Archive for the ‘Scheduling/Planning’ Category

I know I write about consistent schedules a lot, and I can’t stress how important it is!

Lots of dancers never have time for anything, and this is a somewhat true statement. Mostly the problem with scheduling is in high school, where it can sometimes be hard to find places to practice all the time (though this is only an excuse to not have practice–read Finding Places to Practice). With a consistent schedule, this won’t be the case. The reason that dancers don’t have the time for anything is because of inconsistency in their schedules. Dancers have problems finding jobs when they don’t know when they’re busy with dance! You can’t tell your manager that you are sometimes busy Mondays-Saturdays. Dancers also have hard times joining organizations as there is never a clear indication of when exactly they are busy. If you have an inconsistent schedule, you can never know if you’ll be able to make the club meetings after school on Monday. Why not keep your schedules consistent? Jobs and school are mostly consistent, right? Imagine your school starting at different times everyday, and your job also starting at different times everyday. It just doesn’t work out that way. When a dance schedule is inconsistent, there is almost no time for other activities besides school. I strongly encourage your team to keep a consistent schedule! It makes life so much easier.

If you do change to a consistent schedule (which I hope you do!), tell me about it! Leave a comment! Trust me, it will change your life, and you and your team will be much less stressed.

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Before I get into this post, I’m going to add a short note. I’ve noticed lately that my posts are much more general now and not strictly drill-only. I think I’m going to continue with this, providing more general tips on things like flexibility, endurance, etc.

So . . . how do you know what music is right? Many performances involve a theme, and if the music fits that theme, then you select it. Sounds logical. But what if there are thousands and thousands of song fitting one theme? What if there’s no theme at all?

First of all, you want to find music that’s danceable, if that’s even a word. You know what I mean. The tempo shouldn’t be too fast or too slow for the type of dance you’re performing. You wouldn’t perform hip hop to classical music nor ballet to R&B. Stick to the right “theme” for the dance and keep a good tempo. Make sure that the music expresses the true art of your dancing. For lyrical, find music in which you can express strong emotions and also show your grace; for drill, find music in which you can keep your moves precise and sharp.

Secondly, find music that everyone likes. Someone that hates the music won’t like performing to it, and that’s gonna show in the performance. Take a vote!

Thirdly, choose the music that best fits what emotion or theme you’re trying to convey. I’ve played piano for over a decade now, and there are the songs that truly move me and then the ones that end up on the floor somewhere. You want the music to move you. It’s usually easier to express sadness than happiness for some reason, but always try to incorporate various emotions. Go into complex emotions. Show the differences in all these emotions: sadness, fear, anger, happiness, excitement, etc.

Also choose music that communicates and moves the audience. Repetitive music is boring and the audience is unengaged. Make everyone feel moved after watching your performance.

Lastly, choose a variety of styles. Of course, some dances are limited in the types of music that they can use, for instance, a lyrical dance usually won’t be performed to rap music. There are still so many types of music that you can use for each dance. I know one problem with drill is that many teams like to use 100% techno music. Sure, techno is great for drill especially because it promotes sharpness and you can hear exactly where the beats are. Go for other types of music. Engage your audience by varying the style every once in awhile.

I know that lots of dance teams are just starting up (if they haven’t already) in September. I wish you good luck and a jolly dance season!

You’re having some trouble finding places to practice. The gym is always booked because other sports need it. Especially if you keep a consistent schedule, it’s hard to have a place booked everytime you practice (ex: if you practice Mondays to Thursdays, it’s hard to always have a place to practice).

Do you always think that you need a facility to practice in?

That’s an error in thinking. You don’t always need a place–not a facility at least. If you’re always scheduling practice according to when something is available, you’re wasting time. You’re also making members frustrated because you’re probably keeping an inconsistent schedule.

Captains and coaches are so focused on “we need the gym” that they fail to see what they need to work on. Mainly the gym is helpful for formations/entrance/exit. There’s lots more to the drill curriculum than that! You don’t need a gym to work on your posture, angles, flexibility, or sharpness. So stop trying to hard to book the gym! You don’t need it all the time. For the times that it is available, take advantage of it, but don’t spend your time trying to get every practice at the gym.

You can practice your posture, angles, and sharpness basically anywhere. If you think there’s nowhere to practice, just walk outside. If it’s raining, you can practice in the hall or commons. You just need to plan practices correctly. Book the gym whenever available, and that will be for working on formations, entering, and exiting the gym. Whenever not available, plan other things. Work on your marching and technique. Don’t be so focused on just one area, either. You might impress the judge with your angles but make them wince at your formations. Just work on the areas that need work and do a good job planning.

