Continuity drill

Just watching some videos online and feeling inspired.

I’m aware that this is going to be incredibly difficult, but how might one introduce some continuity drill to the squadron?

Do we have any helpful, basic, training materials anywhere?

The magic circle is your friend for on Sqn continuity


Amazing - will be stealing this

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Essentially choose some music at the right tempo and let them come up with some movements they can do and a routine.


Practically a right of passage back in the day


You ideally want songs with 116 beats per minute - Google running playlists at 116 bpm and you’ll find loads. Or pick some traditional marching tunes.

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Great advice. Thank you, will be running this as a project.

Get them to search up some YouTube videos for inspiration. QCS is good for the traditional, but American marching bands during halftime shows (or performing on gridiron pitches and athletic fields at least) have done some cool stuff. Plenty of cool rifle stuff out there, but not as useful.

Start basic with just a few static moves - not even necessarily with music at this point. Whispered timings are a good tool starting out. Even when you progress to more complex stuff with music it helps to have a ventriloquist or two.

Then you can add some steps forward/back/side.

Then marching, then quick time moves…etc. Build from the bottom and add more moves as you would a new cadet learning from scratch. You don’t have to aim for the final routine from the off - the contents page of 818 can be your practice routine if you want it to be!

Marching, shapes, crossovers, spirals, etc can take trial and error to get working when you haven’t got the detailed knowledge of experience, but that’s par for the course and a benefit anyway.

The magic circle is a good all rounder starting point that is known to work, you can watch how it works on existing videos, and so can the cadets.

Trial and error is particularly the case with shapes(numbers /letters/etc) as you end up with different timings halted or marking time waiting for all to be in position and maybe even moving off again at different times - makes it a nightmare swapping people in and out for different positions. Personally, a mark time and all halt together looks more impressive.

There are tricks to dynamic displays a bit like how the red arrows work. Marks, reference points, using peripheral vision, amending movements (I.e. Stepping slightly short or out to create/close space - such as for crossovers - and cutting or adding a check pace in favour of a one or two step mark time which is subtle enough with practice to not attract attention…the key is the movement ends at the right time, ending the right way and a fully correct move is a bonus at this level)

Another would be distinct and consistent music tracks for each display or section of a display - don’t change the music once you start working on a certain routine because with practice (and planning) elements become tied to certain beats/riff changes, etc and good song selection and planning “relevant” moves adds to the polish.

Building on the list of tricks, things like waiting to halt on the wrong foot or correct your step at the next turn maneuver if you fall out step looks better than skipping along screwing up a change step.

When you get there, making or finding mixes and medleys are a great way of keeping routines fresh and interesting to spectators and signalling a change in the routine’s style.


Oh, and always repeat from the beginning, so…

Explain moves 1-6, practice 1-6

Explain moves 7-12, practice 1-12

Explain moves 13-18, practice 1-18.

…and so on. Although, maybe smaller chunks.

When adding moves, it’s fine to have someone calling them out like a coach or vocal conductor the first couple of runs.


Shameless plug but I was so proud of my team at nationals in 2019 first ever for the wing in continuity. Wasnt perfect and nerves got to them but scored a solid 2nd! If most of them are still about its a solid foundation to build upon… This was 5 weeks practice. Ideally could of been more but it is what it is

And building up bit by bit is key to it!


Duuude. A lot of work was put into getting those crisp slaps - cadets often don’t get that you can’t hurt the rifle. Helped by that hangar though for impact :stuck_out_tongue:

Looked great and the sloppy parts were the most complex parts with a lot of different directions or the out of sync rifle movements - which is where you expect and can forgive them, but even so I’ve seen a lot worse doing a lot less. A great example of getting a little out of sync but using the next halt or move to fix it, or next march to fix dressings. They did good on all fronts.


If it doesn’t hurt you you’re doing it wrong :joy:

Cheers! Was hoping to go back with vengeance in 2020 but obviously that never happened. Planning for 2022 regional is well underway so hoping to go back at take the top place!


Ah yes, the No 4. I miss that beast. So many options and cool moves. Although it definitely hurt either you or your shoes if you got it wrong as well!

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little to add that hasn’t been said - but @AlexCorbin’s link shows the beauty of the right music.

if you get it right they really don’t have to think about the timings as the beat does it all for you.
played to a fun bit of music adds good entertainment - i recall a routine to Can’t touch this which as a familiar tune already gets the audience foot tapping a bit and with some “impressive” looking drill gets good smiles all round!


Key is to over emphasis the bass drum :wink:

…and pay attention to time signature. 4/4 works easily for quick time. 6/8, like the Game of Thrones theme :wink: or “The Kiss” / “Promontory” from The Last of the Mohicans is much harder for non-musicians to ‘feel’, especially at 116-ish bpm, though it lends itself nicely to slow time.

From experience I’d say that if you can avoid swapping from 4/4 to 6/8 in the middle of the performance, so much the better, because the change usually throws people unless they’ve had lots of practice or are naturally musical.

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