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Archive for Color Guard

Creative Ways to Incorporate Dance into Color Guard

Anyone who has done color guard can tell you that itís an intense sport. Itís one that needs to be done in all kinds of weather conditions, and it involves heavy props and uncomfortable uniforms. However, this doesnít mean it canít be fun. Color guard members can express themselves creatively through their performances, and one great way to do that is by incorporating dance. Set a Dance-Related Theme Incorporating dance can be as simple as setting a danceĖrelated tone. A theme like ďSalsaĒ or ďwaltzĒ can tie a color guard performance together and give it a unique flair. It will also give the performers an idea of how the performance should look and feel. Incorporate a Variety of Dance Techniques There are movements color guard teams should incorporate to tie the performance in with tradition. However, thereís nothing saying more moves canít be added to the ones that audiences expect to see. Dance movements and transitions between traditional moves can add a little bit of fun

Posted: 6/2/2023

3 Workouts to Get You in Shape for a WGI Competition

Color guard season might be coming to a close, but Winter Guard International (WGI) is just around the corner! As you prepare for intense rehearsals for the upcoming event, it is essential to keep a healthy balance of workouts to stay in shape for your intense routines. Here are three workouts to benefit your winter guard rehearsals. Boxing This exercise is a great way to not only build strength for tossing your props and equipment, but itís also a great stress reliever for those intense days! It also improves your hand-eye coordination, which is crucial for choreographed routines. Jump Rope Did you know that some workouts that utilize both physical and mental demands can improve your cognitive functioning? Jump roping offers you numerous benefits needed for winter guard, such as improved coordination, rhythm, and strategy. Not only can it improve your movement for winter guard, but itís also known to stimulate your sense of memory, which can make it easier for you to remember

Posted: 10/28/2022

3 Types Of Equipment Used In Winter Guard

Winter guard is an indoor sport that follows the same discipline as color guard. On the other hand, winter guard brings more creativity and live music to beautifully choreographed routines than its color guard counterpart. However, just like color guard, your equipment is an essential part of the performances. Using the right equipment not only captures the eyes of your audience, but it reveals your teamís technical ability to the judges during the routine. Here are three primary types of equipment that are used throughout winter guard performances. Rifles With an appearance similar to that of actual firing rifles, rifles used in winter guard are made from wood or plastic. These rifles normally weigh between 2 to 5 pounds, which makes them light enough for performers to toss up in the air safely. While they are an optional tool to use for winter guard competitions, they demonstrate the origin story of the military color guard. Sabres Similarly, sabres are also designed to be l

Posted: 10/21/2022

What to Know Before Your First Year of Color Guard

Whenever you start a new sport, you usually donít know what to expect if you havenít done research beforehand. It can be overwhelming to start a new hobby, and you may feel a little insecure. Donít worry, ó it is normal to have those feelings whenever youíre doing something for the first time. Just remember why you decided to join the color guard, and if you have any questions or doubts, donít hesitate to ask your teammates for advice. For beginners who have never done color guard before, you can start by learning what supplies you need and a few basic moves. Gears and equipment To get started in color guard, you need a good pair of gloves, which protect your hands from getting hurt during practice and performances. Youíll also need a large bag to carry any supplies you have, including rifles, sabers,, flags and poles. This will also store your uniform, which you need every time you practice and perform. . Beginner moves and practices Itís always a good idea to know some basic move

Posted: 7/15/2022

4 Types of Accessories Used In Color Guard

Color guard dates back to the Civil War era. It was used primarily in a military setting but has since evolved to be used in schools and churches to enhance performative presentations. Color guard is not just about the flags; there are other instruments used with flags to showcase the same motions and to enhance the visual experience. Rifles Color guard within the military was used for the organization of the platoon and to keep formation. This was a very prestigious honor that was given to young officers. The rifles within color guard are symbols of respect to the military. In the military, the color guard holding rifles were there to protect the flag. At Star Line Baton, we offer various Elite rifles from different sizes to accessories that are sure to fit your rifle needs. Batons Batons are an important part of color guard performances. Outside of color guard, baton twirling is used in marching bands in various stages of school. In marching bands, the baton twirlers are st

