ #35-- An idea from the Denton H.S. Fillies-at your spring show this year have a couple of outside "judges" come to your dress rehearsal and score your student choreographed routines and on the final night of your show, present awards to the winners. You can also post written critiques backstage that will inspire them for their actual performance.

JJ #36--I heard about a good fundraiser the other day. Teams are securing ads from local merchants that will offer discounts or "buy one, get one free" and placing them on the back of a plastic card. The front of the card may say" Stallionette Buck$" and the cards are sold for $10. The discounts are good for one year and when presented for purchase at participating merchants. Some teams are making $5,000-$8,000!

JJ #37-- A great way to clean out your prop or wardrobe storeroom and make some money as well-have a "drill team rummage sale" and send notices to drill teams around your area listing items for sale and prices. You would not have to designate a sale day but make sales by phone. A lot of teams are looking for a good bargain. (*You can also advertise free in The Line "classified section".)

JJ #38-- I have never seen a more organized prop/costume room than the one Debbie byrd has a Ryan H.S.! She watched the sales at the local Sams, Walmart, K-mart & Target and purchased clear plastic tubs to store sequin wrist and waist bands, overlays, leotards, etc. On the outside of the tub is an inventory sheet to indicate the number of items in the tub. The tubs were placed on shelving that went all the way up to the 12 foot ceiling. The shelves were built and installed by the wood shop classes at school. The clear tubs allowed her to see quickly where each item was stored. 

JJ #39-- For contest, it helps to keep up with costume pieces if they are numbered and placed into numbered zip lock bags. A manager or director can keep a master list with the names coordinated with the numbers. 

JJ #40-- Also for contest, make sure to plan some fun, creative activities for your team. If you are traveling out of town to contest, there are always special places to see and visit that will be an added motivator for your team as well as an educational experience as well. (Examples: New Orleans, historical homes, riverboat ride; San Antonio, missions, Alamo, zoo; Galveston, the Strand, Palm Beach; Santa Fe, snow skiing, mountain climbing, Indian reservation; Houston or Dallas, shopping at Galleria.)

JJ #41- - At contest, you need to make sure that your team members are protecting their sequined and decorated costumes from hair spray and make-up. Have your sewing moms make washable "beauty shop drapes" with velcro at the neck to put on before freshening make-up or hair. 

JJ #42-- Not always do parents know what to expect at contests. They may be unfamiliar with the awards or the general flow of the day. Take the time to print up a parent contest information sheet to let them know the general schedule of the weekend, what they can attend or not, what to wear, sit together, make signs, what the team goals are for awards, a copy of the contest awards definitions. This will help them to better fit into your contest weekend.

JJ #43-- Each six weeks, have your team vote on their "Most Admired Teacher" and present her/him with a special certificate or gift. 

JJ #44-- Each week at practice, award team members with a "Happy Feet Award" that represents their hard work. You could make a special cut out "foot" or even a special tennis shoe key ring. (Thanks to the managers of R.L. Turner H.S. in Carrollton). 

JJ #45- -In thinking ahead for Spring drill team tryouts, recruiting and long term preparation are important roles. In order to make sure that candidates are training properly, organize a weekly clinic that starts about three months ahead of tryouts where proper stretching and dance techniques can be emphasized. This would also allow your officer candidates to get some "hands on" experience with working and leading the prospective team members. Appoint an officer candidate to be in charge of one of the "clinics". You can judge their leadership skills to apply this score towards officer tryouts. 

JJ #46-- Challenge your team members to be able to do the splits by forming the "Banana Split Club". At the end of the semester, those team members that can execute the splits on both legs will be members of the club and be able to participate in a banana split party at a local ice cream shop. (Thanks! St. Gerard H.S. in San Antonio).

JJ #47- - When team members are doing things wrong, they will certainly hear the corrections from you, the director. If they are doing something right, hand out "Privilege Coupons" that can be used (as you designate) to come ten minutes late one day, go in ten minutes early one day, chew gum one day, wear her own leotard one day, miss a basketball game, etc. (Thanks to Del Rio H.S.!)

JJ #48-- Try a pick me up for your team by bringing fortune cookies to hand out at the end of practice one day. (Thanks to El Campo H.S.!) 

