Trying out?

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There’s even a new article on drill tryouts:

Every year during try-out season, people always ask me what they need to know. Of course, it differs from team to team, but generally, this is what the try-out judges are looking for.

Potential flexibility
Teams usually have to do the splits and have high kicks. They usually don’t expect that you can do the splits (or even get close) at the beginning of the year, but they do expect that you can get them by the end of the year. The key word is potential. Show them  your improvement–when you stretch and warm up, actually stretch. You will notice that you are getting flexible day after day.

Good attitude
Yes, this really matters, and it’s a pretty big decision factor, too. If you have a bad reputation, you’d better change it. No one wants someone lazy or uncoopoerative on their team, even if that person is naturally talented and sharp.

Most people have no dance experience before joining drill. That’s fine. You need to show them by the end that you have improved and learned. If you don’t show them that you’ve gone from a non-dancer to a dancer, you haven’t made an impression.

Knowledge of Try-out Routine
Typically, there is a short routine that you must perform to try-out. You better know it! Even if nothing is perfect, but you know the entire routine, you’ve shown your dedication in memorizing the routine. That part, I think, takes a lot of work. Angles and perfect marches aren’t that big of a decision factor at this stage.

Dedication and Helpfulness
If you already know the routine and have perfected it yourself, go help someone out.  Don’t be an expert, because you’ve not reached that stage yet. On the other hand, if you don’t know the routine, practice on your own. If you’ve got that part down, then practice with someone. Make sure you try it on your own before you seek help. No one wants to help someone who doesn’t even try.

Your smile matters. Keep it beautiful and bright! 🙂

Please don’t miss the try-out practices. If you absolutely must, don’t be scared to notify the coach. Do it right at the moment that you find out you can’t do it. Do not wait.

The little things (having your hair up, no jewelery on, proper shoes, etc.) that you do wrong can add up. Don’t be late to practices. Think before you make a comment.

I hope this list helps ease your nerves a little. Remember, you can make drill if you practice. The most important part (I think) is to first practice on your own. This way, if you’re confused on some part or forgot a move, you know exactly where it is and can find someone to help you. Don’t be taught the routine then immediately go to someone for help. You are capable of memorizing the routine on your own–you just need the confidence and work ethic to do it. When you are taught a portion of the routine one day, you should be able to do it to the tempo of the music the next day. Drill requires self-motivation, practice, and dedication. Seek help for the next level–angles, sharpness, etc.

Good luck at tryouts.


  1. alisha


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