It's that time of year again - winter guard auditions! There is a lot of information to get across; skills to go over; and decisions to be made at winter guard auditions - but not a lot of time. For a beginner guard or a new director, this can be an overwhelming process. Here is a sample schedule that will help you get through the process with a little less stress. Adjust the times as needed to best fit your group, depending on time allotted and amount of weapon you intend to have in your show.
1:00-1:15 - Start your auditions with a short, informational meeting. Let your group know your process and philosophy. Give a brief history of your guard's accomplishments. Introduce staff members and if you have time, have potential members state their name, experience, and what school/group they are from.
1:15-1:30 - Begin with a nice stretch and dance basics, including across the floors. This should be a condensed version of your typical warm-up.
1:30-1:50 - Learn a short dance routine that will be part of your audition process. You really only need about 32-64 counts. It should be to music and include styles of dance you intend to put in your show.
1:50-1:55 - Water break / transition to equipment.
1:55-2:15 - Now go through a simple flag block to touch on many basics and a variety of tosses. Again, this can be a shortened version of your typical flag warm-up. Take special notes on which potential members are particularly strong on tosses.
2:15-2:35 - Teach a short flag routine to music that will be part of your audition process. Only about 64 counts is necessary but be sure to include a variety of skills in your routine.
2:35-2:40- Water break / transition to equipment. Performers that are interested in spinning weapons should come out with rifles and/or sabres. Others that are not interested should remain on flag and go with another staff member to review the routine and basics.
2:40-3:00 - Go through a short rifle warm up block, including tosses. Basics will be difficult for many beginning spinners so don't focus too long on basics. Sometimes they can perform a routine better than doing fifty drop spins. You'll have more time in your season to strengthen basic skills if your group doesn't already have a good grip on them. Learn a short rifle routine, about 32 counts. Don't focus on basics in this routine. Instead, make it more about how well a perform can move with or control their equipment. Definitely include at least on toss.
3:00-3:20 - Repeat the weapon process on sabre.
3:20-3:30- Give everyone an open time to review in groups or on their own. Be available to answer questions, but also use this time to take notes and speak with other staff members about their thoughts.
3:30-3:55 - Finally, go through your official audition process. Call out a small group at a time to perform the dance routine, flag routine, and weapons routines (if they participated). Take notes during each performance.
3:55-4:00 - Make your final remarks and thank everyone for coming. Answer questions that anyone might have and let them know you will make the final decision with the full staff and contact each attendee that week.
THANKS FOR READING! For more tips and fun stuff about the marching arts
OR if you are interested in custom Winter Guard show design, drill, and
choreography or Marching Band drill and Color Guard choreography, check
out my website at marchandspin.com.