Tonight I ventured into a world I have never encountered before. Well let me try and not be so dramatic. Tonight I ventured into a world, that outside of a high school football game's half time entertainment, I have never encountered before.
One of my students asked me to attend her colorguard competition.
It was like a the world of illegal street racing before the movie The Fast and The Furious.
Or the world of competitive video gaming before the movie Fist Full of Quarters.
You've heard of these places, and you kinda want to believe they're real, but honestly...how could they be?
The first thing that took me by surprise was that it cost money to get in. People actually pay to watch young ladies (and occasionally young men) twirl flags around and prance around.
But now that I think about it maybe that's not such a big shocker. Our society being what it is, I suppose this makes sense. But no social commentary tonight.
The next thing I notice was that there is, to my astonishment, a lot of people who watch these colorguard competitions. The stands were full.
And they don't preform on the football field, but the compete in the gym. It was so out of place. It was if the basketball team decided to host their games on the fenced in, black surfaced courts in the middle of the park. Yeah it works, but it ain't right.
I don't remember colorguard at my high school. But then again I wasn't the most involved with school social events. I attended some football games, but to my credit, I spent half time trying to impress the ladies...a lady...okay, okay...any lady.
But these young gals tonight took this stuff seriously. And there was all sorts of colorguard audience etiquette that I was just not aware of; there needs me be a helpful handout.
And I feel I must point out how awkward that lone guy on the squad must feel, or how the squad feels, or at least the crowd watching feels. Not that I think a young man shouldn't follow his passion of dancing before large crowds with wooden guns and flags; and I'm certainly not going to assume a sexual stereotype just because of his extracurricular activities. But I do see how that might become a distraction on some level. Like when a young lady joins the wrestling team.
There was however a team this evening with at least half it's squad being males (10 out of 2o dancers). This did not have the awkwardness of the the team with the lone male. What was unfortunate was this team choose a urban image that often allows for suggestive labeling. Where was the coach in that decision making process?
Or worse, there was the squad that was dressing in black leather pants, and fish net tops (over red a red shirt). This outfit definitely suggested that these young ladies would have a future in the dancing industry; unfortunately the football field wouldn't be their stage.
The announcer, before each team would start, would ask the judges if they were ready (and the judges were a trip too), then ask the team's captain if they were ready, and finally he would give permission for the team to "take the floor in competition". It for some reason reminded me of the big karate meet in the Karate Kid. But instead of people actually kicking each other it was the even more painful world of teenage mean girls.
Finally it was time for the trophies to be handed out. The hosting school's music director played the National Anthem on his saxophone and completely hit a wrong note at the end of the song. He tried to play it off as if he meant to by dragging out the wrong note in a way that saxophonist can do, only he didn't do it well.
Nevertheless I rooted on my student and cheered even when the came in second (They so totally should have won. The team that was horrible.)