By Allison Owen Many times I've heard the phrase "happy feet equals happy marching." That may sound silly to the average person, but I'm sure anyone who's marched before would have to agree with that statement. If you're on your feet all day -- like in drum corps -- you need comfortable shoes.

Allison Owen
I have also heard that New Balance is the most comfortable brand of shoe for drum corps -- by no means am I saying that it's a "must-have," I'm just saying that I hear they are a popular marching shoe. So the other day I set out to get a pair of New Balance shoes so I could start to break them in before the audition camp in two weeks. I went into a Lady Foot Locker and began to browse their collection of New Balance shoes. There are so many to choose from, so I just started trying different ones on. The saleswoman must have thought I was crazy because I began to test them right there in the store. Yes, that's what I said: I marched around in a Lady Foot Locker. People can think I'm crazy all they want, but I found the most comfortable pair of shoes for me that are also good for marching techniques and jazz runs. Enough about shoes. Now for some drum corps hopefuls, this coming weekend is an important one. Many drum corps are having their first auditions this weekend. One of these corps is Carolina Crown. Now if you remember back when I first started writing, I said Carolina Crown was where I dreamed of marching. In the past months since I decided to go to Spirit instead, I'd been thinking that I might come to regret not auditioning for Crown. I was wrong. I've come to realize that dreams change and now my dream is simply to march wherever I am given the opportunity. My focus now -- my new dream -- is to march with Spirit. There is nowhere else I want to march, Spirit is at the top of my list. If, for any number of reasons, the staff thinks I am not capable of being a member of Spirit, I will be disappointed. It's my dream and I hope and work hard to fulfill it. Making Spirit is my goal; it's the number one corps on my list. I know what it will take to march with them this summer, and I am going to continue working extremely hard to make my goal. There is nothing that I want to do more than march with Spirit this summer. Yes, if I don't make Spirit, I will most likely go somewhere else -- because I want to march this summer -- but I'm trying not to think about that right now. All I have to do is focus on my goal and "reach for the stars." In just two weeks I will be going to my first drum corps audition camp. Yes, I'm nervous -- but I know that this is the experience of a lifetime and I will do whatever it takes to march this summer. Check back next week for my last installment before auditions; things are going to start getting exciting around here.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.