Facing the facts, I have come
to realize that choreographing anything can be
really challenging! There are so many things
to think about when making up work: What does the
drill look like? Are my students going to hit band
members if I put this move in? Are my
students at a high enough level to do this
move? Is the music too fast or slow for this
move? How many counts is this move going to take?
Are we going to count the way it says to on the
drill or are we going to count differently?
This is just part of a Color
Guard Director's dilemma. Here are some categories
that may help you decide the level of your
group: (Note** these are not W.G.I.
Beginner: Most beginning students can do
basic moves, such as drop spins, windmills, figure
8 (witches brew), pop tosses (pops), and a few
tosses including a concert toss. (They may
be able to do more depending on what the director
teaches them). These students need to
have fundamentals written into their show.
For parts of the show, try putting in a couple
windmills, or a witches brew. This not only
makes them practice their basics, but it looks
clean and it is an easy enough move to teach to
Novice: Novice sounds really like
"Beginner" but there are
differences. These students will have a good
understanding of the basic moves and are capable
and willing to learn slightly harder moves.
These include but are not limited to: Inverted
windmills, horizontals (helicopter), and Yo-Yo
Tosses. These students are able to execute more
difficult moves and are able to teach younger or
inexperienced students these moves.
Intermediate: The Intermediate students have
been doing this for a couple of years.
Believe me, they don't come without kinks, but
they are able to teach, write and execute work for
the most part, on their own. These students
need little help learning work, and are great
helps when it comes to teaching inexperienced
Advanced: Advanced students are able to do
basics with very little effort and in fact, may
need newer more complicated moves in their basic
warm-up. These students have good
understanding of the placement of the flag in the
air and in their hands and are able to envision
how they look when the do work to the point where
they need very little cleaning.
Expert: These students are for all intents
and purposes the most experienced
students. They have the ability to
learn, write, teach, and execute work with minimal
errors and may even be able to write their own
show. It is important that these students
are challenged to an extent. If there is a
part of the show that you are having trouble with,
ask them to choreograph 32 counts. Or, if there is
a new student that is having trouble, assign them
to your experienced student to tutor whenever