THE GUARD PROJECT
As the sun rises and falls, the Santa Teresa High School Colorguard practices to prepare for their 2017 marching season show entitled “KA” which is inspired by Cirque De Soleil. For those that don’t know, colorguard is not just part of ROTC but also a part of the band. To avoid confusion most of the time, they just refer to themselves as a guard.
Guard encompasses way more than just a pretty flag and a bright uniform. Dance is one of the building blocks that allow each member to look graceful and pretty in the ending result, but is one of the hardest things to do because not all members are aware of how to move their bodies. From dance, you move onto flag, which is 6 feet of beauty and terror. Everything is great until you need to learn how to toss and then it’s like you’re in an abusive relationship.
Just when you think it’s over, there’s rifle and no it’s not real. It’s made completely out of wood, but one wrong move and the pain is unbearable. Unlike dance and flag, rifle is all about looking strong and fierce because the snapping of the strap is not the same if you’re trying to look bubbly and sweet. Rifle will bring out the beast in you. The excitement of catching a rifle toss is so satisfying and it makes you stronger both physically and mentally.
The last section of guard is saber. It looks so pretty in the air and the members look like they’re floating and look light as a feather. However, as a guard member anticipates catching a saber, they brace themselves for the weight of the steel blade that’s rotating in the air and heading straight for their fingers or wrist. Nothing hurts more than hitting a finger or your wrist with a saber. I should know, my right ring finger is crooked thanks to a faulty catch.
Eileen Camacho, is a senior and guard captain at Santa Teresa and can be seen in the daylight dancer photo doing one of her favorite leaps called a “firebird”. She is also spotted tossing a flag in the air in one of my other shots during the Veteran’s Day Parade that was held in Downtown El Paso. In two other group shots, she’s seen in the center, leading the parade.
My silhouetted flag girl is freshman, Amparo Arredondo, who displays the flag’s beautiful colors up against the sunset. My silhouetted rifle is one of my freshman who happens to be transgender and identifies himself at Matt versus Melanie. Matt is seen doing an intricate move on rifle and I managed to capture the excitement of catching a good toss which is the second picture with Matt and the sunset is illuminating below his chest as he gives a triumphant smile.
I wanted to really capture what goes on inside the head of a guard person which is captured by freshman Liliana Vizcarra. The blurry photo helps illustrate the craziness that goes on during the show. One minute you’re dancing at the beginning and the next you’re tossing a saber in the air and turning under it and expected to smile and look “light” the entire time. The last silhouetted subject with her saber is freshman Julia Gonzales who also happens to be a captain and she is a beast.
Overall, guard is a beautiful art form that allows you to express yourself and become independent and a team all at once. There’s so much hard work, blood, sweat and tears that goes into looking pretty and light. It’s no joke.