Posted: 4/8/2022

Color Guard vs. Winter Guard

Color guard and winter guard have similar origins, but they diverge in many ways. Color guard has been around since the Civil War era, and winter guard evolved from color guard in the 1970s. Both have their challenges and allow performers to compete. Here are the differences and similarities between the two practices: Color Guard Established as a military practice around 1805, color guard has a long history and has remained somewhat unchanged. From the beginning, ceremonies involved military symbols like flags, banners, mock rifles and sabers. In the 1970s and 1980s, color guard became associated with sporting events. Routines accompany marching bands or orchestras. Most color guard performances go along with a marching band show at a football game. This dictates color guard season, which takes place from summer to fall. Winter Guard Following in color guardís footsteps, winter guard had modest beginnings. The first performances included rifle twirling and stomping but no music

Posted: 2/4/2022

Color Guard Safety Tips

Color guard can be physically and mentally demanding, but the rewards of getting a routine down make it all worthwhile. Like any sport, there are many safety considerations to take into account when performing in color guard. Here are a few tips. Stay Hydrated You need to be hydrated during performances; dehydration can cause everything from brain fog to muscle cramps. You also need to stay hydrated when traveling, especially in new climates. Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to a performance and during practices. This will help your body perform at its best when itís showtime. Wear Sunscreen Color guard requires spending significant time in the sun. Even if youíre working on your tan, itís important to wear sunscreen during practices and performances. Sun exposure doesnít just cause painful burns; excess exposure to UVA and UVB light also causes skin cancer in the long term if you donít protect yourself. Tape Exposed Metal Metal pieces like swivels, rifle scr

Posted: 11/5/2021

Which Foods Can Help Your Athletic Performance

Participating in sports requires a great deal of energy, and healthy food is the best source of fuel. Whether youíre a color guard performer, a baton twirler or a football player, certain foods can help you prepare for the big day. As the game approaches, consider smaller meals packed with nutrients. The following foods can help you improve your overall athletic performance: Protein When some people hear ďprotein,Ē they picture huge plates of processed meats like bacon and burgers. Some sources of protein are better than others. These healthy protein sources will benefit you as gameday approaches: Eggs Greek yogurt Lean meat like chicken breast Fish Hummus / chickpeas Healthy Fats Fats in foods have a reputation for negative health outcomes. However, healthy fats create much-needed, sustained energy. To perform at your peak, consider the following sources of healthy fats: Avocado Peanut butter (watch out for sugar content) Nuts Olive oil Flaxseed Carbohydrates T

Posted: 10/15/2021

Encouraging Your Child to Pursue Sports

From football and basketball to color guard and baton twirling, children benefit in many ways from participating in sports. Sports help children learn technical skills while developing a sense of, well, sportsmanship. They learn about the importance of practicing a craft and teamwork. Athletics help students not only navigate school but also their futures. Want to help your child find the right sport for them? Here are a few ways to encourage their decision: Let Your Child Choose The first tip is letting your kids pick what theyíre passionate about. Just because you loved playing baseball as a kid does not mean your child will enjoy baseball. If you bring your child to a game and theyíre in awe of the color guard or cheerleaders, that could be their path. When in doubt, let them try out multiple sports! Watch the Sport Together One way to get your child motivated to try a sport is to share in their interest. Take time out of the day to watch highlights of the pros excelling in

Posted: 9/3/2021

How to Avoid Color Guard Burnout

Color guard takes more time, athleticism and skill than most people realize. It involves hours of weekly practice, travel, and performing complicated routines in all kinds of weather. Therefore, itís understandable that members of color guard experience burnout. Hereís what you can do to avoid becoming burnt out on doing what you love. Warm Up, Cool Down, and Rest When youíre trying to nail a routine, it can be tempting to skip stretching before and after or taking time to cool down before moving on with your day. However, missing out on these important steps can have serious consequences, like increased chance of bruising or sprains. The same goes for rest. Rest gives your body time to recover completely from movement. If you donít take time to rest, you wonít be performing at your best. Schedule Relaxation If you feel like youíre just going through the motions from practice to performance, it will catch up with you. Taking time throughout the week to focus on self care is jus

