February 11th, 2021 11:26am
Hello everyone! Now that I am a commentator for FMA, I’ll be publishing more content on the forums instead of just my recap roundups at the end of the season. I’m bringing back a classic topic, and the first group I’ll be highlighting is the Chula Vista Vanguard.
Chula Vista Vanguard, led by director lemon, was founded in season 90 of FMA. The group is based on the popular DCI group Santa Clara Vanguard, which is also where lemon gets show ideas from. Many groups/directors have a rocky start to FMA, however, this was not the case for Chula Vista Vanguard. Their inaugural season found immediate success, where they won the division III world championships with a 4 point lead over the runner up. In season 91, Chula Vista Vanguard joined the division II ranks and finished 3rd with a score of 88.685. Now entering their 4th season, and 3rd season as a division II corps, Chula Vista Vanguard has proven to other groups that they are a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with.
But what’s their secret to a successful group in such a short amount of time? From a glance, it looks like the group is able to add a tremendous amount of points to their starting score. As an example, let’s look at their scores from season 91. At one of their first competitions, Chula Vista had a staggering 11th place finish with a score of 56.370. However, they managed to add on average 1.1 points to their score every night after until the middle of the season. Most groups in that point range only add at most 0.9 on average daily to their scores. This allowed Chula Vista to quickly rise in placement, finishing 3rd as previously stated. That means the group managed to accrue a total of 33.410 points from start to finish. That is a hefty amount, considering that division II groups on average only add about 27 points to their initial score. This allows Chula Vista to pass groups that start off with higher scores than them, as evident in the previous and current seasons.
Many division II groups have taken notice of Chula Vista Vanguard’s fast point gain and are worried about being passed up. Even the top division II groups of this current season are concerned about where their scores will land during finals week in comparison to Chula Vista. In less than a week, the group managed to go from finishing under 12th place to 8th just yesterday, with no signs of slowing down.
I asked director lemon about the secret behind Chula Vista Vanguard’s success, and they had this to say: “I'd say that the single biggest contributor to my success so far has been my rehearsal style. I try to check in every couple of hours at least to avoid wasting energy. I also like to keep it balanced, increasing each caption 1000 points at a time. I've learned that staff don't seem to matter as much as energy efficiency, at least early on like I am.”
Lemon had this piece of advice for new FMA groups: “Regarding brand new directors, my advice is to try and have fun with the whole thing, try to get into it. Success is great and all but my favorite part has been integrating into this community.”
Finally, I asked lemon about future goals, as we are slowly approaching the 100th season of FMA. They said the following: “As for the future, one of my goals is to make the overall Top 12, and I'd also like to expand my operations with a marching band at some point in the near future! This is sort of a pipe dream at the moment, given how competitive Division 1 seems to be, but I would like to join their ranks by Season 100. Beyond that, I plan on just going with the flow.” Wise words if I do say so myself.
This concludes my first of many installments of corps spotlight! Best of luck to lemon and the Chula Vista Vanguard in this season and beyond. Stay tuned for my next spotlight in Season 94.