By Cheyenne Drover

Color guard is described by Katelyn Barton, 12, as being a, “physical, competitive art form involving flag and rifle spinning and dance.” A color guard team often provides visuals to music played by the marching band, though they do have their own season in the winter. They will be competing with the band this season with “Olympic Spirit” as their theme, which is a nod at the Rio Olympics that occurred earlier this year. “I’m excited about it because I’ve never done a show with such an obvious theme, but I’m worried about how people will take it for the same reason,” Katelyn said.

This artistic dance form also teaches each member the value of working as a team. “My favorite part of color guard is the teamwork,” said Sung Lee, 12. “Everyone’s skill level is different, but we all help each other.” All those on the guard are treated with the same respect—from the most experienced spinner to the newest member. There are about eight girls in color guard currently, but that number is expected to reach fifteen or twenty people once they begin their own competition season.

“Color guard is a means to prepare members for winter guard,” said Mr. David Barton, the high school band director. Winter guard still includes the visual interpretation of music, but it excludes the band altogether. Instead, a theme unique to the guard is chosen, as well as a routine and the music that will be set to the moves. Typically, there are not many boys on the color guard team, but winter guard is open to anyone willing to participate. Barton joked that, “Most people want to dance, but are too afraid to do it; being a part of the guard forces them to.”

The color guard team will also be receiving uniforms this year. Adidas is providing Olympic-style white U.S. warmups to reflect the year’s theme, and all of the guard members are looking forward to it. “I’m very happy about uniforms, and it feels nice to be getting outside support,” said Lee.

Within a few years, Barton would like to start a cadet group in the middle school, and wishes for the high school team to be competitive in three years. The guard is competing already, but their goal is not to win competitions. As the years pass and they are able to gain and pass on more information the color guard could win competitions, but their aim is to show off the routines they have learned and enjoy performing them.