Flushing Winterguard Brings Home Gold
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With only nine girls, the Flushing High School Winter Guard wasn’t the biggest team preforming at FHS on Saturday, February 6th. And dressed in plain black, with no shoes, minimal makeup, and hair braided back, they weren’t the most elaborately costumed (“I don’t remember the last time I put on nail polish,” one girl quipped). Their autumn-themed routine It Leaves You Breathless (it’s a pun) has no plot beyond that of leaves falling from a tree to the ground. But Flushing’s Winter Guard, directed by Brian Liwak, Greg Reblin, Amanda Brisbey, and Rachel Lied, gave a performance worthy of a 1st place trophy.
Winter Guard, for those who don’t know, is an artful offshoot of Color Guard in Marching Band, though “jazzier”, in the words of Senior, Megan Convis. It focuses on the spinning and throwing of silky flags, prop rifles, and sabers (not sharp enough to justify the First Aid administrator’s presence) mixed in with interpretative dance and scored out of 100 points. Guard originates from soldiers defending their flag at all costs, but there was nothing defensive or confrontational about Flushing’s performance. From the moment the team stepped onto the white, vinyl floor –unrolled by the Middle Schoolers, who preformed earlier in the day and received a bronze rating- they were wore stoic faces of serenity.
Gathered in a circle around an artificial tree, Flushing’s only scenery, the girls began their routine with a series of twirls, jumps, and rolls out across the floor. They then picked up the props and threw and spun them in well-rehearsed synchronization to soft piano and cello music. The precise dancing finally ended with the team lying on the ground, covered by their golden flags. The guards were supposed to represent autumn leaves, first clinging to the branches of their tree, then being blown off by the wind and dancing in the breeze, and finally falling to the ground.
The crowd seemed enthralled with It Leaves You Breathless, clapping enthusiastically after particularly high, or in sync throws. The 5 judges were pleases as well, awarding Flushing a score of 69.560,and a 1st place trophy for the Scholastic A Division (second place was a good 10 points behind). The biggest excitement, however, came from the 9 team members, who called it “fantastic” and “amazing”. Junior Allison Clarembeau said, “That was one of our best performances!”
The team isn’t done yet though. They plan to head to Ohio over Spring Break to compete in a World completion, which they qualified for by placing in two regionals. Stay tuned for more on Flushing High School’s Winter Guard.