Color Guard & Winter Guard

Macie Rogers

Color Guard & Winter Guard

       Have you ever been interested in joining the MJHS Color Guard? Here’s your chance to find out more about what it actually is. Most people would not define color guard as a sport, but me with experience…… I would. Color Guard is a lot of exercise and movement on your body. Many people would just define Color Guard performers as just “flag twirlers.” Color Guard is way more than that, it is dazzling displays of synchronized rifle-spinning, saber-tossing, and flag-twirling, integrated with modern dance techniques, usually performed alongside Marching Bands. 


         I am currently a 7th Grader in MJHS Winter Guard. I started Color Guard in my 6th grade year in April. There are 2 seasons to guard: Color Guard and Winter Guard. I am the youngest on the Winter Guard team with an age of 12. There are a few seniors on our team, so at first I was kind of intimidated by them. Now I have built up a confidence for myself. Color Guard and Winter Guard competing sports, so once we get our show, we have a competition almost every Saturday. The guard team gets a costume and makeup that we wear to our competitions. For example, when we competed in fall season, we wore a tight red top connected to tight black leggings. For the makeup, we wore red, orange, and yellow eye shadow. Currently, for our winter show we wear a tight blue sparkly top connected to loose blue leggings. The makeup is blue, purple, and black eye shadow. The guard feels like a family to me. I always want to go to practice, and guard is something I will never want to give up. In both Fall and Winter Season I spin flags throughout the whole show. I am doing my first season of flag so I have to start out with a flag. The people who have completed at least 1 year of guard get to do rifle and saber. 


          Fall Season was the first season of Color Guard. Fall Season is outdoors, so we performed at halftime during Football Games. During Fall Season, we had more people in the guard, and we also have a bigger audience than we do in Winter. In Fall Season, we have to deal with the hot temperatures outside. Fall Season is from early April to late October. The Color Guard also has to focus on trying not to hit the drum players or horn players with flag poles, rifles, and sabres. The Guard, including the Band, has certain spots on the field that we move to. The Guard has to focus a lot on our technique and timing. We have to make sure our flags are on time or it won’t look good! To me, Color Guard is a lot easier than Winter Guard, because the tricks we do on flag are a lot easier in Fall than they are in Winter. For example, I only had one toss on the flag in Fall Season, and now in Winter Season I have 13 tosses on the flag. As far as getting our makeup done, and our costumes on, we have a lot less time to get ready in Fall than we do in Winter. I would say that Color Guard is a lot less scarier performing than Winter Guard is, just because there are 105 of us on the field including the band members, and there are only 18 of us performing in Winter Guard. 


         Winter Guard has created me to have a lot more confidence for myself. Winter Guard is just the guard, so it is a lot more intimidating. For example, if you drop your equipment in a Winter Guard Show, most everyone will see it. As of Color Guard, if you make a mistake, barely anyone will know. I have learned that you have to perform a lot more in Winter Guard. Our coach always encourages us to smile and perform. The biggest thing I have learned from Winter Guard is setting a higher standard for myself, and learning to push myself to try and surpass those standards. In Winter Guard, the tricks are a lot harder so sometimes I get frustrated. You have to set your mindset to know that you will get whatever you are struggling with, it just takes time. During Winter, we perform on a big tarp that is usually painted to represent our show. Another big thing that I have to concentrate on is learning the rhythmic and dynamic challenges placed on us to illustrate the sound of the show through our body and equipment. In Winter Guard, I think of performing like telling a story and creating a visual picture for the audience. 


          To wrap up, Color Guard and Winter Guard are alike and different in many ways. One thing that is the same is that I always have bruises because of the amount of exercise we do. I am glad to be part of Guard, it is something I will never want to give up. Sometimes it is hard and challenging, but I learn to push past those challenges. I am so glad I joined the Guard. All the hard work that comes with Guard is worth it! We have practice at least 3 times a week, and when it comes to competing, we have a competition almost every Saturday. We have about 5 to 7 competitions each season. If you are debating on joining Color Guard or Winter Guard I would! It’s a risk I’m glad I took!