Emulation Learning

Well, we have come to the end of yet another fabulous winter guard season. I write this “Sectional” with the knowledge that this issue of Halftime Magazine will be distributed shortly before and during WGI championships in Dayton, Ohio.

Really, there is not a more fitting manner to end this season of creativity, expression, skill and artistry than with a championship celebration.

To all performers in this “Sport of the Arts”: Thank you for working so very hard, entertaining beyond expectation and continually mesmerizing us this season. It truly has been another unforgettable season of which you have played a very large part.

Being a true performer is being aware of your limits yet pushing beyond them to achieve the unimaginable. I think that we all have that one performer that we idolize in our activity but perhaps feel we can never achieve their heights. To that, I say …

Don’t be afraid to be amazing.—Andy Offutt Irwin

Since we are at the end of the season, now is the perfect time to invest in future seasons. In terms of fostering your craft as a performer, one of the best ways to do this is to study and emulate successful performers whom you admire in our activity.

If you will be at WGI championships, watch as many performances as time permits. Afterward, take advantage of some of the championship DVDs available for purchase that can become your “go-to guide.” The videos are a powerful tool to be able to study your favorite performers over and over again in an effort to glean what it is that they do best and how they do it; this is called emulation/imitation learning.

Yet another benefit: If you own the DVD, your efforts can be done in the privacy of your own home (no one to judge you but the mirror). By the time you return for the next season of color guard, you can have the presence, energy, communication and passion of performance like never before.

And just so you know … this is not copying! Consider some well-know artists that have done this with great success: Madonna and Lady Gaga or Elton John and Adam Lambert. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

About the Author

Chris Casteel has been involved in the color guard activity since 1981 as a performer and an instructor. She has a master’s degree in education. She has instructed several medaling guards for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). Currently, Chris is an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and the WGASC as well as a guest adjudicator for many other circuits. She also holds the position of education coordinator for the WGASC.

About author

Chris Dillon

Chris Dillon has been involved in marching arts activity since 1981 as a performer, instructor, designer and adjudicator.  Currently, she is an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, WGI Sports of the Arts, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC), Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit, Indiana High School Color Guard Association, Texas Color Guard Circuit, and several others. She held the position of education coordinator for the WGASC for the past eight years.