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Four Color Guard Members Cross Paths with StarCross

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The four Southern Lehigh color guard members joined StarCross to further their skills and knowledge.

The four Southern Lehigh color guard members joined StarCross to further their skills and knowledge.

Mrs. Marlo Spritzer

Mrs. Marlo Spritzer

The four Southern Lehigh color guard members joined StarCross to further their skills and knowledge.

Sarah Jacobson, Our World Editor

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During football season, the student body has the pleasure of viewing the Southern Lehigh marching band perform. The members of the color guard work hard to provide the visual component and put on the best show possible every year.
Even though the fall marching season is over, several Southern Lehigh color guard members are not finished performing for the year. Four members of the color guard, senior Celeste Tran, junior Alyssa Kovacs, and sophomores Nicole Karol and Nicole Schaffer, have joined a local independent indoor guard organization called StarCross and have been spinning ever since.
An indoor guard is a color guard that performs to recorded music inside a gym during the winter season, and features many of the same elements as the outdoor shows that many students at Southern Lehigh are accustomed to, such as music and dance. They compete weekly against other indoor guards from the region.
StarCross offers three different color guard programs: Dorado, a cadet guard for children age 5-11, Vega, a junior guard for preteens and teens age 11-15, and Polaris, an indoor guard for adolescents age 15-22.
Kovacs, Karol, and Tran are all members of the Polaris guard, and Schaffer is a member of the Vega guard. Both groups are directed by Jen Dinbokowitz.
“We usually start out [practice] with stretching, then we move to dance. Then we either practice drill or do flag until lunch,” Karol said of her typical rehearsal schedule with Polaris. “After lunch, we either do a weapons block or do sectionals, [which is] working on choreography.”
A “weapon” is the general term used to describe a rifle or sabre prop that a performer spins and dances with in color guard, an activity with distant military roots.
Schaffer is spending her third season with Vega, where she focuses more on developing skills in the areas of flag and dance.
“[My favorite part about Vega is] just being with new people and friends and learning new stuff,” Schaffer said.
All color guards go through rigorous practice, but each “division” has varying level of intensities to fit and endurance skill levels that are relative to age. Polaris is the most rigorous of the three Starcross color guards, and will compete in the Intermediate A class for the 2018 season, having been bumped up from Regional A after their 2017 success.
Tran was part of that success, and returned to Polaris for a second season.
“I knew in order to get better at outdoor colorguard I needed to broaden my horizons. I thought if I ended up not liking indoor color guard, at least I learned something seeing how indoor color guard works,” Tran said about her reasons for joining last year. “Now, I absolutely love it. Anyone who wants to get better at color guard should join it.”
This is the first year that Karol and Kovacs will be competing with Polaris.
“[I joined Polaris] because I like colorguard, and I wanted to continue doing [guard] throughout the year and enhance my skills that I had learned in the school marching band,” Kovacs said.
Polaris and Vega practice once a week on Sundays during the preseason, but later in the as the competition season approaches, they add Saturdays as well. During practice, the members spend time perfecting their routines and preparing for their shows that begin in the last week of January.
Shows typically have a theme; for example, in the 2017 season, Schaffer performed with Vega in a show styled after the movie “Hocus Pocus.” Until the first public performance, members are not allowed to talk about their theme for the show.
Both Polaris and Vega will compete locally at Salisbury HS and Emmaus HS. Their full performance schedule will be available at the Starcross website: http://starcrossyouth.com/

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Four Color Guard Members Cross Paths with StarCross