JJ #49-- If you do or do not have a demerit system, there is always "red tape" and grief when someone is either put on probation or dismissed from the team. Form a special "Executive Committee" at the beginning of the year that consists of your principal, assistant principal (perhaps you have one that is designated for your extra-curricular group), athletic director and you (the director). More serious issues can be handled from this Executive Committee and help to discourage repercussions from parents. 

JJ #50-- As an "ice breaker" at officer tryouts, have the officer Moms learn the officer strut or part of a routine to perform at the end to "surprise" the girls and let everyone loosen up during a very intense time. When you announce the officers, do not announce their rank until all have been named. Save the suspense of captain or colonel to be a second surprise to them after all.

JJ #51-- "Rent" out drill team members to appear in their uniform for little girls birthday parties. Party hostesses may make a donation to the drill team fund. You can also organize a "Hip Hop Birthday Party" with 3 or 4 drill team members to supervise. 

JJ #52-- Take the time to make a handbook for your officers with individual job descriptions and guidelines for her duties and responsibilities. It should include methods of charting music, choreography, leadership, procedures for practice, procedures for games and performances, personal image, and every aspect for her role as a leader. This will certainly improve the quality of leadership on your team. 

JJ #53-- Present a Spud Booth at a local event where your team would sell baked potatoes. You may be able to get the potatoes donated from a local merchant or individual.

JJ #54-- When is the last time that you cleaned the tape heads of your cassette player? The tape head cleaner cassette you buy in the store just does not do a thorough job. Go to your pharmacist and ask for a small bottle of de-natured alcohol (the regular rubbing alcohol will leave a white residue). Purchase some cotton Q-tips and go to your cassette deck. You should push "Play" so that you can clean the moving parts. You do not want to "soak" the parts but to clean them thoroughly while they are moving. You should see a black rubber disc and several metal posts to clean. The experts at Cam Audio say for drill team directors to clean your tape heads once a week.

JJ #55--When dry cleaning your uniforms, check with a local, reputable cleaners that will agree to have fresh cleaning fluid on Monday morning and have it fresh to clean all your drill team uniforms first. This will insure that your white uniforms will not turn gray.

JJ #56--When you have your team members complete a medical release form for your files, make sure that you carry copies with you to every function whether in town or away. (A manager could bring them in her "Emergency Bag".) Also have team members photo copy personal medical insurance cards with card numbers to attach to their form. If they do not have medical insurance, encourage them to purchase student insurance that is usually offered through the athletic program for a nominal annual fee. 

JJ #57-- When you have your line tryouts, check with one of your local pep supplies and purchase large, plain plastic nametags that numbers can be written on with a Sharpie pen. Have candidates wear these nametags each day so that you and officers will learn their names. If you use numbers at tryouts instead of names, you can order plain plastic 4" circle nametags that you can make 'permanent' numbers to distribute and take up after tryouts. They will be seen easier and stay attached easier than paper ones. 

JJ # 58--Effective discipline is difficult these days with the constant challenge of rules & regulations. Try a "peer court" where a panel of drill team members, supervised by a school administrator, decides the fate of the member that has violated a drill team rule. Punishment could range from a public apology or the team, clean out and inventory prop room, to sitting in study hall for a week. (Make sure to have this approved through your school administration.)

JJ # 59--Collect all of the motivational quotes you see in THE LINE and other publications. Assign a manager or officer to make a small poster for the "Thought for the Week" and post on the bulletin board of the dressing room. This will inspire both your team and your students as well. 

JJ #60--A great fundraiser can be a luncheon/fashion show. Contact a local dress boutique about your team modeling the latest fashions from their shop. Your team members would sell tickets and your Moms would prepare and serve the food. Many times you can get food items donated. Have door prizes. What a fun fundraiser!!!

JJ #61--Several directors this summer mentioned that your local Sams or Walmart would team up with your group and match funds raised in conjunction with their store items or services performed on store property. This takes some time in submitting your project for approval, and only a few groups are selected, so make contacts early. Thank you Walmart!!!! 