Posted: 8/20/2021

How Color Guard Adapted During the Pandemic

Performing in color guard typically involves close contact and rigorous mandatory practice. When the pandemic hit, color guard came to a halt, then as some schools reopened, came back with major changes. Marching band and color guard coaches have new considerations to take into account, but they still do everything they can to make sure the show goes on. Hereís how some schools have adapted. Socially Distanced Practice When school marching bands started to hold in-person practices and performances again, schools like New Bedford High School in Massachusetts socially distanced the performers. Spread out along the marching band field and parking lot, students from color guard practiced in one corner, while the instrumentalists were off in their own areas, all six feet or more apart. Rehearsals also became optional, and in this marching band, only 1/7 of the students showed up to some of the rehearsals. Safety Protocols Color guard teams like the one at Osceola Fundamental High S

Posted: 6/4/2021

Winter Guard Around the World

Color guard is a challenging sport, and winter guard is like color guard with even more athleticism. Winter guard combines color guard, which mostly consists of twirling rifles and flags, with complex cheerleading and dance routines. While color guard in its original form is mostly confined to the United States, winter guard groups exist in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Two places where winter guard has made a real name for itself outside of the US are the UK and the Netherlands. Teams in the UK and the Netherlands Unlike American schools, European schools do not offer color guard as an extracurricular activity. However, Europe caught on to the trend shortly after it was established as a sport. In 1980, the UK formed its first winter guard team. Their current team ó Mayflower ó is now one of the most celebrated winter guard teams in Europe. The Netherlands formed its first team ó Pride of the Netherlands ó in 1983. Recruitment at European Schools Since schools in Eu

Posted: 2/5/2021

Why You Should Join Color Guard

Color guard is a sport that allows for individuals to perform in a choreographed dance ensemble while twirling the flag of a school, institution, or group. Everyone shares a collective passion for the art of color guard- and has an opportunity to meet new people and learn new dances while surrounded by their closest friends. For those who are not familiar with the sport of color guard, it provides a number of opportunities to participate in something new and improve your life overall. Pick Up Some Dance Moves The sport of color guard involves using dance moves to accompany the twirling of a baton or flag. Even if dance is not your strong suit, color guardís dance moves allow you to learn the basics of dance while being able to express yourself. You will learn how to move your body in ways you never could before, and feel the connection with your teammates while you all dance as one. Make Long-Lasting Friendships The sport of color guard is performed synchronously as a te

Posted: 11/10/2020

What You Need to Succeed in Color Guard

Entering the world of color guard is a great way to share pride and spirit for your school or organization. The sport of color guard stems from the military, where flag holders acted as part of the army to show the opponent their dignity. Since then, color guard has evolved into a collaborative activity with marching bands who wave flags, sabres, rifles, or air blades to interpret the music that the band is playing. In order to start your color guard experience, there are a few fundamental pieces of equipment you must have in order to be fully prepared. Flag and Pole In color guard, the flag and pole are two of the few parts that you can choose on your own. Choosing the right flag pole is essential to providing you with the ability to perform your movements accurately. Star Line Baton offers a wide selection of flag poles in all different colors, such as black, gold, white, and silver, to match any color or design of flag you plan to twirl. After choosing your shaft, itís time

Posted: 10/21/2020

Basic Color Guard Moves

No matter what sport you play, there are always basics to learn. The same goes for color guard! Every time a colorful flag is tossed into the air, color guard members are using advanced techniques that build upon their basic skills. Generally speaking, there are three main basic moves in color guard. Right Shoulder Position For the right position, hold the bottom stopper in your left hand, near your belly button. Use your right hand to hold the pole just under the flag, typically at forehead level. Try to keep the pole centered with your nose. Right, Left, or Front Present Position In order to achieve a front present, extend your right arm parallel to the ground, being sure to keep the pole away from your body. For right position, extend your right arm so that the pole crosses over your left shoulder. To achieve left present position, bring your right elbow up to your chin to cross the pole in the other direction. Right of Left Slam Like its namesake, slams are done quick

