Picture courtesy of McKenzie Joyce
Guest Contributor, Madison Harosky
Emory and Henry’s winter color guard and coach Amanda Ferguson are working diligently to prepare for an upcoming and unusual competition season. The competition will be held virtually this year, a change from past competitions that requires the team to submit a video recording of their routine.
“We will be meeting at the campus, practicing for a moment to warm up, video a time stamped run through of our show, and then submitting it virtually this year. There will be no travel,” Ferguson said.
In past seasons, color guard competitions are an all day or all weekend event. “A normal competition would consist of traveling to the designated competition venue for that weekend ranging from a local high school to an out of state university arena,” Ferguson said.
The change from in person competition to virtual submissions is not the only challenge the color guard has faced this year. “The uncertainty of how and even if we would be able to start or continue with a season has been the most difficult experience so far,” Ferguson noted.
This year, the pandemic has changed the way the team usually learns and practices the choreography. “The process has changed drastically as we have not been able to have in person practices at the frequency we normally would have. We can really only communicate techniques and choreography virtually,” Ferguson said.
Social distancing guidelines made it much more difficult to creatively choreograph the color guard show for this competition season. “From a design perspective I have had to take into consideration proper spacing with everything they do and practically eliminate any type of equipment exchange or partnering pieces of choreography I would normally try to teach.”
A member of the color guard, Hannah Reid, is also concerned about the new choreography challenges. “One of the biggest obstacles I can see coming up is creating a show without getting within 6 feet of each other,” Reid said.
Throughout the uncertainty of this year, the team has a bright outlook on the situation.“This season is definitely unprecedented for winter guard all around, like so many other things this year. I find the best way to think about it is to focus on the positive things about it,” Reid said.
Although the team has faced many challenges this season, Coach Ferguson is optimistic for this season and confident in her team. “With the students that are involved I know they will approach it and tackle the obstacles with grace and excellence. They will make this a successful season even though I wish we could’ve had more time to prepare for my over planning heart,” Ferguson said.
The first virtual competition is scheduled for Feb. 26.