Indoor Guard: An Overlooked Art



In December 2017, a small part of Edison High’s color guard decided they would revive a previously-abandoned program: indoor guard. The last time the school had seen this organization was back in 2015, after which it faded away due to lack of funding, members, staff, and recognition.

“Yes, people knew about us, but no one really knew what we did,” said Nathaniel Luna ’16, an Edison High School alumnus and a former guard member.

So, what is the indoor guard? Most students have seen Edison High School’s Marching Eagles, either at a pep rally or during halftime of a football game. The color guard is the visual aspect of the marching band: they toss flags, spin rifles and sabres, and dance. Being in a marching band, as with indoor guard, is an experience of its own. Indoor takes place during winter and into the spring, and as the name suggests, it takes place indoors.

A sabre (left) and rifle, two of the main visual elements of any indoor guard performance.
Photo credit: Eagle’s Eye staff

Winter guard focuses on technique and visuals during the course of a five- to seven-minute performance. Shows can have any genre of music accompanying the spinners, whether it be classical or pop music. Any performance concept or topic can be adapted as long as it is easily discernible when watching the show. For example, in 2018, the Eagles performed a show titled “Fields of Gold”, with gold-lined dresses as costumes and a field of golden wheat printed onto the floor. The floor is the term for a large mat laid out onto the gym floor during a performance. This adds extra visual effect and creates a better surface for performers. Due to the use of these mats, guard practices must be held in the gym, but due to the lack of recognition, Edison High School’s indoor guard has had difficulty finding open gym space. 

Despite these hardships, the Edison High School indoor guard has made significant feats in the past. In 2018, “we were able to overcome all adversity,” said guard captain Kayla Wason ’21, “moving up two class levels in one season and making top five at championships against 17 other guards.” Being able to win this much was a huge milestone, considering that the organization had only been back in existence for a year.

Francisco Velazquez ’21 (right) and captain Nicole Reyes ’19, pictured here in 2019, spin rifles as part of their show, “Fields of Gold.”
Photo credit: Eagle’s Eye staff

Not only were the Eagles able to conquer difficulties, but they got closer by doing so. Francisco Velazquez ’21 admits that, “The indoor color guard is not only a team but rather a family.” Indoor guard rehearses 12 hours per week, not including individual practice and competition days. Competition days take place every Saturday, starting on February 15. They include getting to school in the early morning, practicing, then changing and doing makeup before taking a bus to the competition itself. Most of the time, the groups does not come back from competitions until 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m.

2019 Indoor Guard members (from left) Sonali Dalwadi ’21, Nicholas Nehila ’21, Sergio Ramirez ’21, Emily Heller ’21, and Julia Webb ’22 tossing flags while captain Elizabeth Desranleau ’19 does a leg stand as part of their show “Movement”
Photo credit: Eagle’s Eye staff

All this time spent together makes for a tight-knit team. According to Wason, “color guard is an experience that should be tried by anyone who wants to be a part of an amazing family and improve work ethic and focus.” Edison High School’s indoor guard has high hopes for the 2020 indoor season.