JJ #62--If you are weary of presenting a spring show, or need funds earlier in the year, try a Christmas Spectacular! Here are some of the events and projects that could be part of this fundraising event:
a. All routines would not have to be performed to Christmas music. Have an Emcee that could tell a story and do a play on words: ex., "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...." and perform a routine to "The House is a Rockin'".
b. Have a Dad dressed as Santa be on site about 1 ˝ hours ahead of showtime to let local children t their picture made with Santa. You would take instant photos and sell buttons, cut out photos, frames for Christmas gifts, etc.
c. When selling tickets to the show, you could also sell gift wrap, tissue and gift sacks. These items could be ready for pick up at the show or delivered to them. (For wholesale catalog items call: 800/BLUE SKY)
d. Have a gift wrap service offered throughout the 2 or 3 days of your show.
e. On the last night, offer a special VIP ticket to be sold for a greater price (ex., $10) where the holders could attend a special pre-show dinner (have food items donated by local grocer and parents prepare Christmas dinner), have 'valet parking' or special parking area, have a couple of preview routines, and have a special VIP seating area inside the show. 
f. Have the Emcee be Santa Claus and ride in on a bicycle or moped. 
g. Invite the choir to sing while people are entering as well as at intermission and in the show. (They could perform numbers from their Christmas show and help to promote it.)

JJ #63 --Make sure that you are constantly updating your team Emergency Kit. 
It can run low and you may find yourself fresh out of much needed items. 
Here are some suggestions:
4 paper sacks (for hyperventilation), 4 zip lock bags (for ice), wet wipes, band aids, ace bandages, first aid cream, alcohol, gauze squares, cotton balls, medical tape, feminine products, Kleenex packets, safety pins, bobby pins.

JJ #64 --Have one of your managers organize all of your supply catalogs, take them to a local quick print shop and ask that they be "3 hole drilled" for a large 3 ring binder. This way they will always be easy to find and not in a pile on your desk!

JJ #65 --Have a kick off for your own team "Miss High Kick" each year. The recipient would have her picture put up poster size in the gym or trophy case for a year. (Thanks to the South Grand Prairie Chey-annes). 

JJ # 66 --Many parents and friends are unable to follow the team to contest. Have a special "Bon Voyage Contest Show" at the school where the team would show off all of their team and individual routines for contest. This would also be a great opportunity for the team's dress rehearsal in front of an audience. Ask a drill team director from another school to come critique the routines and use a copy of the score sheets used for that contest. 

JJ # 67 -- Some Booster Clubs are fortunate to be able to raise money for the team to travel, buy props and costumes, etc., but an important annual project would be to set aside some money to be awarded in the form of a college scholarship to a deserving senior (or seniors) at the end of the year, or a contest solo scholarship to help defer contest or costume fees. The Spring H.S. Starlette Booster Club divides all left over money between all senior drill team members to award in the form of college scholarships. This way the money that is earned by that group leaves with them!

JJ #68--It is always a good idea to properly prepare your team for contest. One of the best 'workshops' you can do is to video your team routines, then copy scoresheets for each team member to 'judge' their routines. If they have a difficult time being objective, have them judge other teams by video first to get into the judging mode. Have them turn in their scoresheets to you, then compile the scores and present the results to them. Discuss the comments and results as a team. Analyze how their routines are perceived by the scoresheet. This will help them to be more aware of how the judges will see them at their contest performance.

JJ #69-- Since most dance/drill team classes are receiving credit and must do written work as well as written tests, an idea in the fall would be to test your team members on the rules of football or basketball. If they better understand the game, they will be more inclined to be interested and cheer at the right points of the game. Another idea for a written test would be over the contest rules and awards at the contests you attend. 

JJ #70-- When you are planning your Spring Show, remember that the more school and community groups that are involved, the more tickets you sell to their parents!! Invite the school jazz band to play at pre-show and intermission, invite the swing choir to perform a couple of number, the one act play group to perform a scene from their play, the elementary girls in your neighborhood to perform their "Junior Clinic" routine in the show, the football team dress up in drill team uniforms to perform a routine, a school administrator and/or teachers have a part in the show. The more participation from different resources will make for a more enjoyable show. 

JJ #71--In traveling to contest with your team, you will find yourself walking back and forth several miles in a day, just to relay messages to others. Purchase a set of walkie talkie headsets from Radio Shack that will put you in touch with either a manager, an assistant director, or parent. This will save you many steps!

