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Officers Basics


About This Class

Everyone admires the chosen few who make officer for a team, but most people don't realize what being an officer requires.  There's the sometimes grueling ordeal of auditioning for officer and praying you'll make it.  Then you find out how long the list of duties is for your office, your social life outside of the team shrinks to nothing, and you're generally unsure that you're even capable of leading your team, much less feeling confident about being a leader.  It's true that being an officer is a very special situation with its own sets of challenges and situations, and it's not always clear exactly what to do.  But now you've got help, whether you're considering auditioning for officer or already an officer and don't know how to handle your new responsibilities.  The Officer's Class online course has been designed to be your source of information and advice for preparing for officer auditions and learning how to be the best leader possible.  Team members getting ready to audition for officer will learn exactly what to do to get ready for the big event.  Current officers will learn all about how to strengthen and develop leadership skills as well as how to apply those skills to team situations to become the best leaders possible for their teams.  There's even a section for coaches that will teach great ways to utilize their officers in many different activities and duties.  This course is also jam-packed with recommended reading lists for additional advice and techniques, online resources for everything from running a team to choreographing a tryout routine, and so much more!

About The Instructor

Melissa Darnell

founder and president of Darnell Dance Productions (a book publishing company for dance/drill teams), knows about writing advice for dance/drill teams.  She has written three books in The Ultimate Guide Series - The Ultimate Guide to Directing a Successful Dance Team, The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Own Dance/Drill Team Gear & Gifts, and The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Dance Team Officer, which this course is based upon.  Her writings come from her twelve years of education in jazz, tap, and ballet, as well as being a member of an award-winning competition dance team for two years, member of a pep squad for one year, and manager of an award-winning high school dance/drill team for one year.  She enjoys sharing knowledge with others in the hopes that every member's years of being on a dance/drill team will be the best years of her life, and believes that anyone with the heart, determination, and willingness to learn can start and lead a successful dance team.





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 Materials



Course Objectives


Assignments = 50%
Class Project = 25%
Final Exam = 25%


: 90-100% = A
: 80-89.9% = B
: 70-79.9% = C
: 60-69.9% = D
: 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.

Course Syllabus

Week 1


  • Learn exactly what it means to be an officer, from responsibilities to being a role model, time commitments, and more.
  • Find out what directors are looking for in potential officers.
  • Learn about possible requirements for auditioning for officer.
  • Prepare for officer auditions.

  • Current officers learn about the twenty-four essential qualities of leadership.
  • Decide which qualities you have and which ones you need to work on developing.
  • Learn how to strengthen the qualities you have and develop the ones you lack.
  • Officers learn how to apply newfound leadership qualities to possible and probable situations with both the team as a whole as well as individual team members.
  • Learn how to communicate better so that you can critique a member without hurting her feelings, causing resentment, or damaging her ego.
  • Find out subtle ways to deal with team members in order to keep the team running smoothly.
  • Officers learn how to reassess current relationships with their coaches, and learn how these relationships change now that the team member has become an officer.
  • Find ways to overcome personality differences to create working relationships with the coach.
  • For officers whose coaches are only there part-time or there is no coach at all, they'll learn how to essentially become assistant coaches or co-directors and lead the team without adult supervision.
  • Officers will learn the importance of marketing for their team, especially with little or no coaching from an adult, so that their team will continue to grow and succeed.
  • The class project, which stems from the marketing concepts discussed, will be assigned this week.
  • Coaches learn how to expand their officers' current duties to help the team run smoother.
  • Discover how officers are in unique positions to sometimes be able to help team members in areas that coaches aren't privy to.
  • Learn how to see your officers as sources for personal help, guidance, and inspiration to a coach.



  • Review previous lectures to prepare for final exam.
  • Final exam notes and hints to help prepare you.
  • Class project is due on Friday by noon.
  • Final exam is posted and due on Friday.

  • [Class authored by Melissa Darnell and Leslie Goettsch. All SpiritU® classes are written exclusively for SpiritU®, and are the sole property of Leslie's Best, Inc.]


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