Posted: 9/23/2020

Color Guard Coaches: Tips and Tricks

To those who arenít well-versed in color guard, coaching a team may sound easy. However, color guard is an intensive sport that requires hours and hours of practice a day, as well as costuming, theming, choreography, gymnastics, and prop work. Every aspect that goes into a great routine is planned and implemented by the coach. Hereís how you can manage coaching color guard. Hire Help Find co-coaches who are as passionate about color guard that you are. Try to look for someone who may excel in an aspect that you donít; i.e. if costuming isnít your thing, look for someone who loves design! Use Your Resources Youíre only human and canít be expected to know the answers to everything. There are plenty of national guard circuits that you can reach out to. Many even offer mentor programs. Search for fellow color guard coaches on social media channels, and reach out to them to collaborate. For inspiration, check out Pinterest or Youtube. Work With Your Team Each member of your team

Posted: 9/9/2020

How to Tape Your Flag

Knowing how to tape your flag is one of the most important things that you should learn as a color guard member. Taping is a safeguard that can keep your flag from falling off during practice or even a performance. Step 1: Before you start to tape your flag, don't forget to remove the old tape as much as you possibly can. When all the old tape is off, you are ready to begin taping your flag. Step 2: The tip of the flag is known as a crutch tip; it is crucial that you pay extra care and attention to it when you tape it. Make sure that the crutch tip looks clean and is void of any gaps or loose tape. If you don't ensure that the tape is tightly sticking to your pole, it might start to come off during your practices. Step 3: Once you are ready, make sure in this next step that your silk doesn't wrinkle as you tape the pole. Begin by placing the crutch tip back in your pole and begin to tape the crutch tip to the pole. Be careful to not accidentally tape the silk

Posted: 4/8/2020

Succeeding in Colorguard

After you pass tryouts and become an official Color Guard member, the few next steps arenít so easy. Color guard is more than just tossing flags, and by now you probably know that. The mental and physical strength that it requires can be overwhelming at times, but there's no need to fret. Now that you are a member, it's time for you to shine. To do so, focus on a few key things and catching your flag will be as easy as the ABCís. It's all about your endurance. Start by working out, you can try doing some laps around your school or even swimming. Working out will not only get you in better shape but also build up all the endurance youíll need during shows and practices. Proper technique is key. Once you memorize your routine, donít assume that you have got it all down. Your performance is all about your technique, so don't hesitate to practice bit-by-bit every day. Once you have your flag or rifle tossing technique down, you will be an unstoppable force. Go to

Posted: 3/18/2020

How to Pack A Survival Kit for Your Next Color Guard Competition

When you arrive at a color guard competition, a million thoughts run through your head: When do we need to go to warm up? Where do we set up? What am I going to eat for lunch? You definitely don't want to worry about whether or not you have what you need. If you have a well-stocked survival kit on hand, you can minimize the stress of color guard competitions. The competition survival kit, sometimes affectionately known as the "grandma bag," comprises everything a color guard could possibly need. If something goes wrong with your team's equipment, the survival kit has what you need to fix whatever broke. This can include extra end caps and pole weights, electrical tape and packing tape, safety pins, scissors, extra bolt and strap screws, and a screwdriver. You'll also want to pack any personal items you or your teammates may need, including makeup wipes, hairspray, bobby pins, a comb, a hand mirror, deodorant, feminine products, a small bottle of water, a healthy snack, a

Posted: 12/5/2019

The Benefits of Yoga For Twirling and Color Guard

Participating in twirling or color guard requires athleticism, stamina, talent, and intense focus. In order to perform at the top of their game, a color guard member or twirler must take care of both their body and mind. The ancient Indian discipline of yoga also encourages the development of both physical strength and mental clarity. The twirling and color guard experts at Starline offer some insight on how practicing yoga regularly can help you nail your next routine. The physical practice of yoga consists of aligning your body into various poses, sometimes in a certain sequence and often held for several seconds ó or even minutes! ó at a time. This type of exercise can improve many aspects of your personal fitness, including flexibility, balance, and coordination. All these factors can greatly affect your twirling performance both in practice and during competition, so trying out a few poses a few times a week could help you finally land that double elbow roll. The improvement

