Practicing at Home

A photo of Killian Weston.
Instructors expect guard members to put in time conditioning, stretching, and practicing different parts of their show outside of regular rehearsals. Finding the space to practice can be difficult as most of us don’t have a gym-sized space at home. Following these suggestions will help you develop the building blocks of your show and improve your individual achievement.

Conditioning

Make sure you have a conditioning program that you can do at home. Find stretches, strengthening exercises, and cardio routines that will help you become more flexible, build muscles for dance and equipment work, and develop endurance.

Performance

Facial expressions and body language bring life to your performance. The bathroom mirror is a great place to work on facial expressions while full-length mirrors can help check body language and posture. Put your music on and go through it with just facials and body language regularly, so these elements begin to feel more natural.

Movement and Equipment

Center floor basics are often the easiest movement elements to practice at home. If you have floor work that requires rolling or kneeling, carpeted floors can provide cushioning since these moves can be hard on your knees. You can also find interlocking foam tiles to put down on harder surfaces like tile or cement to help minimize injury.

Equipment can be the most difficult element to practice at home. However, your equipment doesn’t move by its own will; you move your body to move it. Practice how your body moves in order to control your equipment, watching to make sure you’re maintaining things like hand placement and spacing relative to the rest of your body the way you would with equipment in hand.

While these tips won’t necessarily perfect that tricky toss in your solo or clean the featured ensemble phrase, they will help you improve elements of your individual performance. When every member takes responsibility for his or her individual success, rehearsals can be more productive and efficient overall.

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