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California Crosspoint Academy color guard

Music, Dancing, and Spinning: Color Guard is the Sport that B

Music, Dancing, and Spinning: Color Guard is the Sport that B

Article Written By: Esther Lai (Grade 9, CCHS)

In the 1980s, Color Guard (formally known as the Flag Corps) started at CCA where they
performed at many events and parades, including Disneyland and the San Francisco Chinese
New Year’s Parade.

In 2019, Mrs. Amber Ennis took the reins as head coach and started California Crosspoint
Academy’s Color guard resurgence.

“I did color guard in middle school and high school and loved it. It was something that my sister
and neighbors also did so it was more fun with them,” Mrs. Ennis said. “When I started working
at CCA, they encouraged us to consider coaching as a sport, but I said only color guard. Since
there was a legacy of color guard here already, Mr. Lim and Mr. Hom seemed excited to bring it
back. My sister, Laura, came the first few years to help at the competitions and my old neighbor,
Julianna has made the costumes the last two years. So, it feels full circle!”

Historically, Color Guard has often been part of the marching band, so some view it more as a
musical endeavor than an athletic one. While there certainly is a relationship between band and
Color Guard, and can work in tandem together, like for parades and other celebratory events,
the two are not dependent on the other. Band highlights the musicians collaborating to create a
beautiful musical composition while Color Guard focuses on the collaboration and synchronous
movements of its dancers. This ambiguity surrounding Color Guard and where it fits on the
athletic spectrum makes us consider the questions, what defines a sport?

Oxford Dictionary defines sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill, especially
one regulated by set rules or customs…” While Color Guard and other kinds of dance may
seem “easier” than other sports, they require a lot of physical activity to participate. Spinning,
twirling, tossing, and catching the flag itself takes strength and proper hand-eye coordination
while the dance section needs flexibility and teamwork. The Color Guard team, which practices
year-round, has put dozens of hours into perfecting their choreography and synchronizing all
their tosses in the air. Despite the time commitment, the energy exerted both mentally and
physically to learn the choreography, the hand-eye coordination for flag tosses, it is often
dismissed as a serious sport.

Sophomore Eunice Chan acknowledged the challenges of the time commitment and the
physicality of each performance.

“The hardest thing [about Color Guard] is managing the time commitment due to other
scheduling conflicts,” Chan said. “From a physical standpoint, it takes a lot of work getting
comfortable with your own flag work.”

On Saturday, January 20, the team performed at James Logan High School in Union City,
where it was evaluated and placed within its competition group. In Color Guard, teams are split
into two “divisions” World and Regionals. Within the division, there are three sections, A, AA,
AAA, where A is the highest level that recognizes the most advanced skill. They are judged on
their coordination and proficiency. The performance contains a combination of flag work and
dance as well as relying on additional props like lanterns and glowing orbs.

Freshman Emily Ku said that regardless of the perception of color guard as a sport and the
challenges of the performances, it’s more than worth it because of the community she has
formed.

“I love color guard because I can bond with my friends while making new connections with new
people who join it. I get to help my teammates out by guiding them through the challenges of
color guard,” Ku said.

California Crosspoint Academy color guard


Color Guard’s next performance is Saturday, February 10 at Independence High School in San
Jose.

Mrs. Marsheck is in charge of public relations, marketing, community development, and fundraising for CCA.