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Technique & Tryout Tips


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Springtime means audition time for colorguards all over the country, and whether you're trying out for the first time or you're an audition pro, here are a few tips that will make you the perfect candidate!


All-Around Good Ideas



The Audition Clinic


Most auditions take place in the span of three or four days. Here are some tips and tricks that should make it as easy as possible to make the Clinic a breeze!


Basic Flag Moves


Here are the basic flag fundamentals that every color guard member knows (or should know). You always eat soup with a spoon, you put your jeans on one leg at a time. So it is with flag positions. Many guards across the nation have their own style, their own way of falling in at attention, but for the most part, there are fundamentals that we all share.


Right Shoulder
Your left hand is curled around the stopper, firmly in your belly button. All the fingers are together, not splayed apart. Your right hand is just above your head on the tab/tape/Velcro, and the fingers of this hand are the same way. Your flag is pretty close to your body, maybe three or so inches from your nose, which is at a 45-degree angle up along with your eyes.

Front Present
Keeping your left hand in your belly button, your right hand pushes straight out, locking your arm as you do so. Your right fist should be right in front of your face, but your head is still up at that 45-degree angle, which, by the way, is called your "presence."

Back Present Keeping your right hand at the tab just above your head, pop your left hand straight out from your body. Your left arm should be parallel with the ground; your left fingers still curled around the stopper.

Right Present
Your left hand stays in your belly button, and your right arm pops out to the right, making your biceps and forearm form almost half a square.

Left Present
Keep your left hand on the stopper and in your belly button. Your right hand crosses your face and body as far as it will go to the left. Press your shoulder down so your face is still visible! Make sure your presence is visible!

You'll know you are doing this correctly if your pole is right at your eye level. Pop out your left hand, and pull down with your left. Your biceps should be parallel with the ground, your forearms perpendicular with the flag cutting right across your eyes. Make sure your wrists are straight up and not pulling down, or "broken."

Right Slam
Pop out your left hand and pull all the way down with your right. Your left biceps should look just as they did with the horizontal. Your right elbow should be tucked into your waist, with your forearm parallel to the ground in front of you. Your right hand is still at the tab. Your left hand is facing front, holding the stopper. The pole should cut a diagonal line across your body.

Left Slam
Let go with your left hand as you bring your right hand at the tab down to meet one another at your left hip. Your left hand should form a "mitt" in which your right hand should fall. The end of the pole will get tucked up under your right arm, and the silk will be toward the ground.

Practice popping these presents! You'll know you're doing it right when your silk "pops" or "snaps" when you do it! Be sure to have presence, and watch your arms for proper placement! Get these basics down pat and you'll have a strong base on which to build!


Flag Technique Tips


Some thing the judges will be looking for when you audition is good technique. Here are some basic things to do or to correct before the big day.


Going out for Captain?


Above tips courtesy of Shanon Pollock, writer of DanceSpirit's InMotion colorguard articles, DanceCheer.NET's SpiritU instructor, and former Colorguard Director at Tuscaloosa County High School (Tuscaloosa, AL).

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