the slide

07Sep08

When it comes to marching fundamentals, I get picky. I used to refer to myself as the “Posture Nazi,” always so critical of a person’s posture on the field that I would actually get angry, and a little fundamentalist, pardon the pun. I learned that, when you stand at attention, you should raise off your heels a quarter-inch from the ground. This gives you the look of slightly leaning forward, that much more height, and a look of intimidation. It was old guard in a newer style, if such a thing exists.

Since I left high school, I’ve never heard of raising yourself like that, but I’ve used it on occasion myself, just…well, because. See, I’m picky. Anyway, when it comes to marching fundamentals, I find myself staring at people who can’t do slides and shaking my head. In my second year of teaching, I’m getting better at explaining it, but most people explain it as a turn from the shoulders, when I see it as a turn from the waist. Frank Troyka put it in terms of upper body and lower body, which makes sense to me. We always talk about that, unless its with slides, which is not a consistent thought process. The body should always be divided into the same sections and same motions for every exercise, direction, step, and maneuver. Decreasing the amount of needed vocabulary makes learning the basics easier.

Here is a video I found from Dynamic Marching showing some very nice slides at a basic level. The upper body is rigid while the lower body is fluid, allowing for the swift changing of a direction over only one beat.

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