So I haven’t really talked about what I do outside of work and home. A couple of months ago, I agreed to help my high school’s color guard team finish out their season.
Have you ever watched a marching band perform during a football game? Remember seeing a bunch of girls spinning and tossing colorful flags and/or rifles all over the place? That’s the color guard I’m talking about. And during the winter months, the guard separates to create their own indoor shows and competitions. Ever since 7th grade, I’ve performed in multiple marching band and indoor shows. In total, I’ve been involved with this activity for 9 years, and have performed in 12 different shows. Unless you want to count the many halftime performances I participated in for the Purdue All-American Marching Band. Then it would be closer to 20 shows. (I’m not trying to brag; I just wanted to show that I have a lot of experience with this program.)
My favorite photo of me during my senior show. It’s blurry, but in a good way!
Well, my alma mater had a bump in the road at the start of the new year. I’m not gonna go into too much detail, but their band director resigned. My little brother plays trumpet, and my parents have been big supporters of the band ever since I got involved with the guard. So losing this teacher, especially one that was very close to the students, really hit hard. Then, the color guard instructor resigned, kind of leaving the girls high and dry with no show to compete with.
Many of the girls quit, but there were a few who wanted to continue with the program. The winter percussion was kind enough to allow the girls to be background dancers for their indoor show. I was extremely happy with how the students came together after everything that happened. But there was still one problem; they needed a dance instructor.
The color guard all together! Around… orbs? Glowing balls? …Orbs sound better.
Now, by no means am I a good dancer. Yes, I’ve done color guard for a long time, but my focus was primarily flag. And teaching? Who would have thought that me, this timid, quiet introvert could coach a group of high school girls? But when the interim band director, who I know personally, asked me to help, I couldn’t say no. So at the beginning of February, I drove straight from work to the school for rehearsals.
Hey, there’s me! ^ Goodness, my hair looks awful!
This was a huge learning process, not just for me, but for the students as well. There was so much involved with percussion that color guard groups didn’t need to worry about, like electronic hookups and drums. When I came, I was basically made the creative visual head of the show, which honestly, was a lot of pressure to put on a 20-year-old! In the end, I worked with the girls to create the dance work and decide where to place it in the show. I wasn’t alone in the process. The interim band director’s wife, who’s coached many different guard teams for years, would step in and advise me on what needed to be work on. I have never needed to be so nit-picky in all my life!
Yeah! Look at these girls!
The show, named Abyss, slowly came together as the weeks went on. I saw these students grow and mature, and it made me happy. Competitions had a renewed sense of excitement. I felt a new kind of nervousness that I had never felt before. A good kind! And every time they finished their performance, I was so proud of them! The pushed through all of the hardships and were determined to see this season to the end.
This past Saturday was, unfortunately, their final performance. But the run that they had was so spectacular! If the season had to end, then that was the perfect way to finish it up. I sat there and was just… amazed. And I hope that they continue to pull off more amazing things in the years to come!
Now that I think about it, I should have made the girls get shoes…
Next up; Parades!They’ve got a few in the next month, so we’ve got some work to do. But it should be fun!