Posted: 11/6/2019

Color Guard Equipment Storage Ideas

Joining a color guard team comes with plenty of perks: you get great exercise, build important teamwork and discipline skills, make friendships that will last a lifetime, and have tons of fun. But color guard also comes with gear ó and lots of it. Here are some ideas to help you store your color guard equipment. If youíre tired of having flags, rifles, and/or sabres leaning against the wall in your garage or closet, you can try making your own organizer out of PVC pipe. Simply cut six 20-inch lengths of PVC that is four inches in diameter. Then, screw the pipe lengths together and stand them up on one end wherever you want to store your equipment. Now you have an organizer you can stand your flags and rifles in for neater, less cluttered storage! Storing hair and makeup materials is another challenge many color guard members face. You can make storing makeup a breeze with a custom hair and makeup cart. To do this, you need a small rolling storage cart and a metal kitchen utensil

Posted: 10/23/2019

Surviving Your First Year of Color Guard

So youíve decided to join color guard. Maybe you saw the team performing at a football game or a competition, or perhaps you simply want to try something new. Whatever the reason, it is important that you understand this: You are now part of a team, and you have a responsibility to them. Joining color guard, as it is with any extracurricular, is a commitment. Be prepared to give this new venture your all. Before your audition, consider watching team practices and competitions to see what it is really like. If you decide itís for you, then learn the basics before tryouts. Youíre going to need to adapt to an active lifestyle. Believe it or not, color guard is a strenuous sport that involves dance, aerobics, and balance. Gain endurance by exercising, and doing things like swimming and jogging. Strengthen your wrists to avoid future injury or strain. Once on the team, it is essential that you go to practice. Even if those practices are over summer vacation. Your team is counting on you to

Posted: 10/23/2019

The History of Men in Color Guard

In years past, color guard was reserved as a sport for female athletes only at many high schools. But things change. Today, dozens of teams in the Florida Federation of Color Guard Circuit have boys on their squads. In the history of Winter Guard International (WGI), the Midwestern team of the Cavaliers impressed crowds in the late 1970s with an all-male squad. In the years that followed, many teams began including men in their squads. South Shore, for instance, was an all-male team until almost 1990, when it merged with its sister team, the Ladies of South Shore. From there on out, the company has alternated between all-male, all-female, and co-ed squads for various performances. By the time 1997 rolled around, the Pride of Cincinnati put together an all-male team and was able to secure big wins in the early 2000s. Another notable team was Northern Lights, who secured wins for a couple of years with an all-male team. WGI didnít see another world-class all-male company perform until 20

Posted: 9/18/2019

Auditioning for Color Guard

Youíre sitting in the stands of a high school football game. The halftime show begins, the music starts to swell, and out marches the color guard team. Youíre caught up in the choreography, the colors, and the visual artistry of it all. You suddenly know that you want to join the color guard team, but you donít know where to start. There are first a few questions you need to ask yourself: Do you enjoy dancing? Do you enjoy long practices, dedicating your time to a sport, and being a part of a team? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then color guard might be for you! The next step is to go to auditions. Donít worry if you donít know the basics of the flag; part of the audition process is spending time to teach you the basics of flag work and a short dance routine. The audition process is typically a few days, so make sure to spend time practicing outside of the auditions. When it comes down to the actual audition, this shows that you truly care about being a part of the t

Posted: 9/6/2018

Tips For New Color Guard Coaches

Coaching a Color Guard team sounds easy if you donít know much about the sport, but in reality itís much more difficult than it seems. Color Guard is an intensive sport; it requires hours of practice a day, costuming and theming, choreography, gymnastics and prop work. These are all aspects of a good routine, and itís the coachís job to plan and implement all of it. It doesnít have to be all stress, though. Here are a few tricks to help you flesh out your programs. Hire Help You canít do everything by yourself. Find co-coaches that can help you run practices and people that are skilled in choreography and costume design. If you donít have prior experience in Color Guard, itís a great idea to find someone who does! Use Your Resources There are national Guard circuits that you can reach out to. They offer spin camps and mentor programs. Most of these circuits have websites and social media that you can follow for information ó the internet will always be your biggest resou

