Indoor Color Guard Goes Virtual

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By JULIA WEBB ‘22

Edison High School’s indoor guard, despite unprecedented circumstances, pushes on with their 2021 season. This indoor guard season sees the entrance of two new guard techs: Mr. Marcus Henry and Mr. Kai Williams, both of whom have collaborated to design this season’s program. Titled “Always Remember Us This Way,” it utilizes Lady Gaga’s song of the same title. Adapting contemporary dance and costumes, the show capitalizes on the idea of relationships, both romantic and platonic, that transcend all circumstances. This is an essential concept during a time when many relationships are strained because of the pandemic and the distance.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this season’s indoor guard is significantly smaller, with eight members. This can be seen as both positive and negative, according to the guard techs.

“Small color guards can be difficult to design because it’s hard to make the team look big on the floor…Smaller teams require each person to stand out with their performance,” said Williams. “Having a smaller team isn’t inherently disadvantageous. It allows for everyone to get the personal corrections they need, and everyone can bond more easily.” 

Edison’s indoor guard practicing their show.
Photo Credit: Eagle’s Eye Staff

On a more specific note, Henry said, “staging and designing seemed to be a big task…My fear was eased when I witnessed the talent level of the team. Everyone is pulling their weight to make this small guard have large moments.”

Given the current conditions amidst a pandemic, indoor guard competitions, similar to the 2020 marching band season, have been hosted virtually. Performances of the show are recorded every other week and submitted. As the season reaches its halfway point, guard captains Kayla Wason ’21 and Sonali Dalwadi ‘21 were asked to compare past seasons to the current ongoing season.

Dalwadi said, “[last year] we didn’t have techs that…cared as much for the success of the guard as much as the team did.” Additionally, “[this year] there’s a really good balance between the effort our team has gathered collectively and the efforts our techs have put into making sure our show fully encapsulates our talent.” 

An award from one of the virtual competitions in which Edison competed.
Photo Credit: Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network Instagram

Having won “Excellent” awards for two competitions in a row, the captains are not the only ones with a positive outlook on this season. Henry said, “COVID-19 has made it very difficult seeing that we didn’t get the same amount of time and resources we would usually get in a regular season…However, completing the show slowly and steady will win the race.” He added funneling time and effort into fortifying each part of the show, rather than rushing to finish it, will benefit the team and the program as a whole.

According to Williams, “this season is getting harder as we add more layers to it, but you all are handling it incredibly well.”

Guard captains Kayla Wason ‘21 and Sonali Dalwadi ‘21 at band camp in 2019.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Williams

With the Class of 2021 graduating in just a few months, Wason and Dalwadi are nearing the end of their high school career. They have spent eight seasons in Edison’s color guard. The Class of 2020 saw no students joining Edison’s color guard, leading Wason and Dalwadi to step up as captains a year earlier than expected. The two were asked to reflect on their years in high school color guard and their opinions on this season being their last. 

“Having a high school color guard has been so fundamental to everything. It’s taught me friendship, courage, self-confidence,” said Wason. “It has prepared me for life in a way that no other program at EHS could have prepared me for. I’m glad that when I do graduate…my last memory is going to be of this amazing season.”

Dalwadi ‘21 said, “It feels like the end of an era. Sometimes I feel as though this ending is long overdue, but color guard truly means so much to me. I would not be where I am without it.”

Looking forward, Wason ‘21 plans on marching for DCI in future outdoor seasons, and Fusion World Guard for future indoor seasons. She has also decided on coming back to Edison High School’s color guard as a tech next year, of which she is “excited to be in a position where [she] can teach and educate…apart from being a member of the guard.”