Color Guard Pushes On


Brandon Shih

The color guard and marching band perform together at a football game on Oct. 7, 2020. “My favorite part would have to be waking up early in the morning with everyone else and just getting there early to watch the sun rise while doing a bunch of other stuff with the band and everything,” freshman Anastasia Lindholm said.

Emma Li, Reporter

From the far corner of the room, two large flags fly up into the air, the fabric rippling as it gracefully plunges down as it is caught, once again, in experienced hands. This was the sight that caught Greyson Easley’s eye almost four years ago at Expo Night in 8th grade. Now, Easley serves as rifle captain on the color guard team in their fourth year on the team.

“[Color guard] made me more, like, confident in my life and with me, in just myself and my abilities… I guess it just made me feel a lot better about myself,” senior Easley said. 

Unfortunately, the fall color guard season fell short of expectations. While football games started up after a time, allowing the color guard an opportunity to perform for the school again, the decision was made to not attend local competitions. For seniors, this choice hit especially hard. Whether it’s through the long bus rides, the performances, or the feeling of accomplishment, competitions are where the memories are made.

“It’s not the same as it usually is,” Easley said. “At first I was pretty upset, like honestly what’s the point of me being here? But, like now that I’ve actually gone through the, like, color guard season… I don’t regret it at all, it was still so much fun.”

Another change to the team was their new coach, Zoe Miller. She has an extensive background in dance, and came in this unusual year with a renewed focus on technique.

“Creating a strong foundation is key when it comes to learning and being a successful spinner,” Miller said. “With my background, I have been able to bring in an extensive knowledge of dance technique, and overall help our non-dance members have an easier time understanding the movement that goes along with our choreography.”

Junior Jenna Schreiter has noticed that a change in coach has encouraged her to pursue her goal to be more comfortable asking for feedback.

“I hope I can get to the point where I can start asking people what I need to work on,” Schreiter said. “It’s really interesting to see the way they give feedback to you ‘cause they’re different people.”

Miller is not the only person in color guard with a background in dance. Sophomore Becca Lindberg has experience in various genres of dance. 

“I would categorize [color guard] as more of a contemporary,” Lindberg said. “I feel like the category of contemporary gives us room to move more with our flag and to be more intricate while having that same feeling of emotion while we dance.” 

Artistic director Brandon Fink also places a high value on emotion as he develops choreography. 

“My top priority when generating choreography is to tell a story or share a specific message,” Fink said. “I want audiences to experience an entertaining visual production as well as engage in thought provoking subject matter.”

These messages take many hours to perfect, when a performance rarely exceeds twelve minutes long. Color guard may seem intimidating, especially to a new member of the team. Freshman Anastasia Lindholm has been welcomed with open arms to the color guard family, but there is still a personal challenge to overcome. 

“I guess I kind of want to accomplish… acceptance, in a way,” Lindholm said. “It’s not like they don’t accept you or anything, but like for myself, it’s just that I kind of want to have my own self acceptance [on the team].”

Color guard captain Tia Strege has been working hard to maintain a sense of familiarity within the team. Even though the opportunity was lost for a proper goodbye, she is optimistic for the future of the team in the hands of next year’s captain, Grace Bauer.

“I wanted… to bring the team together like a family and to be that positive encouragement,” Strege said. “We’ve succeeded in that in this season and this year, which I’m very proud of.”

Even though this season has been filled with changes, there is something to be said for positive changes. Senior Ellory Weinstein has found a family within color guard in her four years on the team, and has only become closer in her last year.

“We’ve also just been focusing, kind of for the first time since I’ve been in high school for the past four years, we’re really focusing on just taking this as a moment for us,” Weinstein said. Since there’s no competition, everything that we’ve been doing we’ve been doing for the sole reason that we are passionate, that we really love color guard. So producing something, and especially as a senior, having that last opportunity to produce this piece of artwork and show it to no one else but ourselves has been really meaningful.”