As the leaves begin to change color, and the temperature drops, performers begin their auditions and contract signing for the new season of winter guard. For those who do not know, color guard is the combination of dance, acting, and death defying comprised together within the time constraints of a song. This being said, this sport has the opportunity of being one of the most artistic and expressive sports that exists today.
Through the use of equipment such as: rifles, sabres, flags, and other miscellaneous props that your coach chooses for you to use, the death defying aspect adds thrill to your performances. Combining these aspects with the art of dance, the consistent multitasking that performers do for the duration of a song is entertaining to watch.
For myself, this whole love for defying death began my sophomore year of high school when my best friend Andrea told me I should tryout for our school's winter guard. After weeks of her teaching me basics, along with the help of another neighbor, I felt ready -- and was not as awful at it as I expected.
By the time my senior year rolled around, color guard was my favorite after school activity that I was involved in. I enjoyed the reality of performing in front of large crowds of people that determine their evaluation of what you are doing based off their own skills. And watching groups of all levels performing, and honing their craft, is an inspiring time to watch how the performers grow over the season as you see them at later shows.
Nowadays, I compete with a group of peers who all come from different high schools with different skill levels. I can honestly say that at this point, this is my favorite sport to take part in.
One of my favorite parts of being a performer in the world of color guard is the need to embody your music that you are performing to. This is important, because no matter your choreography, the ability to portray the meaning and emotion of your music will better let you tell the story in which your show is about. Being able to do this makes your performance more heart-felt and meaningful, meaning that more spectators are willing to watch your shows when you are at competitions.
The one thing that my guard was told by a member of my current coaching staff, which I will never forget, was "You have no idea how good you are." From the moment I heard that, I have wanted to continue to get better at what I love and be able to tell myself that I am good at what I do.
To this day, I still look forward to the beginning of every winter guard season. From the overnight/weekend trips to late night Denny's trips after a long show day, we always have a good time with good people. My hopes for this season are to continue loving this sport that I hate going without, continue to spend time with such an extraordinary group of returning and new performers, and travel to Dayton, Ohio to compete in the Winter Guard International Championships with my guard family. Until then, I wish good skills to my team and myself.