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What is Drill Team?

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By Sorina Fant / Edited by Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)

Drill teams require dancers to move in unison to specific, sharp dance movements. Two popular types of drill teams include military drill teams and dance drill teams.

Military drill teams allow soldiers to showcase their military drills in unison. Their movements are synchronized, often while carrying a weapon, and they are usually performed with a live band at holiday events or in government celebrations. 

Dance drill teams are similar to military drill teams as their movements are also precise and dancers move as a unit. However, many dance drill teams use modern, ballet, folk, tap, and hip hop moves in their routines. Dance drill team performances usually compliment the event they are performing for with appropriate music and costumes for the occasion.

Dance drill teams are also called dance teams or dance squads, especially if the group is associated with a high school or university. They often perform for pep rallies, school parades, homecoming celebrations, and at school sporting events. 

Drill teams also have opportunities to compete in competitions against other drill teams. Many teams are compared to cheer squads however, dance drill teams do not cheer. 

Occasionally pom poms or flags will be used during drill team routines, especially when performing for outdoor events such as a pep rally, competition, or football game.

A wide variety of music, both prerecorded or with companion live bands, are used for dance drill team performances. All music from contemporary pop music to jazz favorites are used for drill team routines.

This page is just one of hundreds of definitions of the many styles and genres of dance. This library is being continually added to by the writers and contributors of Dance Parent 101!