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Winter Guard creates unique routine for international contest in Ohio

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Two days a week. Three hours a day. Extra time at home and occasional camps on the weekends. The Winter Guard spends a vast majority of their time practicing for shows.

This upcoming season, the Winter Guard is traveling to Dayton, Ohio, to participate in an international contest. The Raider Winter Guard will be the first Leander ISD group to participate in this open class competition.

“We are excited because we will get a chance to actually perform in the contest, rather than be spectators,” senior Arielle Toney said. “That’s kinda reserved for the best of the best, so we want to perform in the contest and hopefully, advance to the finals.”

The varsity team will come up with a new routine for the competition, which will be compared to other performance teams from around the country.

“Our theme is different for every show we do,” junior Madison Hayes said. “I’m excited to work the on choreography and challenge myself to become a better dancer and performer.”

Combining dance, flags, sabers and rifles, Winter Guard will execute an intense show that creates inspiration.

“We want the audience to feel the emotion in our show,” sophomore Megan Wood said. “We want the audience feel what we’re trying to throw at them through the dance, rifles, sabers and flags – through it all.”

In addition to the contest in Ohio, Winter Guard will also compete in the Texas Color Guard Circuit. The regional competition is one of the team’s main focus.

“TCGC’s competitions usually start around January, after winter break,” Toney said. “We go to different schools, perform in their gym and are judged from there.”

The performers main goal is to get better each time they compete. Personal improvement for each member helps the entire team.

“It can be challenging, but everyone enjoys Winter Guard because we get to spend more time with fellow members,” junior Mackenzie Bailey said. “It’s focused more on us, whereas marching season is focused more on band. In Winter Guard, we concentrate on improving our skills, and that helps us become a better team.”