What is DCI and How is it Promoting Health and Wellness in Marching Ar – Apolla Performance Wear

What is DCI and How is it Promoting Health and Wellness in Marching Arts?

What is DCI and How is it Promoting Health and Wellness in Marching Arts?

What is DCI and How is it Promoting Health and Wellness in Marching Arts?

Welcome to Beyond the STEPS

Welcome back to another insightful conversation on "Beyond the Steps." In our latest episode, we had the pleasure of hosting Laura Voran and Genevie Gisler to discuss an important topic: the promotion of health and wellness in the marching arts by Drum Corps International (DCI).

Understanding DCI

Drum Corps International (DCI) operates as the governing body for the competitive drum corps activity in North America, functioning similarly to major sports leagues like the NBA or NFL. Established to provide structure and oversight, DCI consists of various member groups, each representing individual drum corps. These groups, which include well-known names like the Bluecoats and Carolina Crown, have their own unique identities but collectively adhere to the rules and standards set by DCI.

DCI's primary mission is to foster and promote the highest standards of excellence for its participating organizations. This includes not only the performance aspect but also the health, safety, and well-being of all participants.

The Importance of Health and Wellness

The physical demands on marching arts participants have increased significantly over the past few decades. Marching band performances are now highly athletic, requiring rigorous preparation and training. This shift has led to a greater awareness of the need for comprehensive health and wellness programs to prevent injuries and ensure the safety of all members.

Key Initiatives: MASH and InStep

To address these evolving needs, DCI has established specific committees and initiatives aimed at promoting health and wellness within the marching arts community. Two primary initiatives are the Marching Arts Safety and Health (MASH) committee and the InStep committee.

Learn more about DCI x APOLLA x Mash Here!

MASH (Marching Arts Safety and Health):

MASH was created in response to the increasing number of injuries seen in marching arts. Chaired by Laura Voran, the committee focuses on providing health and safety guidelines, injury prevention strategies, and wellness programs. One significant development has been the inclusion of sports medicine professionals, such as athletic trainers and physical therapists, who bring specialized knowledge to address the unique injuries and physical demands of marching band participants.

The committee's efforts have led to a noticeable decrease in injuries, as organizations have begun to adopt the recommended practices. This proactive approach ensures that participants can perform at their best while minimizing the risk of injury.

Apolla "The Official Sock of DCI"


Initially formed to empower women within DCI, the InStep committee has expanded its focus to include diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all groups. Chaired by Genevie Gisler, the committee works to ensure that all participants, regardless of gender, race, or background, feel valued and supported. This inclusive approach fosters a positive and supportive environment for all members, enhancing their overall well-being.

Collaboration and Implementation

One of the key challenges in implementing these health and wellness initiatives is ensuring buy-in from all member organizations. Change can be met with resistance, especially when it involves altering long-standing practices. However, DCI has successfully fostered a collaborative environment where the benefits of these initiatives are clearly communicated and understood.

Member organizations are required to submit policies and guidelines that align with DCI's standards before they can participate in events. This ensures a consistent approach to health and safety across all groups. Additionally, the sharing of expertise and best practices among member organizations has led to a more informed and cohesive community.

Addressing New Challenges

DCI continues to evolve and adapt to new challenges, such as the impact of climate change on the safety and health of participants. By recognizing and addressing these challenges proactively, DCI demonstrates its commitment to the well-being of its members.

Drum Corps International is much more than a governing body for competitive marching bands. Through initiatives like MASH and InStep, DCI is at the forefront of promoting health, wellness, and inclusivity in the marching arts. These efforts ensure that participants can perform at their highest level while maintaining their physical and mental well-being.

As we look to the future, the continued collaboration and dedication of all involved will undoubtedly lead to even greater advancements in the health and safety of the marching arts community. Stay tuned to "Beyond the Steps" for more insightful discussions and updates on this important topic.


Watch the Full Episode Below!



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