When you hear the phrase “Color Guard,” what do you think of? Parade Majorettes? The flag-twirling accompaniment to the band during half-time? The truth is, Color Guard has evolved throughout history, starting in ancient militaries and making its way to parades with classic drum and rifle lines before flag twirlers even came into the picture.
Now, it’s a sport that is rapidly gaining popularity and branching off into scholastic programs and professional competitions alike. But what is Color Guard?
A Color Guard is a group that uses various equipment like flags, rifles, and sabres. They perform around a piece of music, usually from a band or parade, and dance with their props.
There are two levels of classification for Color Guard: Independent and Scholastic. Independent groups are self-organized and funded; sometimes they are an extension of a college program.
It’s a physically intensive sport. Color Guard can demand anywhere from 2-4 hours of practice a day (the average pr
Origins of Baton Twirling
Baton Twirling is a popular sport, but its origins are somewhat mysterious. The origin of baton twirling is debated. Some say that it might have started in Eastern Europe and Asia, but a solid record shows that the 1930’s was the start of majorettes. Let’s take a look.
Baton twirling likely started at dance festivals in Eastern Europe and Asia. Those who attended these festivals would dance with knives, torches, guns, and sticks they used to twirl and toss.
This dancing morphed into armies twirling rifles during marches. The twirling rifles turned into maces, which are very similar to today’s batons. The early twirlers were men, mainly due to the batons being very heavy.
At the end of the 1930’s, batons had evolved to be lightweight and adorned rubber on the ends. This is when women twirlers began their debut. After batons were shortened and made lighter, more women started joining the sport. It offered a graceful artform people could use to express themselves.
The 1950’s ga
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