JJ #72--Here is a great fundraiser idea from Ada High School Couganns: go to your local Wal Mart or Sams and get special permission to set up a Santa Claus (one of your drill team dads) and button photos outside the store. With special permission, Wal Mart will match your funds up to $2000. Arrange for photos with Santa for two or three weekends in December with your drill team members dressed as Santa's helpers.

JJ #73--Here is another Christmas fundraiser from Reagan High School (Houston): go to the Farmer's Market and purchase (or get donated) fruit for fruit baskets. You can purchase baskets for a great price at Garden Ridge or other specialty stores. Pre-sell two size of baskets. Have a work day with moms and team members to put the baskets together and then deliver. 

JJ #74--There are so many independent community teams these days that here is a special idea from the Houston-aires. Since there is no central "trophy case" to display or store awards earned at contest, the directors present each tem member with one of the trophies, plaques or silver trays that the team has won during the year, at the end of the season banquet. This becomes a special memento with special meaning to each team member. Another team decided to take the trophies that were five years old or older and donated a local girl's club or community group that could update the trophies with current year symbols and new insert plates.

JJ #75--There are several ways to identify and reward your team member of the week. Here is how Temple H.S. does it: the "Kitten of the Week" gets to wear a special silver sequined hat to the game and is introduced just prior to the performance. The audience can easily identify her throughout the halftime.

JJ #76-- Every director wants to have her own "identity" as a professional. Have you own business cards printed with your school address and phone number and team name. These will come in very handy when corresponding with other directors, businesses, as well as friends!

JJ #77--When you receive your ADTS© Contest Gift Certificate for attending camp, present it to one of your team members of the week, or outstanding team members to use for her solo entry fees.

JJ #78--Have you ever wondered what to do with all of those old drill team T-shirts? Several girls have had 'Grandma' cut out the logo and sew up a quilt or throw to use for football games or take to college. Recycling is in!!!

JJ #79--I was in the Spring H.S. Starlettes dressing room the other day and saw a great way to confirm practice wear for each day. One of the 'artistic' team members drew a figure dressed in the proper colors and attire and was labeled for the appropriate day. This could tell you at a glance what to wear!!

JJ #80--I was talking with the director of Crockett H.S. Texanns and she gave me the idea for a "Y.E.S. Book". (You're Extra Special) You make a blank booklet for each drill team member and have them attach to their locker or bin in dressing room. Other team members and the director can go by and write only positive comments about that person in her book. This will give a her a little lift. Encourage the squad leaders and officers to write something each week. Debbie said that she also goes by and checks the books weekly to insure that the project is going well.

JJ #81--Here are some "Team Building" activities to do with your team when they are stressed or tired:
The "Human Knot"....have your team get in one big clump standing very 
close together. Ask them to put up their right hand and reach across to clasp hands with another team member. Then have them raise their left hand and clasp hands with another team member. They cannot let go of hands and must "untie" the knot into a circle. They may have to step over or crawl under others to untie the knots. There will be plenty of laughs and bonding.
Have them choose a partner that is either an underclassman or someone 
they do not know as well. Here are several "games" to challenge them to work together: H Choose a color as a team, then write down secretly 5 items of that color. Compare how many items were alike. Any team with all five wins a prize (piece of bubble gum candy , etc.). H As a "team", guess how many steps it takes to walk from the gym to the practice field. The team with the closest guess wins a prize. H Ask the "teams" to finish the poem "Roses are red, Violets are blue...". Have some tell aloud their version. H Ask the teams to write down who their favorite co-star would be if they were a famous actress in a movie. Those "teams" who match, get to go to the dressing room early. 
Before starting practice, ask each member to sit quietly and visualize 
the team goals, awards, achievements.
List ten things you have most enjoyed in the past week, month or year, 
or in your life. Have each member keep the list in her notebook. List ten goals for yourself. List ten team goals. Hand in to director. Director hands back out in a few months to check progress of goals.
Imagine that you won 10 million dollars. What would be the first thing 
you would do? The second thing? Share aloud.
Hand out colored copy paper. Have everyone make a paper airplane and 
fly them all at once!
Hand out small jars of "bubbles' and have them play with bubbles outside 
in the wind.

