Divisions 101- Phoebe G

For many new pupils, this upcoming harvest divisions will be a new, and potentially, quite daunting experience. However, don’t fret- we’ve all been there! With a few marching practices under your belt, you will probably have a rough idea (hopefully!) of how everything works. However, if not, listen to this advice. Or don’t, it’s your choice…


After watching the last few divvies rehearsals, it’s probably safe to say that marching and counting to 15, isn’t everyone’s forte. In my opinion, once you grasp the basics, which is basically just walking with your arms higher up than normal, everything else starts to fall into place.

  1. When you march, you are walking to the beat of the bass drum. So, put your left foot down as the drum sounds, and you should be golden.
  2. Swing your arms, PROPERLY! Your arms need to be at right angles to the rest of your body. Opposite arm to opposite leg- don’t tick-tock!
  3. When marching in review order, count (in your head and don’t mouth the numbers) to 15 steps and DON’T move- it’s very obvious!


Especially on hot days, some people find divisions very difficult, especially when standing still. It is important to drink plenty of water and have a snack beforehand. If you ever find yourself feeling faint, just rise up and down on your toes and clench your fingers and hands together.


The method of polishing divisions shoes is a hotly debated topic in the RHS community. To breathe on or not to breathe on, that is the question…

  • Polish religiously for the first few terms and you shouldn’t have to polish very much ever again, just the occasional once-over to remove any dust.

You need:

– Shoe polish

– Cotton wool

 – Water

 –  Cloth

  1. Take a small bit of cotton wool and lightly apply some polish, in a circular motion and breathe on the polish occasionally to warm it up. Let it sit for about 5-10 mins.

  2. In the meantime, do the same thing with the other shoe.

3. Then, get a separate piece of cotton wool and soak your first shoe in water.

4. Wash off the polish with the water for about 10 minutes, this helps make the shoe shiny!

If you are struggling with any of this, talk to your house staff or senior pupils within the house, I’m sure they’d be happy to help- as long as they don’t end up doing them for you!

Members of Drake house working really hard on their divvies shoes!

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