Friday, September 23, 2016

Jenna's essay about WGI

                                     Jenna Ray
Sophomore Language Arts
Period 2A
Time stops when the show begins
My memoir is about a specific moment in a long and continuing story. The story begins with an invitation to a thing called colorguard, which I had never heard of before.  It grows as the years go by, and as I learn more, and pauses at a memorable event known as the Winter Guard Internationals, which is what my memoir focuses on. More specifically it focuses on a certain feeling of performing a show, where time seems to stop when the show begins.
Colorguard is known as a sport of the arts, and includes dancing, as well as spinning and tossing flags, rifles, sabres, and batons. I first discovered colorguard when I was in sixth grade and joined a guard for children under twelve known as the Hillsboro Minis. At the time I had no idea what color guard was, and had only joined because one of my friends was in it. The first day that I went to try it out I had no idea what I was doing, but as I learned more and more I began to like and enjoy color guard. When I was in seventh grade I joined the high school JV team. The year after that I made it onto the varsity team, which is when I started hearing about a thing called WGI, which stands for Winter Guard Internationals. I learned that the high school varsity team competes at WGI every three years, and that the last year they had gone had been the year I was in minis. This meant that this next year they would go again, and if I made the varsity team again, I would go with them.
I did make the varsity team, and right away we were focused on preparing for WGI. I still didn’t know much about what it was at first, but I learned that this year it was going to take place in Dayton Ohio, and that it was a big competition where guards from all over the united states, and even guards from different countries, would all come together to compete against one another. Having WGI as our ending goal rather than just normal championships really changed how our season played out. Nearly every rehearsal ended with a reminder that we had to hold ourselves to a high standard so that we could be the best guard we could be when we performed in Ohio. Practices were also a lot more intense, and we’d sometimes do run-throughs where we would start our show over again every time a mistake was made. During the first few practices it seemed like the time to leave would never come, but when the moment finally arrived, it felt like everything building up to it had gone by too fast. Our last part of preparation for WGI was packing for the trip, then after that we went to the airport, and onto the plane that would take us to our destination.
The first two days were spent getting ourselves situated and going to the different venues around us to watch other guards perform, as well as get a feel for the space we would have to perform in. The morning of the third day we were up early and off to the venue where we would present our own show. Everything leading up to our performance seemed to go by too quickly, and before long it was our time to take the floor. We hurried to set up all our equipment,  found our ways to our beginning poses, and then the music started. The next four minutes was a whirl of spinning and tossing, and music that seemed to barely compare to the sound of our own pounding hearts. All too soon it was over and we were rushing everything off the floor. I felt immersed in the strange feeling that comes after performing a show. It’s like you suddenly can’t remember much of what you just did, as if time had fast forwarded from going on the floor to getting off it, or instead like time had stopped at the beginning, and started again when you finish.
Every time I perform in colorguard I experience the feeling of time being warped, but my experience at WGI will be one of the most memorable out of many. Getting to perform at WGI represents a huge checkmark in my continuing colorguard journey. I hope to be able to go there again someday, to experience the excitement of being there and performing there, and inevitably the time-stopping feeling that comes with it.

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