JJ #82--For your Spring Show, send out "VIP" tickets/invitations to other directors/captains, or important persons in the community. Have a "VIP" Door in front of school with a team member there to greet them and escort them to a special "VIP" section in front and middle of gym/auditorium. Recognize them at the show when you need some additional costume changing time. To make extra money on your show, sell special "VIP Tickets" that would include dinner before the show (cooked by parents or donated) or special reception after the show, then go to "VIP" section in show.

JJ #83--Here is a great fund-raiser for you...a holiday Craft Bazaar. Use your gym. Sell booth spaces to vendors. Sell admission tickets to the public. Sell concessions to the public. Have your team perform small group numbers throughout the day for entertainment. Word has it that some teams make $25,000-$30,000 on their two day craft show!! JJ #84--Academics are always very important. To give further recognition at your banquet, recognize the Academic Award winners with the highest GPA in their class (soph., jr., sr.) and present with a plaque or scholarship for the senior.

JJ #85-- Volunteering is an important aspect of learning to give back to your community. Select one or two charitable projects a year that will include each team member to volunteer their work and efforts. This will teach and emphasize the importance of giving back to the community. It will also make your future fund-raising efforts more successful if the community sees the team "giving" instead of "asking".

JJ #86-- If you have a college in your community, approach the physical education of dance department to offer your team as a "research project" for conditioning or body fat testing. The participation and results could be very beneficial for your team and at no cost to you. 

JJ #87-- Another idea for your local dance studios...approach them to offer a "master's class" for your team or dance classes at no charge to you. You could bring them in once a month and offer to distribute studio schedules to your students to promote their studio. Local college dance departments would also have student volunteers.

JJ #88-- If you do not have a team motto or slogan, logo, team song, have a contest among your team members to come up with ideas. Have the team vote and implement these symbols, unique to them only, that will build team unity and enthusiasm.

JJ #89-- I saw Deidra Roberston from Burnet, Texas, with the greatest idea at he Dance/Drill Team Directors of America convention...she brought along a Rubbermaid plastic trunk with handle and wheels to collect all the "give aways" at convention. This kept her from making numerous trips to her room and allowed her hands to be free to look at merchandise offered by the exhibiters!! This could also work for carting out props, music tapes and sound equipment to the field.

JJ #90-- Since most drill teams have either little or no budget, you must look to other resources. Check with your school library and ask about ordering books, magazines, music tapes and video tapes on dance/drill team. Many times they are looking for these types of reference materials to carry that will interest your students. 

JJ #91-- It is a good idea at line or officer tryouts to have a cellular phone number to give to your judges to call you in case that they are lost or delayed. Many times the school phone system closes at 3:30 pm and there is no way for anyone to get a call through to you.

JJ #92--Here's another great fundraising idea: The Ryan H.S. Strutters (Debbie Byrd, Director) approached Luby's Cafeteria in their town to allow the Strutters to dress in their warm-ups and act as servers one Saturday for tips. They made over $2,000 in one day carrying trays, serving coffee and tea and assisting customers.

JJ #93--The greatest idea to cut down the boredom of a long bus ride is to request a chartered bus with TV/VCR's and show a few movies on the way to contest. On the way back, show videos of the contest performance. It can make a 12 hour bus trip zoom by quickly and fun, and will usually not incur any additional cost for your bus!

JJ #94--A neat tradition that has carried on with the Lakeview Sweethearts since 1976 when I started the team: I bought a small gold ring with a heart dangle for the "Captain's Ring". When I recently went back for the twenty year reunion, it has been passed through twenty captains and still held a sacred meaning! The officers did a "strut" onto the field with large batons or mases and I had the local trophy company engrave the initials of the officer that carried the baton. After many years, returning officers could still locate the baton they carried while performing the strut.

JJ#95--Speaking of traditions, make sure to keep a timeline and documentation of traditions: how and when they started; history of your team; 
Big Sis 'family tree' and other important history that can be carried on and documented for the future. Even if you are not coming upon a reunion year, it would be important to have your social officers research the history through big sisters or acquaintance that were on the team. Thanks to Melissa Interrante for researching and documenting the historical timeline of the past twenty years of the Lakeview Sweethearts for the reunion. 

