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Jersey Surf and competitive success

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I don't think there's a delicate way to put this so...

Do they care about competitive success?

Honestly, it's all well and good to say "we take good care of the kids" and "we just want to be entertaining" but as a world class corp, do they feel any responsibility to the members about the corps approach to competition.

They are NOT the same as Pioneer. It's not an altruistic program for pretty young performers.

And their history *before* they moved to World Class shows a definite upward trend year to year.

But since they've moved up, there's a perception (right or wrong) that competitive success is just not a high priority for the program.

I'm not talking about being a finalist corps. Maybe just making the cut to Friday night?

It's just -- disappointing.

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I assure you that they are just as competitive as other corps, they simply are hindered by their decision to keep the corps accessible, therefore sacrificing early season rehearsals. As far as making the cut for Friday, this is the first time since they moved to World Class that they haven't done so, so I am not sure where that came from.

I guarantee those kids are heartbroken (or at least were last night, I just saw a video of the run they did today and it seemed like they were just fine) but they will move on.

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I assure you that they are just as competitive as other corps, they simply are hindered by their decision to keep the corps accessible, therefore sacrificing early season rehearsals. As far as making the cut for Friday, this is the first time since they moved to World Class that they haven't done so, so I am not sure where that came from.

I guarantee those kids are heartbroken (or at least were last night, I just saw a video of the run they did today and it seemed like they were just fine) but they will move on.

There are other World Class programs who get off to a late start. Sorry I'm not gonna buy that.

And I have a pretty good idea of the talent level they get coming in to the program. It's not as bad as some would have you believe.

As for making the cut -- essentially they've stood still at or near the very bottom of World Class and a bunch of Open Class corps have progressed right past them.

I'm really just trying to understand what's going on. I'm a firm believer in "If you're not moving forward, you're falling behind".

And I know how the kids feel -- that kind of prompted this post. If you'd rather go PM we can do that.

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I assure you that they are just as competitive as other corps, they simply are hindered by their decision to keep the corps accessible, therefore sacrificing early season rehearsals. As far as making the cut for Friday, this is the first time since they moved to World Class that they haven't done so, so I am not sure where that came from.

I guarantee those kids are heartbroken (or at least were last night, I just saw a video of the run they did today and it seemed like they were just fine) but they will move on.

The bummer is that the members didn't fail. The staff failed the members. Administratively and design/instructionally.

Surf does some things incredibly well. They field the corps every year in a fiscally responsible way, while indeed making the it accessible. That's no mean feat, and will never be discounted, certainly not by me. But competitively, they have absolutely failed the members. I *love* the entertaining style, but it's almost as if the design team doesn't know how to make that work, and the instructional staff (in some sections) doesn't know how to create a fundamentally sound program in the time allotted.

if they'd solve those issues, they'd absolutely be competitive with their peer corps (Pacific Crest, Mandarins, etc).

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In my time with the Surf, we always said that scores didn't matter but I never understood why we never placed higher.

The talent is there: former members audition for and are contracted to much higher placing corps. There are a few things that might influence members not to return, but there has been reasonable retention.

As mentioned above, the design isn't there. What I witnessed in the latter two years I marched (13, 14) was some serious frustration from the staff about what they were given to work with. Similarly to how design can lose a championship, it's really holding them back.

Unrelated thought: Bob Jacobs has done a wonderful job of removing the "excuses" and has seen little in return. In my time, we went from the junky corps owned busses to brand new chartered coaches, a full new set of horns for 2014, new electronics system for 2012.

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This year's show was just painful to watch and listen to. It seemed like a poorly designed show that was just put out there to fill the season.

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I watched their show in Annapolis, and at Prelims. I think they are at a crossroads to be honest. And the show this season was a great metaphor for them as they currently stand.

The first half of the show while wearing raincoats felt like it wanted to be popular music performed in a more serious and competitive fashion, with a running gag. The second half wanted to be a free for all of "just go have fun".

It could have been more of a Velvet Knight style, go big or go home on the jokes and fun, where it appeased the audience and competition together, but it felt like they were scared to do that. If they wanted to go that route I think they should have gone overboard on the fun, with a girl in a banana costume and gorilla chasing her...etc etc etc.

So I think they are stuck at a crossroads until they decide what they want the corps to be.

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It seems like there are three different personalities to Jersey Surf and they are caught in an identity crisis:

1. They want to be a serious corps

2. They want to be funny = Velvet Knights/Bridgemen

3. They want to be laid back = Florida Wave

Until they figure out who they want to be, they will be on the bottom of World Class with Pioneer.

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I don't think there's a delicate way to put this so...

Do they care about competitive success?

Honestly, it's all well and good to say "we take good care of the kids" and "we just want to be entertaining" but as a world class corp, do they feel any responsibility to the members about the corps approach to competition.

They are NOT the same as Pioneer. It's not an altruistic program for pretty young performers.

And their history *before* they moved to World Class shows a definite upward trend year to year.

But since they've moved up, there's a perception (right or wrong) that competitive success is just not a high priority for the program.

I'm not talking about being a finalist corps. Maybe just making the cut to Friday night?

It's just -- disappointing.

it's a great organization

but a pretty 'laid back' one imo in terms of competition

they take great care of the kids from a transportation/food/safety etc standpoints and they seem to be having fun

it's a very close knit bunch which is how they attract so many returning members and candidates each year

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