What is a color guard?
Color guard is the expression of music through the medium of movement. What? Basically a group of people perform a routine with equipment or dance to music. The most common form is the people you see dancing or spinning flags with a marching band during a half-time show. But trust me, it's far more complicated than that!
What is a winter guard?
A winter guard is a color guard that performs during the winter months (usually second semester of the school year) to taped music, although some are known to use live music.
So what's the big deal?
Color guard is a lot like football - you don't truly understand it until you've participated. However, you can learn to appreciate it just by being a spectator. It can be addicting, beautiful, frustrating, and wonderful all in one instance. Just like any other sport, it takes practice to make it work, but just getting there is half the fun.
What kind of equipment are we talking about?
The most basic equipment is a flag. There are many, many different types. Here's a mini-dictonary:
Swing flag - about a 3 ft. pole. The silk is attached leaving just enough room for one hand to grip it at the bottom.
Chain flag - the silk is threaded with a heavy metal chain, allowing the user to bunch the flag up and wrap it around the body.
Regular flag - Okay, this can vary. I personally like a 6' aluminum pole. But there are some who prefer 5'. Or PVC piping. Or fibreglass. It all depends on the weight and look you desire. It's best to have stoppers on either end of the flag pole though. Tape them down with electrical tape.
Half and Half flags - about 3 feet of the pole is metal, but the rest of it is PVC piping. PVC piping gives a lot so when you run or spin a PVC pipe it has a lot of drag. The advantage of a half and half pole is the metal part you can spin and toss, but the PVC gives drag. Best of both worlds. But I wouldn't recommend it for regular sized flags. The best effect would be with a pole 10 feet or more.
Butterfly flags - These are flags where the silk is attached at both ends, but there is room to grip the pole in the middle. It generates the effect that you are spinning two flags at once.
T flags - These are the giant flags where the pole makes a T. A long silk is attached at the top part of the T (the part parallel to the ground) and is usually good for creating circles.
Rifle - Pretty much what it sounds like. Some like to spin with a strap or web, others without.
Saber - This is a sword-like object with a hilt(handle) at one end. Some are aluminum or plastic, others are steel.
Weapons? Are you mad?! What kind of messed up performance group is this?
No, actually weapons are quite the norm. They may sound funny, but they are amazing to watch, difficult to spin and add beautiful complexity to a show.
Where do I go about getting this equipment?
Go to the links about ordering equipment. You'll find a lot of information there.
Where do color guards perform?
It depends on the color guard. Most marching bands have a color guard or flag corps. Winter guards perform at basketball games and competitions, along with other places.
I have other questions that haven't been answered!
Send me an email, I'd be happy to answer your question, but... Please check out the FAQ section before you do though, because your question might be answered there!