Those are the words you hear as you stand on a big white tarp, decorative backdrops all around you, and flags, rifles, and sabers strategically placed. One person or the whole group will make a move to signal readiness, and then the music starts. This is winter guard.
|"Zip" show featuring music by Prodigy - freshman year|
Most people will have no idea what I'm talking about. I also did color guard in the fall with the marching band, and I was wearing our team jacket to my orthodontist appointment when the orthodontist asked me about it.
"I'm in the color guard," I said.
"Oh, we really appreciate everything you do," he said.
I just smiled (as best I could with his hands in my mouth) and nodded, not really understanding what he was saying. After all, NO ONE seemed to appreciate what we did, judging by how many people went to the concession stands during our Friday Night Football halftime performances. But then it hit me. My orthodontist thought I was military color guard, like high school ROTC or something.
|"Funk Soul Brother" show featuring music by Fatboy Slim|
- sophomore year
Among the cheerleaders, pommers, football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, softball, baseball, cross country, and other high school sports, winter guard doesn't get a lot of coverage. Most people at my high school thought we were weird or called us the "gay-ard", which never really made much sense to us. At some schools winter guard doesn't even exist. So, if you don't know what winter guard is, instead of me trying to describe it, just watch this video:
When I was in high school, there was no YouTube and nobody had phones or digital cameras for taking digital video of our performances. So, unfortunately I have no video footage to share with you of my four high school winter guard years (FHC Spartan Elite Winter Guard) and one college winter guard year (Truman State University Indigo Question).
|"Newsies" show - junior year (I broke my thumb tossing rifle.)|
But I do have photos in my scrapbooks! Looking back at these pictures, I'm reminded at how much FUN we had. And not just performing, but riding the bus to competitions; doing each other's makeup on the bus or in a hallway; getting our costumes on on the bus or in a hallway; running like mad to break down all our backdrops, pick up all our flags, rifles, and sabers, and roll up our tarp at the end of our performance; and just hanging out.
|"Fallin" by Alicia Keys - senior year|
Winter guard is its own special group. If you didn't do winter guard, you just don't know. But when I meet other people who did winter guard, it's like, "Yes! You are my kind!"
|Indigo Question Winter Guard - sophomore year of college|
I had so much fun performing in winter guard, even when we didn't win big trophies at competitions. If winter guard could be a full-time career, that's what I'd be doing!