Remember, you don’t need a facility all the time. Just plan accordingly!

Lots of drill teams don’t keep consistent schedules. It’s usually a completely random schedule, based on what facilities are available. For instance, if there are no areas for practice (pretty impossible–you’ll see what I mean in Finding Places to Practice) then there will be no practice, or practice will be held at a different time (in the morning, for instance) or different day to accomodate. Of course there’s constant competition with other sports teams for school facilities such as the gym, but that’s not a valid excuse for not practicing.

By a consistent schedule, I basically mean a “class schedule”. Your first period class might be everyday, from 8-9am. This is how drill practices should be; for instance, Mondays to Thursdays, 2-4pm. No changes. Read How to Schedule Practices for more information about this method.

So here’s the six benefits of keeping a consistent schedule:

1. No surprises
No one’s going to come to school late and say, “but… I didn’t know that school started at 8am…”; likewise, no one will come to practice (or not come at all!) with this excuse. And no one is going to plan something at this time unless it’s the last resort. The main reason for missing practice is not knowing when practice is. So, if someone knows exactly what days/hours practice are, then she can plan accordingly and schedule appointments whenever there isn’t practice. So no surprises. No “I didn’t know” excuses.

2. Happier members
No one likes having an inconsistent schedule. It’s like having your manager at work give you crappy hours! No one likes that. It’s just frustrating and hard to work with. If people know exactly when drill practice will be held, they will know when they are busy and when they are not. If someone asks me if I’m busy on May 15th and it’s a month away and I have an inconsistent drill schedule, I won’t know. I’ll probably have to delay my answer on that question until the new schedule is released. And if this date is supposed to be for a project or other type of appointment, it’ll probably be too late by the time I know. If, on the other hand, I do have a consistent drill schedule, then I’ll just have to know what day of the week May 15th is, and I’ll be able to give an answer on the spot. People are naturally happier when they know when things are happening. What if school started a different time everyday? Wouldn’t that suck?! Same with drill. Keep it consistent!

3. Immediate notification of conflicts
If someone can’t attend practice on a certain day (with a good excuse, of course!), then she can tell you right away. For instance, if a member planned a doctor’s appointment on a Thursday three months away (because, well, her doctor is all booked and closed on Friday–or another acceptable excuse), she can notify you immediately. This way, you can decide whether it’s worth it to cancel practice to accomodate one member; in addition, you can have time to think about this and plenty of time to notify the team. I was often afraid to tell my captain or coach that I had to miss practice because I would end up scheduling a doctor’s appointment a month in advance, and a month later when the schedule came out, I’d realize that I’d be missing practice. I’d often be scolded with a “why did you schedule at such an inopportune time? Can’t you change the appointment? Didn’t you know that there would be practice that day?” Ugh. I didn’t really like being confronted in this way. As you’ve probably experienced, some events have to be planned a weeks or months in advance, and sometimes they just don’t work out. It’s really frustrating dealing with this kind of situation, and this is mainly why people are scared to confront their coach and they end up procrastinating on it . . . until the event is tomorrow (and then you get scolded real bad . . . oops).

4. Less stress on others
By others, I mean family, rides, friends, your manager, etc. Families have to deal with drill schedules, too. Family events must be planned accordingly–if there is no consistent drill schedule, it’s very hard to do this. The people that are responsible for bringing members back home also have to work around this. They can be busy people! Not a good idea to stress them out. Also, lots of drillers work (how else can you pay for that uniform?!). They might have managers that schedule their hours for them. If practice is inconsistent, it’s hard for the manager to do this and hard for the member also. She can’t tell her manager that she’s simply not available Mondays thru Thursdays from 2-4pm. If the drill schedule is inconsistent, she’s going to tell her manager something more like, “I might be busy on that Friday . . . I don’t know how long though or if I even have practice”. That doesn’t impress your manager. You’ll probably get fired soon for not having enough time for that job! It’s always a good idea to keep consistent so there’s room to do other things, like work.

