Guard · Lifestyle

Performance Journal: Premiere 2016

“How was your show?”

The ultimate post-performance question. The best thing to ask, and the most important thing to answer (at least until the next performance, and then the question renews). When do you ask: As you’re getting off the floor, at circle up, at team dinner, the next day? How do you answer: A brief summary of how you felt, specifically what went wrong or right, lie? I don’t think anyone lies, but I think there is a lot more to the answer we give.

So this section (I’m calling it my “Performance Journal”) is about answering completely (in as much detail and honesty as I want) the question: How was your show? or even What did it feel like to perform?


Pre-Premiere – Jan 22, 2016

It didn’t feel like January. It didn’t feel like premiere. It didn’t feel like winter guard season.

The lack of those feelings made it hard to get into a “performance mindset” which gets me nervous, excited, and prepped.

(Btw I had lost my flag the week earlier, and showed up to the show without one. Luckily a dancer lent me hers!)

There were a handful of high school guards there, as well as Pegasus A and Open, which we all watched before we went on last. Even though I enjoyed watching winter guards (I haven’t seen any since April!), it still did not feel like winter guard season. Even when I got up to warm up with a couple flag tosses, it didn’t feel like it.

But the moment they called for us to go to opening set, and I set my flag and took my position… I felt that pre-performance rush that I haven’t really felt since DCI Semis in August (college marching band just didn’t do that for me this fall).

I’m not sure how to describe the rush, but it’s like all my muscles get prepped to fire anything. I feel hyper-aware of everything, but I know that I’m actually hyper-focused on just one thing: my show. My body is ready for anything (“fight or flight”), but my mind is only able to do one thing. How does one describe something so elusive?

In summary I had a good show! I caught my toss, danced with excitement. Even though I forgot to gesture at one of my teammates (I literally just left him there) 😛

I think that experiencing that rush is the first step to “feeling like it’s winter guard season”.


FFCC Premiere – January 23, 2016 – Lake Brantley High School

One of the nice things about performing last is how late I can start my day, and the fact that I don’t have to commit my entire day to the event. (This wouldn’t be the case if I had a different rehearsal schedule, or a guard to teach.) I slept in, got some schoolwork done, got my oil changed, got ready at my own pace, and in general had a laid back day.

Well, until I left.

I was going to carpool with a couple of other members, and on my way to their house I went to Dollar Tree to pick up some snacks. Because I had gotten my oil changed earlier that day, my car keys were not on my lanyard as they normally are. So when I parked my car, I only made sure I had my lanyard in hand as I got out and manually locked it. Not remembering that my keys were not on the lanyard!

So I locked my keys in my car. In the ignition. The car was running.

I called a locksmith, waited 30 minutes, spent $45 dollars, and made it to my friends. At least it was a nice drive to the show site.

I also enjoyed watching more high school guard shows. Some were cute, too many incomplete, almost all entertaining. I became obsessed with on high school’s pre-costume which looked like a cocoon and something I would wear to rehearsal.

But when it was time to leave I got up and went to the bathroom, realized I left my (someone else’s) flag in the stands, returned to the stands to NOT be able to find my flag. So I had to go into warmup/rotation without one. Luckily, I was able to borrow another dancer’s flag for the show.

I absolutely dreaded “warming-up” outside. By the way, it was really, really, REALLY cold. I’m from Oklahoma, where it gets that cold or colder, and we don’t warm up outside. It’s simply too cold! But even though it was cold, we’re in Florida so we’re going to start outside. I dressed for it. I felt like I had another body: leggings, 2 pairs of pants, a longsleeve, 2 jackets, scarf, earwarmers/headband, 2 pairs of socks, and Hot Hands (those air-activated heat packets). But I was still shivering!

Rotation wasn’t stressful or exciting; I have more dance than flag work so I had plenty of opportunities to take what I needed. In holding I realized I wasn’t wearing stirrup tights like I was supposed to. I was just ready to perform and have a new day tomorrow.

My favorite moment was when the guard’s show before us ended, and the applause shifted from clapping for them to cheering for us. That’s when I realized “It’s time”. It was literally deafening to be surrounded by it, but I loved it!

Even though it made it very difficult to hear our quiet music and hard-to-find tempo.

I enjoyed it! The show went about as good as I expected it to be. Significant areas for improvement (my performance and the show).

After retreat I took a picture with one of my teammates. I usually take a “premiere picture” and after that I shouted “It’s winter guard season! It’s here!”.

Happy Premiere!




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