I really enjoy watching a step team and seeing the synchronized movements along with some chanting. It’s good stuff, but does it belong in a military drill team’s routine? Sure- to a point. If stepping is the only part of the routine and not just part of it (influences in one place or peppered throughout), then there is a problem because stepping is not military in nature, it is based in dance. Remember, we are talking military exhibition drill (XD), the team still needs that “military flavor” to come through for a majority of the routine. Click here for more on the origin of Stepping.
The same goes for cheer-like routines (mainly, and possibly only seen in some southern California unarmed teams). There is very little military flavor in these routines: the members of these teams sing the whole time during the routine and execute cheer arm movements while dressed as majorettes. Please don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy watching these routines and applaud them, but these teams are not military drill teams. Military-esque, sure, but competing against other more military oriented unarmed teams, they wouldn’t stand a chance, they would have to compete in their own sub-phase of XD.
Influences are just great and can add “spicy” variations to a military drill team’s XD routine and I am all for that! Many armed Drillers take influences from different spinning activities for instance, the rifle XD move called the Fire Knife. This is cool stuff and I really appreciate it when I get to judge routines with outside influences: I get to enjoy the routine and learn something new at the same time.
Variety is great! And we can have variety within a military drill team’s routine.
Image courtesy wikia.com