I glance down at my where my feet are, then back forward. “Too far over” I tell myself and take a small step to my left. Now centered on the 35 yard line of the dome’s football field I begin my routine. Head up. Smile wide. Shoulders back. Spine lifted and in turn my feet land in perfect third position. As I wait for the music to start I look around me, I glance at all the Bands of America paraphernalia and the crowds separated into sections by band uniforms and coordinating color spirit shirts. I look around the field and see nervous band kids ready to start the show. I also see the other colorguard girls. Dressed and made up just as I am they are standing waiting to begin. I catch the eye of my “big sister” and she throws me a wink. Then I hear the trill of the flutes and I know it’s time to begin.
I was always a dancer. Throughout elementary and into middle school I danced ballet, modern and a little tap. In the seventh grade that love of dance mixed with tumbling and suddenly I was a cheerleader. When freshman cheerleading tryouts came I fell during a handspring and almost broke my nose and didn’t end up making the squad. I was devastated. At school the next week I continued to mourn my hobby until I noticed a pink flyer hanging near the front door. It was an open call for my high school colorguard. The flyer had probably been there for two weeks but I’d never noticed it. I hadn’t noticed it until I needed it. The thought that maybe colorguard had found me and the fact that it was something new made me go to that audition and going was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I believe in colorguard because of how it’s changed my life. 12 hour practices have taught me discipline, determination and how much I have to offer. Performance training and the instructors have taught me confidence and gracefulness. Being apart of the band has taught me to take responsibility, that hard work is rewarded and to have pride. Colorguard has changed my life because of all it’s taught me. When I’m with the guard practicing or performing I feel like I’m right where I should be. I feel complete and totally accepted. I’ve never worked harder then while in the guard. Late night rehearsals, 12 hour Saturday practices, 6 am competition call times. I’ve been pushed to the breaking point by instructors, felt my feet and legs ache for hours and had my shoulders sunburned to a crisp. Spectators would say I’m crazy to love an activity like this but for me it’s not an activity it’s a lifestyle. Being in the colorguard is a choice I make not because somebody makes me but because I believe in colorguard the way other people believe in baseball or soccer or football and that belief is too strong to ever let go.