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Teaching & Cleaning – Drill Design Pt. 7

Scott Kurtzweil

Teaching & Cleaning

Scott Kurtzweil

The complete drill package for Sterling Heights High School is now complete and it is time to begin working with the students to get the designs on paper transferred to the field.

Arcs / Curvilinear: When cleaning arcs or curvilinear sets, it is important to remember from high school geometry that arcs are parts of circles (or in some instances within curvilinear forms, parts of ovals or ellipses). To clean an arc or curve
  • Give your performers a better understanding of the form by turning them into the focus (or center point of the curve) See Figure 1..
  • Point out that each performer is the furthest point out from the center and no-one should be “inside” the form.
  • Performers should dress the form through their heels because it is easier for them to see this line.
Figure 1
Once the curve is set, turn your performers again to facing the front sideline. In this position:
  • Performers should take note of the vertical spacing (how close are they front to back in relation to the performer in front of them in the form).
  • Performers should also take note of their shoulders. Specifically, the relations ship of their shoulder that is inside the form with regard to the outside shoulder of the performer in front of them.
Solid Forms: With regard to solid forms, points of dress become even more important.
  • Performers should be aware of from which direction the vertical lines are forming and establish that as their primary dress point.
  • Different visual staffs will recommend different approaches with regard to first, second and third dress responsibilities when it comes to solid forms. I prefer to have my performers dress first the lines that are most easily seen from the stands.
  • First line of dress should always be straight forward. These are vertical lines are the most easy to spot from the press box.
  • For short performance venues, I use the diagonal lines as secondary responsibilities and the lateral lines third because the lateral lines are not as easily seen from a lower vantage point. The exact opposite is true for higher performance venues.
Follow the Leader: Follow The Leader drill is one of the easiest to teach due to the obvious routing and little demand placed on the individual performer. FTL drill does however present its own challenges when it comes time to teach and clean.
  •         Though they are in a simple FTL, the performer should be aware of their path shape (arc or linear). As a rule, students tend to gravitate toward the inside of an arc path. Lining the sternum of the following student to the outside shoulder of the leader will assist in keeping the forms open.
  •        Follow the Leader drill in arc paths is rarely a direct path set for the leader. Because of this, it is important to assign a reference point on the field for the leader to go around. For the purposes of teaching, I usually use a cone for this task and remove it once the leader can better read the field.
o       The below example of these reference points comes from Cuba where the pods add into the FTL. In the second photo, the reference points are place on the chart in red.
Scatter or Diffused Drill: Though the Bond show does not have any scatter designed into it, I thought it important to say a few words about it. Believe it or not, one of the hardest sets to clean is a diffused or scattered set. Because the human eye attempts to make order out of chaos, it is important to make the field positions look as random as possible. Changing the performer’s levels and adding poses to this opening set can enhance this lack of focus.