5. More room for other activities
An inconsistent drill schedule is very inconvenient. It basically makes sure that you don’t miss school, and that’s it. It doesn’t care if you’ll miss an appointment, a piano lesson, a club meeting, or whatever else you do. Drill is time consuming, but it shouldn’t take up all your time. Usually drill doesn’t take up all your time, but with an inconsistent schedule, it blocks out all the room you have for other activities because of the random schedule. You can’t plan to join the club that’s everyday after school on Friday because you’re not sure if there’s practice and you can probably only attend half of the meetings. If you know exactly when there is practice, then you can add more room for other extracurricular activities. If, for instance, practices are Monday thru Thursday, you can know that Friday is okay for joining a club, scheduling lessons, volunteering, etc.

6. Happier coach/captains
You get to be happier, also! There will be less stress on people missing practice and not showing up because the schedule is not working for them.

I’m sure that once you’ve tried the consistent schedule method, you won’t go back. It’s so much more convenient for everyone, including you. There is a clear sense of when you’re busy and when you’re not. No more, “hmm . . . is there practice? The schedule isn’t out yet, so I don’t know . . . “. It’s a good feeling.
Comment and tell me how the consistent schedule is working for you!

In the morning? The evening? Afternoon? What’s the best time for practices?

This depends completely on your team. Of course you don’t want to wear out your team and make everyone wake up at 5am for practice; then again, you don’t want them staying till 5 after school everyday or until 9 at night. So take a vote and see what works. When do people want to practice? Not only is this a good way to make everyone happy, but also, if people are telling you when they want to be at practice, then they’re more likely to be happy when they’re at practice. It’s a win-win situation here.

Keeping your members active in decisions is important. If you make decisions for other people without them knowing, they wouldn’t be too happy. Make team decisions. If something doesn’t work out, then work around it. Find out what your team wants!

Check out how to schedule practice for more tips.

When you create the routine, you need to make sure that it’s challenging, interesting, appealing to the audience, etc. That’s the obvious. You also have to make sure that it is capable of being 98% perfect.

A difficult routine is great, but a difficult routine performed poorly is just as bad as a boring routine. Challenge yourselfs with a difficult routine and make it as perfect as possible. Of course there is no such thing as 100% perfection, but if you want to succeed in competitions, you’re going to need at least 90% perfection. If this is just not happening for your team, maybe it’s because the routine is too difficult! Maybe the counts are too fast, the moves are too far apart to transition to, the music is too fast, etc. Simplify it and make the work easier on the team. If you’ve read my other articles on choreography, you should know that you yourself must be capable of performing the routine with the music first. Sometimes people will create moves that they themselves can’t even do! Practice first. Teachers don’t teach things that they don’t know; likewise, you shouldn’t be teaching a routine that you have not practiced and perfected. Make sure 90% perfection is possible.

As for the routine itself, one way to make it fun, new, and interesting is to add your team member’s creativity to it. They can contribute to the choreography and make your life as a captain easier! In the end, make sure anyone who creates a section of the choreography gets credit for it in some way! After all, if you don’t credit this person, you’ve basically took credit for her work. You’ve learned this lesson at school already. Don’t plagiarize.

The main reason choreography is so hard to perfect is because it is created without consideration to the pace of the music and the plausibility of the moves. Of course it’s okay to first start off slow and speed the counts up to the music, but the instructor’s responsibility is to perfect the choreography before she teaches it. If you can’t do it, no one else can. Make sure you can do it, and make sure there are no extremely difficult, based-on-chance moves. These could be cartwheels or other risky moves. It usually leads to sloppiness anyway. Don’t add something to the routine unless you’re sure that everyone is capable of perfecting it (including yourself!).

Though I say to not add something that can’t be perfected, I don’t mean to make the routine boring and easy. Challenges are good, but extremely risky challenges like head-spinning just won’t work, unless everyone can do it. Make your routine as creative as possible, with unique transitions and a bit of everyone’s creativity in it.

Happy choreographing )

Trying to get everyone to practice is tough! Drillers have their own lives outside of school and sometimes can’t work around the schedule. Don’t you wish you could freeze time? )

So in the case that you can’t freeze time, what can you do to get everyone to practice? Working with missing members is difficult, so here are some ways to work around this.

Remember, if you are a captain, your responsibility is to accomodate team members and work with them. You’re not better than them. You’re just leading them, and in order for this to happen, they must be able to attend!

Vote on practices. Ask your team members what the best days for practice are. Usually Sundays are already eliminated because many people have religious affiliations. But some people are busy every Wednesday with other important things. You can’t stop them; these people have their own lives and drill should not interfere! Voting will eliminate skipping practices for periodic events, like meetings, Church, whatever people do. This allows team members to speak up for when they cannot be here. Remember: work with your team members. Instead of scolding them when they aren’t here, create a schedule that will allow them to be here. It’s simple as that.

