Sport of the Arts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   It can pack more entertainment value into one six-minuteprogram than a whole afternoon of basketball. Music and dance, costumes andprops, twirling and tossing all come together in a synchronized display of artand athleticism. Color guard has been dubbed "The Sport of the Arts"because it doesn't fall entirely into the sport or art category.

A colorguard is a costume company of four to 30 members trained in dance, drama and thesignature skill of color guard - synchronized tossing, twirling and spinning ofrifles, sabers, flags and other props. Each color guard's program is designed asa mini-musical: the soundtrack is interpreted through movement and drama, thentied to a theme. The emotional impact can be breathtaking for observers.

Acolor guard competition is conducted like a gymnastic event. Each color guardunit is allotted eight to ten minutes to set up a floor mat, place props, performits program and exit the arena. Units that fail to meet this time may losepoints. Guard is a spectacular event, even though it is virtually unknown outsideits small, but growing number of devoted fans.

Through the years I haveplayed various sports and participated in many clubs, but none compares to myexperiences in color guard. It has taught me lessons in life and given meconfidence, integrity, sportsmanship and a strong work ethic. Color guard hashelped me learn to set goals and strive to be the best I can be. It has been mysupport when life has turned its back on me.

Color guard yieldsfatigue, tears, laughter, sweat, pain and, most importantly, love. It has taughtme that pain is a learning and growing experience. Guard is magic! It has givenme tools I'm sure will get me through the rocky times life has in store. Guardhas shown me that sometimes you have to take a few falls before being able to dosomething the right way. I have learned that accepting criticism is necessary tobecome the best.

Guard has taught me the values of success. It is notabout the number of trophies one collects; it doesn't mean making finals at thiscompetition or that. Being successful means always striving to do your best andworking to beat yourself.

Guard is a binding experience. I have foundmyself unbelievably close to people that I probably would not have spoken tootherwise. I have made friendships that will last the rest of my life. I havenever seen a group rally and support a hurting or discouraged friend theway those in color guard do. In guard no one is alone, it binds diversepeople and molds them together to work for the goals that many only dreamof.

I am looking at the future sadly because I know guard - along withhigh school - will soon be over. It is a huge piece of my heart, a piece that Iknow will feel empty for a long time. Nevertheless, I will always be able to seea flash of wonderful memories. I will remember frustrations when I couldn't get atoss, followed by the glory when I finally got it right. I will remember steppingonto the stage to do what I loved and the feeling of excitement hugging my heartas the butterflies fluttered away. I will remember being surrounded by friends,an audience and a love for the sport I know.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Atrissa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 5:34 pm
<3 guard!!!!!!!! :)
ColorGuardFTW said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm
YAYYY!!!!! I love colorguard!!! *smiley face* :D
winterguardluv94 said...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 9:47 pm
i love colorguard, but winterguard is so much funner!
pinkyxdaisy said...
Sept. 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm
I loooooooooooove colorguard (L)(L)
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