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Twirling into a new season

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Amanda Conklin

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Etowah’s Winter Guard, an indoor sport involving the performance of flags, dance and weapons, performed its show “Just for Kicks” at the Eagle Mountain Winter Guard Competition at Etowah on Jan. 20. The program featured 47 groups ranging from middle school to world class, which is the highest, most complex level.  

“Winter Guard is a fun, challenging sport with beautiful and complex elements that make an overall extremely entertaining and elegant show,” Becca Bennett, junior captain, said.  

Winter Guard shows are performed to a prerecorded track, rather than live music like Color Guard, which is the outdoor version of Winter Guard. This year, Etowah’s Winter Guard team is performing to a cover of “Feel it Still” by Portugal. The Man. Their version of the song, however, is more ballad-like than the version played on the radio. 

“I love marching band, but winter guard is so cool because it’s all about the guard. There’s no feeling like being able to show off what you love and having it be all about the guard as a whole,” Summer Jones, senior captain, said.  

The instructors, Abby Ammons and Page Cormany, write all of the original choreography. The show features dance, flag, and rifle work with two different flag silks, one with monotone colors and one with vibrant colors. 

“The uniforms usually contrast or match our flag silks, so that way, the show theme is shown throughout the performance,” Mia Jordan, junior captain, said. 

The Etowah Winter Guard also has a Cadet Guard program for middle school students. Cadet Guard is a simpler version of Winter Guard that focuses on the basics of flag twirling. The goal of the program is to introduce younger students to Winter and Color Guard, so they will join and have experience when they are in high school.  

“I was impressed with how excited these girls were to learn. Their eyes light up whenever we teach them new work,” Bree Moore, senior captain, said. 

Practices are Monday and Thursday from 6:15 to 8:30 in the E.T. Booth cafeteria. During practice, girls will warm-up, work on choreography, and run through their performance multiple times. Their hard work and dedication certainly pays off in the end. 

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