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Dance/Drill Team Basics The ABCs of Coaching


About This Class

"I am a new director. I have a team. What do I do now? This is a question often asked in dTe forums. Never before has such an informative class been designed to support the new director. Those new to the profession will gain the skills and resources necessary to build a more organized and efficient dance/drill team program. From marketing and auditioning, to team building and fundraising, the Basic Dance/Drill curriculum offers indepth solutions to the most challenging questions. Also includes essential organizational tools like calendars, forms, constitutions, and more. Boost your confidence as a director by knowing how to prepare for the first day of summer camp through the last day of contest season. Welcome to Dance/Drill Basics. I am looking forward to assisting each student in reaching their maximum potential.


About The Instructor

Marie Grace Dimaano has 15 years studio training in ballet, jazz, and lyrical. Marie is currently a guest dancer with the Roustabouts Dance Co. at various venues in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the summer of 2002. She is currently an indepedent judge and choreographer for dance and drill teams and has choreographed several award winning routines. She is the former Director for the State Ranked Carrollton Christian Academy Drill Team. The Angels of Carrollton Christian Academy placed first and second in all categories entered. They received awards for showmanship, choreography, and the perfect sweepstakes award. The Angels Officers received sweepstakes awards for their performances at camp and competition, as well as the Gussie Nell Davis Award of Excellence. Marie was the Director of Choreography for an original musical comedy based in Austin, TX. She was a member of the 1998 Texas Aggie Dance Team. She was an officer and member of the Newman Smith Troyann Drill Team. Marie has won many awards for solo and group performances at nationwide drill team competitions and nationwide dance conventions.

Marie is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Math and a Minor in Dance from the University of North Texas.



Required Materials - Choose a book, video, or publication from the list below and you will be given the sepcifics of an assignment on the selection once class starts. Order the book on the same order form when you register for class. Be sure to order in plenty of time so that you receive it by the time class starts.


  • Kick The Hat Test by Leslie Goettsch - "Hat Test" means ablility to kick one's hat with apparent ease, proper form and grace. Authored by the owner and creator of dTe One Stop Spirit Shop. A complete training program focusing on getting kicks higher, increasing flexibility, polishing technique, and building the stamina necessary to perform any lengthy, high energy, fast-tempo kick routine. Illustrations and instructions are provided to reinforce proper form. Learn the most common mistakes that judges deduct points for in tryouts and competition. The exercises and tips provided are not ones commonly learned in high school drill teams, and are based on knowledge amassed from Goettsch's twenty five years of advanced dance and drill team studies . 8 page 8 1/2" x 11" booklet

  • Successful Coaching : The Best Selling Coaching Book by Rainer Martens - Successful Coaching (Updated Second Edition) is a comprehensive introduction to the art and science of coaching. You'll find valuable information on developing a positive coaching philosophy, applying the principles of psychology and physiology to your coaching, teaching skills properly, and using management skills effectively. Used by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) and the National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Education Program (NFICEP) as a text for their Coaching Principles courses.
  • Do's and Don'ts by Cathy Roe - Excellence in teaching comes with the ability to recognize and define detail in movement. This tape trains you to focus on students' common movement errors with corrections that will nip bad habits in the bud. 60 minutes (VHS).



Course Type

This is not a certification course. Students will receive an electronic report card via email upon completion of the class in PDF format which students may print to hard copy version via their browsers. To view PDF formats, you may need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Objectives

  • To prepare students for success in their coaching adventure.
  • To help students develop solutions for their unique situations.
  • To challenge the creativity of students.
  • To expand student knowledge about the various aspects of coaching.
  • To provide students with enough information so they are able to evaluate and challenge the status quo.
  • To provide basic resources necessary for any inexperienced coach to feel confident with their new coaching responsibilities.


% of Grade
Chat Forum10%
Book/Video Review20%
Final Exam30%


below 60%=F

Make-Up Exams And Late Work

Full Students Only: It is important to turn in assignments on a timely basis, because this helps show how you'd meet deadlines on day to day real life scenarios. You will generally have a couple of days to turn in assignments. Work should be submitted by due dates unless prior arrangements are made with instructor. Assignments will be accepted up to one week late but will be penalized 10 points, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late without prior approval from the instructor or an excused absence as explained in the SpiritU Before you Begin section.