Keep practices consistent. Don’t make the schedule random. After you’ve voted and found out which days are okay for practice, find out which days you will practice. This should be a periodic schedule, like Every Monday to Thursday from 2:30 to 4:30 PM. Something like that. This way there are no random practices on days that people are busy. In additional, members will have a chance to join clubs and be involved in the school in other ways; in this example, Fridays are always free, so members can join clubs that are on Fridays.

No surprise practices. This goes with keeping practices consistent. Don’t expect everyone to be at practice if you alert them the day before! Preferably, practices should be scheduled one month in advance. Two weeks is good enough, but it’s the bare minimum. The earlier they know about practices, the more time they have to alert you about times that they cannot be here; consequently, you will have more time to reschedule or cancel and keep everyone at practice.

If an extra practice is necessary, VOTE! Again, it’s not a team member’s fault if she can’t be there. This way you know who can make it.

NEVER schedule before asking/voting. This is probably the biggest planning mistake there is, but people do it all the time! Just ask yourself why you would schedule something when you know someone can’t make it? Without everyone, practice is almost a waste because one person is behind.

Be nice about it. If someone can’t make it, ask why (nicely!). If this is a plausible excuse, then it’s ok. Reschedule practice if there is time. Things like funerals or sickness come up unexpectedly. You can’t expect a member to alert you two weeks in advance about this. Also, some appointments can only be made during practice time. Clinics usually close early and are closed on Fridays. Just ask the member to explain and use your own reasoning to see if this is okay. Smile. If you’re angry about it, the then she will be also. This creates a negative team.
Make sure you show everyone the schedule. They can’t be here if they don’t know!

There is always someone that likes to be sick or have a headache every other day. In this case, you should talk with her. See if this is a plausible excuse or if she is simply trying to miss practice. Don’t be afraid to kick her off the team; besides, the reason she’s always “sick” is probably because she hates practice. These people pull your team behind.

Remember that bad scheduling leads to missing members and unproductive practices. Scolding your members for being absent leads to a negative team mood. So work with your team members to form a schedule!

My article about planning actual practice time might also be helpful.

Think every practice is for practicing formations? Wrong! If you get your formations right, then so what? Isn’t there this judging category called execution? Showmanship? Oh yeah…

When you’re planning practice, you have to leave room to practice everything–not just the formations part. And make sure you plan practices. Not five minutes before it starts, either. Plan ahead.

Planning is essential. At school, teachers have curriculums, and if you’ve noticed, the teachers that plan their year finish teaching whole curriculum and those not-so-great teachers will get to chapter two of your textbook. You want to finish the curriculum. This is the drill curriculum:

Formations:

These have to look as near to perfect as possible for maximum effect. Moves usually are influenced by formations; for instance, a kick formation likely has a line in it so people kick together. What if that line is more like a zigzag? Yuck… needs work.

Execution:

I would say this is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you’re tired. Those angles need to stay perfect, your toes have to stay pointed, and you have to trick your mind and make yourself not tired. But it’s not over yet. You have to keep going. Of course you can make a perfect T, but when you’re tired, that T looks more like a low V. Not good. Endurance is a part of execution also.

Showmanship:

You’re tired and you have to smile? That sucks. But it’s part of the art. Keeping that smile bright shows how happy you are and how much you love to dance. It shows the judges how dedicated you are, how much you love being on this team, and how badly you want to win. This is one way that you’re going to convince them that this team is best. Smile. It’s easy, isn’t it?

Entrance/Exit

So, in most states, you don’t get judged on this part of the routine. This means nothing. You get secretly judged and you should know this. These are the first and last impressions that you leave and they must be effective and energetic. Entering sloppily is an automatic impression that your team doesn’t want to win. Same with walking out sloppily. It shows how tired you are and incapable. Definitely not a good thing.

Posture:

Bad posture will make your judges wince. It’s hard to keep that back flat, but it’s only going to be for a few minutes. You need to have good posture to do well in competitions. It’s just part of the drill art.

This is currently the curriculum, which I may be adding to later.

Captains and coaches, this is your job. You’re teaching this team, and you want every student to complete the curriculum of your class. One of the hardest things about drill is the concept of teamwork–every individual member has to ace every part of this curriculum. These are all tests that they must pass. If one person doesn’t, the whole team suffers.

