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Dec 08 2015
by Joanne Iglesias

How Color Guard Helped Me Step Outside My Comfort Zone

By Joanne Iglesias - Dec 08 2015
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When people talk about stepping outside of their comfort zone, the first thought that comes to mind definitely isn’t tossing a 6-foot metal pole into the air or spinning a saber. The first time I ever heard about color guard was my sophomore year of high school when my best friend invited me to watch her marching band show. The vibrant flags, the gorgeous uniforms, and the smiles that radiated from each color guard member’s face completely captivated me. The flags rippled through the night sky, creating a mesmerizing display of beautiful colors. As I sat on the edge of the cold bleachers rubbing my mittens together, all I knew was that I wanted to perform.

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The summer before my junior year, I joined my high school’s marching band, and I must say, it was probably the most difficult activity I ever participated in. In the beginning of the season, I always felt anxious and nervous because I felt like a small fish swimming in unknown waters. Every practice, a handful of new dance and flag terminology were thrown at me. The first month of rehearsal, I could barely spin the flag for more than five minutes without cringing from the burning aches in my shoulders. I struggled with everything from dance choreography to intricate flag work, but with time, practice, and patience, I slowly became better. By the time competitions started, applying bold makeup, wearing sparkly uniforms, and rehearsing color guard work became second nature to me. I no longer felt nervous; I was now a more confident individual.

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Joining color guard has made me who I am today. Being a member of such an amazing group of people helped me break out of my shell and create lifelong friendships. I will never forget the first time I hit myself with my flag, and I will absolutely never forget the first time I actually caught my flag. Color guard helped me realize that I am capable to overcome any obstacles in my path and march out successful. Now, as a college freshman, I know that I can catch whatever life decides to throw at me and face it with confidence.

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Joanne Iglesias - William Paterson University

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