JJ #96--It is important to teach your students to send personal notes of thanks and gratitude. This is a good job for the social secretary to do. Your local printer can print note cards with your drill team name in school colors on them that will add to the personal touch of your notes of thanks. 

JJ #97--If your team uses large props, it can be a quandary as to where to store them. Some teams will rent a mini-warehouse to store props then rent them to other schools to help defer the cost. Others will purchase or have Dads build a portable tin building to stay on campus to store props. If you have used a large prop one year, you almost have to wait a couple of years to introduce it again for your audience. It can sometimes be more cost effective in the long run to sell the large props and start over again next year. Some will even rebuild the same prop to a new look in order to not have to start completely over again. 

JJ #98--Here is a great tradition that Monica Lyon is starting with her new team at Rowlett High School. The captain will autograph her practice hat and pass it on to the next captain. Through the years, you will see all past captain's names on the practice hat. Also, for her JV officers, the captain is presented with a silver charm bracelet and one charm. She will add a charm and pass it to the new captain next year. The charm bracelet will eventually be full of treasures from past captains.

JJ #99--Margie Rhea at Davis High School in Houston came up with a great fund-raising idea. They do a campaign called "Adopt a Pantherette" where family and friends that are out of town or in donate $5 in the name of a team member and have their name printed in the football program for thanks. "Those $5 donations add up when you have no budget for bags and uniforms," Margie says.

JJ #100--Having problems having enough budget or cash to order those one or two extra costume pieces, pom pons and props? Charge each team member an annual prop/costume usage fee ($20). This will give you the extra money to purchase those extra vital pieces when someone loses or misplaces one right before a critical performance.

JJ#101 -- Use the same theme for your Spring Show and your banquet. You can borrow prop displays from department your local store and use them for both events.

JJ#102 --Before departing for camp, ask each of the drill team parents to write a note to their daughter. Present these notes from home to each team member on the third night of camp when they need a special 'lift.' 

JJ#103 --If you are starting a new team or merely starting some new traditions, have a special 'Tradition Book' that each member can write in to document new traditions started, date started and by whom. This will act as a historical log for the 'history in the making' of your team. (Thanks to Monica Lyon at Rowlett HS, Texas)

JJ#104 -- Include a special 'Wall of Honor' for team members of the year or distinguished alumni and have their name painted and the year they were on the team. (Thanks to Monica Lyon at Rowlett HS, Texas) 

JJ #105 -- From Tammie Keck at Quinlan HS: "My team members do fundraising and have separate accounts for earning money. They were constantly asking me, 'How much do I have in my account?' To help them learn to budget and balance their own funds, I took an idea from "Parent Checks" that I bought for my daughter at Toys R US. It allows them to input the amount of their allowance and when they want to buy something, they write a 'check' to Mommy. Well, this same theory has worked for the Blue Belles. They have a spread sheet to keep up with their balance and when they use some of their funds from a fundraiser for camp or contest, they write a 'check' to the drill team fund and deduct it from their balance."

JJ #106-- Melissa Bartosh from Carroll High School sent us a thank you card that made a great hit! She took a group photo of the team and took it to her local photo shop and used the same idea as photo Christmas cards, except had "Thank you for your support!" imprinted where you usually print, "Merry Christmas!" It was a delightful way for the team to leave a special impression of thanks.

JJ#107--Jennifer Hart at Bryan High School holds an annual "Parent Class." It is required for each parent of each team member to attend before the season begins so that they can learn how to play the proper role with their daughter on drill team. She sometimes has an administrator or guest speaker to come and emphasize important issues.

JJ#108--Here is a great idea from Ronnye Patterson in Brazoswood, Texas. Instead of preparing a welcome basket or candy bucket for the visiting team during football games, they make a donation to a charity at the beginning of the season in honor of the drill teams they meet at halftime and present them with a letter from their team explaining their gesture. They have made donations to Women's Breast Cancer Research and other worthy charities. Drill Team hats off to Brazoswood!

If you have other ideas that have worked for your team, e-mail them to us at: You could be featured in the new Jots from Joyce!!


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