Posted: 8/9/2018

All About Color Guard

When you hear the phrase ďColor Guard,Ē 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, itís 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. Itís a physically intensive sport. Color Guard can demand anywhere from 2-4 hours of practice a day (the average pr

Posted: 7/26/2018

All About Winter Guard

Everyone has likely heard of Color Guard, but Winter Guard is also an awesome choice. This sportís popularity is growing and spreading across the world. Interested in Winter Guard? Hereís some information about the sport: Winter Guard is performed in a gymnasium. It is a combination of cheerleading, dancing, and baton twirling (as well as other item maneuverings) all in one sport. Winter Guard has its own organization for those interested in the sport all over the world to join. They host competitions regularly. Winter guard teams require a lot of manpower. There are often multiple coaches that lead a team, a choreographer to help plan the moves, and team captains. Teams practice for months for five-minute performances. The timing is crucial during a performance, so teams have to practice setting up, tearing down, and performing in an efficient manner. Creative staging is often a big bonus during Winter Guard performances. Colorful tarps, imaginative backdrops, and other theme

Posted: 6/19/2018

Baton Twirling Across Cultures

Different forms of twirling can be seen throughout the world and across many different cultures. Each tradition combined together to form the sport to how itís practiced today. One country that has a rich history of twirling is that of Switzerland. Back in the Middle Ages, it was custom for urban guilds to perform flag throwing. This practice continued on throughout the years and eventually morphed into the Swiss Yodeling Association. The Swiss Yodeling Association introduced rules and regulations to flag throwing and began hosting competitions. Flag throwing in Switzerland is highly regulated. The size of the flag needs to be precise. There are also 90 regulated swings necessary when performing, which includes many different types of swings. These swings all involve throwing the flag up into the air and catching it by the staff. Another culture that holds twirling in high esteem was that of the Aztecs. They were known for their fire dancing. In Bali, a Fire Dance is regularly pe

Posted: 6/8/2018


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Posted: 2/6/2018

Three Basic Color Guard Moves

Marching band parades with the girls carrying those colorful flags are so much fun to watch. However, moving these flags to the beat of the music requires a lot of practice and technique also known as color guard moves. Star Line Baton, expert providers of both batons and color guard flags, has compiled some basic color guard moves for those just becoming acquainted with color guard. Right or Left Shoulder Position: Out of these two, the right position would be most common in the color guard routine. Right position will also typically be the position to enter and exit the field. To achieve this position, hold the bottom stopper in your left hand and hold the pole right under the flag with your right hand at the level of your forehead. Keep your left hand at the belly button level with the pole straight and centered with your nose. Right, Left, or Front Present Position: To achieve a front present, start with your right shoulder position and extend your right arm parallel to the g

Posted: 2/14/2017

Dress to Impress With the Perfect Costume to Fit Your Routine

Selecting the perfect costume is essential to any competitor's success. The right costume can make or break your routine and create a lasting impression in the minds of the judges and audience. If you mostly twirl in the marching band, you donít have that much liberty when choosing a costume, but if you compete, youíll have to help choose the right costume.

Posted: 11/10/2014

How to Twirl a Flag

Are you planning to try out for your school's color guard or drill team? If you are, you may need to learn how to twirl a flag. One of the most common techniques in twirling a flag is called a drop spin. To spectators, a drop spin looks like the flag is swiftly spinning in front of the twirler's body. To perform a drop spin, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Begin with the basic holding position - holding the flag upright with your right hand on the middle of the pole, just above your nose in height. Grasp the bottom end of the flag pole with your left hand just over your belly button.
  2. Release your left hand from the pole and twist the flag counterclockwise with your right hand, forcing your thumb (and the flag) down. Grab the pole with your left hand underneath your right hand.
  3. Release the pole with your right hand and twist your left wrist counterclockwise to bring the flag back upright. Replace your right hand back on the pole underneath your left hand with your thumb facing up.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 and you are doing a drop spin!

Posted: 3/28/2012

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