So, in order to successfully complete this curriculum, you need to be planning practices two weeks at a time. So for instance, on Monday from 2:30pm until 3:30 you will work on angles; then, you will have a short break and from 3:35 to 4 you will work on formations. Make these agendas specific, and stick with them. There is no use to making a schedule it you don’t use it. Make sure you plan practices and get things done. Incorporate every part of the drill curriculum to ensure that your performance goes well. Spend more time on areas that need improvement and less time on the areas that you’ve pretty much got down. Let team members know the agenda. They have a right to know everything. Leaders, don’t treat them like your minions. Just because you have a position means nothing about the level of your skills compared to theirs. I hated being treated like a “newbie”. Remember to not name your team members either. “First-year”, “new members”, “newbies”–these are all discouraging. It’s like a first-year member is automatically worse than a second-year one. Experience is important, but practice is more important. There are many “first-year” (I’m not a big fan of this term) members that are better than “third-years”. It’s all about how much each member practices.

Now it’s time to plan! Don’t wait. Do it now!

Comment and tell me how this works for you.

Remember to smile bright! )

Moved!

Drill.wordpress.com has moved to www.drillobsession.com

New articles will be added there. All the old articles from this site are there as well. Enjoy! )

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A whole lot of time is spent at practice being unproductive because some people still don’t know the routine. And as a captain or even a team member, you start thinking, “why do they not know the routine? It’s been a month since they’ve learned it!” It’s a very good question, but there isn’t really an answer to it, other than the fact that they’re lazy, effortless, and don’t place drill on their priority list. But you can’t just kick them off the team–they’re important. You’re going to have to deal with it some way or another.

The main problem about someone not knowing the routine is that it brings the team down. You can’t really work on angles, formations, etc. so you’re forced to instead go over the routine (and waste time) or find another activity to do (conditioning, marching, etc.) that won’t really help your performance which is coming up in two weeks…

It’s extremely frustrating when practice after practice, these same people continue to not practice and not know the routine. You start wondering why on earth they were selected at the time of try-outs.

When I was on drill, the captains/coach always enforced the fact that we’re a “team” and have to do “teamwork” in order to be successful. Well, it’s true, but only to an extent. Of course you have to rely on each other have good angles, be sharp, perform well, etc., but another thing that annoyed me was the concept that if one person didn’t march the right way, the whole team would have to march again and again until everyone had it right. There was always the one person that didn’t point her toes, or the one person that decided to not keep her posture back, and even though I was doing it fine, I had to repeat it over and over again just because of the girl who didn’t point her toes, the girl that didn’t want to be sharp, etc. It really angered me and I am pretty sure that it angered every other person on the team. It just brought everyone’s mood down and I stopped caring completely after doing it the 5th time in a row. I mean, is this concept of “teamwork” really applicable? No. It’s important to work together in a team, but you shouldn’t punish everyone for one person’s errors. It’s just not right.

So, just because some people don’t know the routine, does that mean everyone should go to practice and waste their time going over the routine, for the millionth time in a row? No. Here’s my method of teaching a routine:

1. After choreographing, create packets for everyone (make sure you triple-check for errors)
These packets were very useful for me when I was learning the routine. They would have the count # and the moves next to it, indicating where marching started and stopped. Here’s an example of what I mean:
1 High v, in fists
2 Swirl arms down to low v (start high-knee marching)
3 W angle in fists
& T, in fists
4 Broken T, in blades (stop marching)

OK, so that wasn’t exactly a realistic routine, but I hope you get the idea. It’s really easy to forget the routine after it is taught, especially when a lot is taught in a day. Sometimes people will leave out entire 8-counts and it just leads to confusion. These packets are good references and you will never have a team member telling you “but…I forgot about that part”, “you didn’t answer your phone when I called for help”, etc. Just make sure they don’t lose their packet.

2. Set a time period for teaching the routine to the team
Some teams like to practice daily for an hour or two a day; others might like to practice for 3 hours a day two days a week. It all depends on how your team does it. For a normal, approximately 3 minute routine, I would say set a week to teach the routine. You don’t want to teach an overwhelming amount in one day, nor do you want to take a whole month to teach it. Make sure you give everyone a 5 minute break between a set of four 8-counts for them to think about what they’ve learned and catch up on it. If you’re talking the whole time, no one will have time to think about the previosu 8-count or the one before it, so make sure you close your mouth for a few minutes and just let them think about it and practice on their own for a bit. One time when I was being taught, the captain just kept going on and on to new sets of 8-counts. I just gave up midway through practice and decided I’d go home and learn it. I just didn’t care anymore. You don’t want anyone to just give up, so “thinking-breaks” would be helpful.

