Winter Guard Season Coming to an End
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Hard work, sweat and the occasional bruise describe a typical practice for winter guard as they prepare for the end of their season. Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships are this week, April 6-8 in Dayton, Ohio, where winter guard will compete against other groups from countries all over the world.
“I’m so excited,” color guard coach John Miller said. “These kids, while they are extremely young, they are extremely talented, and I am very proud. This is also the first year that we’re staying for world finals. I’m excited to share that with everyone.”
The guard has competed in four WGI regionals to qualify to compete at Worlds. The group will perform in the preliminary round and if they score high enough, they will move on to semifinals to compete against 35 other groups. If the guard scores within the top 20, they will advance to World finals. Also while in Dayton, the guard will help a world class group with their props and floor for the group’s performances.
“We’ve been working very hard to finish our show and beef it up a little bit,” sophomore guard member Jacqueline Jansen said. “We’re working on togetherness: emotionally and physically.”
This year, the guard has faced much change with new coaches, new members making up a majority of the team and a new style of the guard overall. Of the 11 members, only four have spun on the winter team before. The members of the guard are performing a different style of work, which includes choreography being taught to the words and sounds of the music and not with counts with the music, alongside the new style of coaching. In previous years, the guard had eight-hour camps every Saturday from the start of December and this year they have had 12 hour camps every Saturday from the beginning of November leading up to their first competition. Because of these many changes and transitions, the guard feels a bit uneasy about their upcoming performance at Worlds.
“Every year is different and causes a different result,” junior Theresa Winkle said. “This is one of our transition years, so it’s been one of the hardest seasons since I’ve been here.”
In preparation, the guard has started to have sectionals before rehearsals. They have also been experiencing changes to their work and staging of their show to score higher. More advanced work has been added to their routine along with some changes to their staging, and the guard has been working on cleaning their show.
“I think we’re trying to be more of a team,” freshman guard member Candace Siem said. “We’re being nicer to each other and encouraging each other. I’m excited to see the other guards and see how we do when our show is completely done.”