Training Needs For Your Team
by Joyce E. Pennington

Nothing can ever replace the instruction from a professional dance/drill team instructor.  Spring is the time of year that you select your team and look into planning their training for football season and a full year of performances.  Many times your officers will be outstanding leaders and clever choreographers but, bare in mind that their lack of experience and expertise cannot match that of an experienced professional. 
Each team has their own individual needs and many times those needs may vary from year to year.  When you are preparing for your summer training program, take the following into consideration:

NEW TEAM-- Make sure that your new team has a good solid knowledge of basic dance/drill team skills, terminology and technique.  First year members might need additional practice time to 'catch up' with the skill level of the returning members.  Complete this pre-training before going to summer camp and never attempt for them to learn a routine without any of the basics taught to them. 

PRIVATE INSTRUCTION-- A young, inexperienced team might strongly consider hiring a professional camp company to send an instructor to your school for a private camp and take the time needed for the basics and bring material properly suited to your team's personal style and ability level.  Bare in mind that all instructors are not necessarily professionals and a 'bargain' may not be the best gamble for your team.  Seek help from a reputable camp company and you will receive the benefit of the choreography style of many choreographers and not just one. 

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

CAMP-- An established squad needs the exposure of observing other teams and being challenged by good, professional routines.  Select a camp that will be the most educational and beneficial for your team.  Style, instructional staff, administrative staff, reputation and facilities all play an important role in your selection of camp companies.

SUMMER PRACTICE-- Treat rehearsals as "business" and much more can be accomplished in less time.  Meet with your officers after camp and before summer practice to decide on the routines to be taught for football season.  Each routine should be analyzed, adapted and ready to be taught before practice time comes.  During your week or two of summer "boot camp", have a schedule and stick to it.  Review each routine for pep rallies, football and basketball that was learned at camp.  This will lighten your load after school begins, especially since many school districts regulate weekly rehearsal time.

CREATIVE RESOURCES-- Never limit your sources for new and creative material. Watch television, movies, musicals and share these ideas with your officers or choreographer.  You do not have to be a dancer to have a creative imagination.  Redundancy is boring so be careful that your routines do not start looking alike.  Utilize the various one day clinics in the winter offered by professional camp companies that can stimulate new looks and steps to routines.   Throughout the year call in a special instructor to give a stretch class, aerobics, jazz workshop, tap workshop, etc. Never limit yourself to only a single input.  The sky is the limit! This variety will add new dimensions to your team that will be motivating and show dramatic improvements.
In conclusion, good planning and strong professional training can only formulate a successful season of performances for your team.  Take the time to plan ahead now for a successful future.


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