3. Leave a 1-week time space for team members to practice
Don’t schedule practices for one week. Take the stress off and enforce everyone to practice and take advantage of the time off.

4. Schedule one week for individual practices to evaluate team members
Create a sign-up sheet for evaluation sessions. Have five of these (one hour each) in one week. Divide your team up evenly (ex: 30 members on a team, divide this by five days so that you will evaluate six members per practice). Allow members to sign up whenever they wish, as long as it’s in the timeframe. During this practice, your job as a captain is to evaluate every team member on how well they know the routine. This has nothing to do with perfecting it. Knowledge is the first part–you can perfect the routine later. If the person knows the routine, she passes, and if not, she will fail. Don’t be too harsh, it’s a know-it or don’t thing; you don’t want everyone stressed out over this. Create a punishment for failing, like going to practices during the weekend or going to “fail” practices. This will be your time to punish those that didn’t know the routine, because it was their fault and they deserve to be punished rather than the team as a whole. Use this time to help them learn the routine so that you can start practices with the entire team to work on the next step–perfection.

And there you have it! One week to teach the routine, one week to rest, one week to evaluate. A three-week process. This might seem long, but if you think about it, it’s really not. Most captains make the mistake of teaching a routine in 1-2 weeks and going immediately into the perfection process. Though many team members are dedicated and spend time practicing, there are the ones who don’t. Running straight into the process of perfection is therefore only a waste of time, because the people that don’t know the routine can’t perfect what they’ve not yet learned. When you perform, the judges watch every single person on your team and you cannot risk having one person off. If one person doesn’t know the routine, she’ll never have time to perfect it and her bad angles/posture/etc. will catch a judge’s eye.

Sometimes even months after the routine is taught, people still don’t know the routine. I remember times when people hadn’t learned a routine until four months after being taught. So if you think about it, a three-week process with every single member knowing the routine is a pretty good deal. As a whole you will be able to move on and not have to practice formations with the girl in the back who doesn’t know the routine and is always in your way because she doesn’t know where to move. You have go step by step, and the first step is knowledge. Not just in most of the members, but every member. You need to surpass this step in order to move on.

Have fun teaching!

Choreographers (usually the captains) always make the same mistake when it comes to choreography. They follow these steps: 1. Make up moves; 2. Find music that matches these moves, 3. Find someone to mix the music. The first flaw in this is that it is hard to find music that matches the choreography that you have made. All music is different, and you might be searching for a long time before you find the right music. The second flaw is that sometimes the choreographers make up counts that are almost impossible to do. They might make up many &-counts and after teaching the team, realized that the music is way too fast. Choreographers think that just because the choreography is already made up, they don’t have to practice it with music and can go straight to teaching. After realizing that the moves just won’t work with the music, choreographers will make changes to accommodate. This just leads to frustration and confusion in the team members.

The right way to choreograph is to follow these steps:
1. Find music
2. Get the music mixed
3. Start choreographing (including formations)
4. PRACTICE the choreography to the music
5. Check to see if it “works out”

Choreographers sometimes skip steps 4 and 5, and will end up making changes to the routine due to this. You need to practice the choreography to the music to see if it is too fast/slow. Sometimes moves without music may be great, but once the music is on, they’re not so hot. That’s why you have to practice with the music–to experiment with the tempo and see how the overall feel of the moves & music is. Step number five is a little confusing. If you choreograph, you need to reasonably see if it is possible to move from one formation to another in the number of counts given. Sometimes you might think that an 8-count of marching is enough, but you soon realize that you actually need four 8-counts. That’s a huge difference and will force you to edit the routine. Make sure you logically see how the formations will fit togther and where each individual will march. You need to know if it’s possible to march from one place to another in the number of counts given. If you’re not able to estimate, you should experiment using team members. Ask them to get in one formation and march to the next, and see how many counts they need. There will be no mistakes this way. Mainly, as a choreographer, you want to make sure you yourself can perform the routine to the music by practicing and making sure it’s not too fast or slow, and also provide enough time to move to formations.

Changing choreography is really frustrating to everyone and wastes time. If you make your routine perfect the first time, you won’t have to waste time changing it and you can spend more time working on other things.