Collin College student Joye Dewey will dance across the national stage when an eight-episode docu-series about elite drum corps teams called “Clash of the Corps” premieres on Fuse in October.
Drum Corps takes the concept of a marching band and kicks it up a couple of notches, with unique performances and stylized shows performed by massive groups unaffiliated with a high school or college. Cougar News spoke with Dewey about competitive drum corps, her Blue Devils team and how the competitions relate to her time at Collin College.
What is your role in the Blue Devils?
This was my second year with the Blue Devils as a color guard member. They are from Concord, California. My high school instructor brought on a technician who had marched with the Blue Devils to help with our drum corps. I really liked their style and the way they do things. I really wanted be part of the Blue Devils, so I tried out in 2015. I got to march with my instructor for his last year.
So, you traveled to California to train?
You audition for your spot in November, and there are callbacks if the director wants to see you perform again. If you make it, you fly out for “April Camp” where you start to learn technique. And in May, you go out to California for “move in.” You stay with a family for three weeks while we are in California from about Memorial Day weekend until mid-June when we have a family day show and start our tour.
What is the competition like?
Our tour travels from California to the east coast over the rest of the summer. We compete against about 20 World Class Corps. There are shows all around the United States. Not every drum corps competes in every competition, but all of us jump from show to show. Some days are show days and others are straight rehearsal days from when you wake up until you go to bed. The shows are always competitive, but they don’t get super-competitive until about mid-tour, when we start seeing the other corps from the other side of the U.S.
What do you like about drum corps?
I just love the experience and the staff that I get to learn from. They are amazing, and I learn a lot from them. They have color guard down to a science. It’s just a flag, but they identify 27 different points it can be in space, and they can tell you each.
It is a lot of fun because you are working with a lot of people. You form bonds that you wouldn’t with other people because you are all dying together slowly somewhere hot in Texas. I love performing with the Blue Devils because they are different from any other drum corps. This year, their show was called “As Dreams are Made,” based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and we basically did theater on a football field. There were different characters, costume changes, and it was really impressive. They do some amazing performances, and they pull it off really well.
I have gotten two or three different teaching jobs just because I am a Blue Devil.
Do the things you do in the color guard relate to your dance studies at Collin? How?
It’s interesting. Color guard is something that gets more detailed the further up you go.
Color guard uses a lot of ballet terminology. So, taking ballet and pilates this last semester with dance at Collin really helped me understand my body more. It just makes me a better dancer, which makes everything better in color guard. I understand terminology and how to use my body to get the maximum effort out of it.
I really loved learning about dance because it is a challenge every day. There is definitely a connection because the more that I take dance studies at Collin, the better I am and the more confident I am.
Are you focusing solely on dance at Collin? Are you taking core classes or planning to get a degree?
I have always wanted to study dance. I wasn’t that good of a dancer when I got here, but the staff is absolutely amazing.
I definitely want to get an associate degree with an emphasis in dance, but I’d also like to study education or possibly business, so it’s not just dance. If I could dance for the rest of my life, do color guard and have fun I would want to do it, but it’s a question of money. Will I be paid to do that?
What is it like being part of a nationally-televised docu-series like “Clash of the Corps?”
The Blue Devils have their own videography crew, and they make a series called Inside BD360, so I was used to having cameras around. It was a little time consuming. Sometimes I missed half of my lunch because I was doing an interview. But I am definitely glad that I did it because the people who filmed us were amazing. I loved our camera guy Angelo.
They wanted us to do well and they really, really cared about us. It was definitely a fun thing to do, and I did my best not to let it take time away from what I was actually there to do.
Check out Dewey and her Blue Devil teammates when Clash of the Corps premieres at 10 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5 on Fuse. Check your local listings for channel information.