Movement Training Series #4: Travel

| February 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

Darlings!!! Yes, it is I.  A day late and a dollar short, as ever.  Le Sigh.  [Okay, fine. Three weeks late.]  Thank the good Lord that the other columnists here at the venerable CGE are so prepared!  Whew.

Anyway.  Here we are in the throes of the 2012 season, spinning out little hearts out, yes?

{and happy belated Valentine’s to you all, also!}  –

Like what I did there?  Hearts…? Valentine’s Day…?



Alrighty then.  I shall cease attempting wit and get to the matter at hand.  We are back to the ever popular scintillating never ending topic of the Movement Block…  Missed any of the fabulous updates?  Click on the handy dandy “movement” tab down there to your right and you will immediately be directed to the magic which is The Movement Chick.  Or, at least the articles she writes, magic or no {wink}

Today, I shall broach the topic of


And, I shall digress a moment [I know! Contain your shock] In my traipsing all over this fine country of ours [and with some always exciting flight deviations…Iowa, anyone?] to take a look at the movement book of colorguards hither and yon, I am finding a WHOLE lot of things to say about travel.  More than some other years, to be truthful.

Why?  Well, Mercury is in retrograde, of course.  Sillyheads.

[of COURSE I made that up, I have NO idea why this is happening, 

but the travel technique fairy needs to fly by for a visit]

Here’s the thing:  I am finding, especially on the Regional A and the A sheet, teams who move quite well, show me their level of training and understanding of dance technique, and can be quite impressive….

Wait for it

DURING an actively choreographed phrase or combination.

And then, it happens. They depart from said choreography, and boys and girls, I am sorry to say, the wonderment…well, it does not last.

[I SWEAR this will lead to the movement block, cross my toes and hope to twirl]

Your method of travel is a part of your movement book.  It factors into our evaluation of your program, it contributes to your vocabulary and excellence scores, and it helps to identify your teams style as well.

And, thus…the “Across the Floor” portion of your movement block becomes CRUCIAL.

Across the Floors [henceforth ACF’s, for the sake of brevity] are a standard in what we do, yes?  They develop training, they aide in technique for small groups, they develop a bit of cardio strength as well.  Good times.

What you do in ACF is your call.  But, I beg ask you this.  Please, please, practice whatever means it is to move from Point A to Point B in your show. Let’s take jazz runs, for example. [Shout out for the basic building block of movement!  Do we love them? Yes, of course we do.]

Here we go:

Take a good, long look at how your students initiate the motion.

Are they:

  • Turned out?
  • In a demi plie?
  • Using the “brush” effectively?
  • Stretching through the knee with the initial working leg?
  • Maintaining the integrity of the upper body? {no bouncing!}
  • Allowing for a smooth follow through with the second leg?
  • Landing the feet: Toe, Ball, Arch, Heel? [Never, ever land on your heel….*convulsive twitching*]
  • Using the “and” count?


I kid you not, I can work jazz run technique for HOURS at a class.

{Of course the students love it… Whatever do you mean?}

And, honestly, after those hours have passed, there is still work to be done.


A few other thoughts on ACF for today ~

[trust me, I’ll be back to beat this topic into. the. ground. for my next few articles]

Use your show music.  Yes, I know.  Yes, I’m sorry.  Yes, it will be worthwhile.

Stagger how the students traverse the gym.  Try them in pairs, in triplets, solo, and in full length files –   they need to be comfortable in a range of space, both restricted and free, much as they are in the show itself.

After beating the soundtrack to death using your soundtrack for a portion of the ACF, use other music as well.  Different tempo, different style will all prohibit muscle stagnation from taking place.

Watch from different angles.  Get on the floor and watch feet.  Get in front of them and watch them come directly towards you. Watch from the side, for the perpendicular.  Put equipment in their hands; give them a port de bras series.  Work that travel step every which way but loose way you possibly can think of, and then…

Do it again.











Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Adjudication, Choreography, Design, Drill & Staging, Instruction, Movement, Performance, Professional Development, Professional Development, Regular Blog Features, Rehearsal Planning & Management, Teaching/Cleaning Routines, The Movement Chick

About the Author (Author Profile)

Cheryl Myers (aka “The (self-proclaimed) Movement Chick”) is a movement instructor, adjudicator and would-be rockette, living in the Fingerlakes area of New York State. Primary affiliations include the New York Federation of Contest Judges, and the Atlantic Indoor Association. She has most recently worked with Trumansburg High School, and is continually blessed by the opportunity to consult and adjudicate for circuits around the country. In addition to her pageantry career, Ms. Myers works in the accounting and insurance fields, and yes, is great fun at parties, thankyouverymuch. Her primary job, and that which she is most proud of, is raising her two beautiful children, a future dancer and drummer.

Leave a Reply