This one is super long, so I apologize in advance. I also apologize in advance for taking such a big detour before getting to my point. But here goes…..
I love watching school marching bands and enjoy what some fondly call the “Friday night lights”! As it happens, I have a son who marches in his high school marching band, so I have the opportunity to attend a plethora of performances involving all sorts of marching bands. It’s quite an intricate and close-knit little community, and definitely understated!
Most people aren’t aware, but marching band kids spend a huge amount of time practicing. Every school is different but most are pretty similar I’m sure. Hillgrove High for example practices for 3 1/2 hours per night 3 nights per week, plus 2 hours before game time on Fridays. That’s not to count the two Saturdays per month for 9 hours each; and on off-game Fridays they may have a mini camp for 5 hours after school til 9 pm. Drill, drill, drill! (Watching a practice now as I write.)
Why so much practice we might wonder? It’s because their music has to be memorized as do all those marching moves. (Of course they do … there’s no place for a music stand out on the field at halftime or in the stands during the game). 🤔
This is likely why they’re such a close-knit group since they spend so much time together!
Yes, they support the football team, but that’s just the beginning. Band directors take their MB programs very seriously! Late arrivals to practice are awarded with laps or push ups, or cleaning up the band room. Absence request forms are required if they need to miss a practice. And fees are a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day!
So as you can see, like the football team they support, there is a huge commitment when deciding to join Marching Band. (An important fact to note for all you parents of aspiring musicians!!) But it seems those who do it, love it!
Did you know? The marching band crew includes the Color Guard…. those young ladies – and sometimes gentleman – you see dancing about with or without Flags to the beat and music being played by the marching band.
I enjoy watching the Color Guard as well, and the band wouldn’t be the same without them. KUDOS to these ladies who also work very hard!
Although that’s all very interesting and admirable, the inner workings of the marching band is not at all what I’m here to talk about today.
I’m thinking today of the young ladies of the color guard. I had to ponder for a moment to figure out my exact question. But the question I pose today is, what is it our young ladies are doing…. and is it appropriate for this age group? As I mentioned, some high school CGs are more conservative, others – well, not so much. Some dance, some twirl, some spin flags while others throw rifles. Some don’t use a flag at all……they just dance!!
What are you referring to, Theresa?! Just get to the point!
The dancing…..those moves though!
Honestly, I’m not even fully sure how I feel about this one. Hillgrove happens to be on the conservative side. But I can’t say the same for some other schools in my County. At a recent football game, the opposing band and color guards presented a very lively, fun show. The ladies wore skinnish colored leotards with a touch of red to proudly display their school colors. They did tons of splits, HEAVY twerking, and lots of skillful flips where they landed with their backside in the air. Skillful…of course, no question! But I do wonder a bit about this sort of presentation for such young ladies! Am I the only one wondering?
Since it’s high school, they range in age from 14 – 18 I would imagine. So the question remains, is this ok for a 14 year old?
After all, the audience is made up, not just of high school kids, but of all sorts of men and women, who range in age from 8 (months) to 80. Do I want MY daughter dancing in this arguably suggestive fashion? Well actually, I only have sons no daughters, but you know what I mean. Then again, since I have no daughters does that mean my perspective is off?? I don’t know the answer to that. I do not dispute that it’s fun to watch; I’ve always been a big fan of marching band performances. But still, this is high school, not college. So my thought is they are children first, then entertainers. So maybe a bit of conservativism is good. Is there perhaps a happy medium we can all be happy with?
But that’s just MY side view and of little (NO) value to the business at hand. What say you?
And speaking of business, this brings another thought to mind. These activities are supported by the school, right? So doesn’t that mean there’s a Color Guard coach, a band director, a principal, and a school administrator someplace who had to sign off on the presentation? Further, these kids of course have parents who are certainly proudly cheering in the stands, along with Grandma and Grandpa who came along for family support. So they must be ok with it also, since permission has to be granted to participate.
Well of course. Everyone knows these ladies didn’t just run out on the field and do whatever came to mind; their performances are well thought out by all involved. So not blaming the ladies at all; I cheer with everyone else. Again, they work very hard.
Ok. So with that in mind, clearly it’s just me …..perhaps being a bit old fashioned. I guess that happens when you get to be my age!
Never mind then. Carry on!
I still wonder though. Have you ever thought about it? Do you think it’s appropriate? I would so love to know.
Just my side view.
Finally, I can’t miss an opportunity to proudly and shamelessly share more photos of my son and his Hillgrove Marching Band crew! 😁