Input From Dance/Drill Team Basics Students

Overall quality of class: Excellent. I would consider taking another class.

[quoted from student's evaluation]

I am also enjoying this class a great deal. The assignments have challenged me to research my interests to a great extent, giving me more hands on insight about a lot of the details and specifics surrounding the environment today including their similarities and differences. The class lectures have been very thorough and exactly what I was looking for to further educate myself, and gain better direction towards pursuing my interests. ... this whole experience has been exactly what I was looking for but didn't think existed until now.


Course Syllabus

Week 1 I. Marketing
A. Independent, Parochial, and University
  • Mission Statement, Vision, and Philosophy
  • Competition
  • Political and Legal Considerations
  • Social and Cultural Forces
  • Demographics
  • SWOT: Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
  • The Product
  • Market and Product Development Strategies
  • The Mystery Shopper
  • Overall Price/Discounts for Services
  • Communications/Promotion Campaign
  • Advertising/Publicity
Week 2 II. Constitution/Organizational Resources
A. Rules and Regulations
  • General School Disciplinary Policy
  • District Dance/Drill Guidelines
  • Demerits
B. Eligibility Requirements
  • UIL Performance Guidelines
C. Calendar
  • Yearly Overview
  • Monthly Overview
  • Blank Calendar for Director
  • Logos for Calendar
Week 3 III. Audition Information
A. Parent Meeting
  • Develop Positive Communication
B. Audition Information Packet
  • Team Mission Statement
  • Constitution
  • Medical Release Forms
  • Travel Release Forms
  • Parent Signature Forms
  • Dance Supply List
  • Overview of Yearly Performances/Traditions
  • Logos for Cover Sheet
C. Scoresheets
  • Yes/No
  • Numerical
  • Variety of Categories
  • Natural Break
  • 70 or above
D. Teacher Evaluations
  • Input from Professional Educators
E. Audition Organization
  • Facilities
  • Certified Judges
  • Officer Assistance
  • Closed vs.Open Auditions
  • Administrator
  • Tabulator
  • Announcement of New Team
  • Follow-up interviews
  • Storage of Scoresheets
F. Audition Preparation Classes
  • Time Frame for Audition Class
  • Selection of Routine(s)
  • Special Skills
  • Showmanship/Technique
  • Entrance/Exit
  • Audition Apparel
  • Audition Make-up
  • Day of Audition Checklist
Week 4 IV. Dance Team Curriculum
A. Styles of Dance
  • Jazz, Military, Pom, Kick, Lyrical, Novelty, Funk, Production, and Thematic
B. Skill Level
  • Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
C. Age Appropriateness
  • Maturity Level of Music, Choreography, and Costumes
D. Choreographer
  • Utilization of Officers
  • Attendance at One-Day Clinics
  • Advantages of a Professional
  • Approximate Cost
  • Location of Credible Choreographers
E. Resources
  • Books
  • Videos
  • Publications
Week 5 V. Game Day Preparation
A. Football/Basketball
  • Pre-game Activities
  • Halftime Introduction Announcement
  • Announcer
  • Stand Etiquette
  • Fourth Quarter Contagions
  • Homecoming
  • Exchange of Team Gifts
  • Band Requests
  • Bus Requests
VI. Banquet
A. Hotel/Alternative Entertainment Center
  • Deposits
  • Theme/Decorations
  • Menu
B. Pictures
  • Photographer
C. Team Book/Video
  • Memorabilia
D. Speeches
  • Officers, Director, Noted Guest
E. Recognition
  • Parents
  • Booster Club Executive Board
  • Team
  • Officers
  • Administrator
  • Community Business Supporters
F. Gifts
  • Director to Students
  • Student to Student
Week 6 VII. Booster Club
  • Pros and Cons
  • Booster Club Constitution
  • Executive Board
  • Fund-raisers
VIII. Team Building
  • PMA: Positive Mental Attitude
  • Activities for Bonding
  • Sportsmanship

[Original class authored by Gina Sawyer and Leslie Goettsch, and portions edited by Marie Grace Dimaano. All SpiritU® classes are written exclusively for SpiritU®, and are the sole property of Leslie's Best, Inc.]


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