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The Guard Dictionary - How to color guard

The dance terms were such a hit, and I had a lot of requests for this from instructors! Guard lingo can change a lot in a very short amount of time, so here is a list of some common guard phrases that will help you in your teaching and/or learning phases of color guard!

  • Across the Floor - During rehearsal, this is a type of exercise in which members perform the selected dance move repeatedly while moving across the rehearsal space.

  • Bolt - The plastic piece on the top of the rifle. Also, a type of weight used in the ends of aluminum flag poles.

  • Charleston - A dance move from the 20's in which one foot steps forward, then the other kicks forward before stepping back, and the first foot kicks back.

  • Click Sticks - A pair of drum sticks that the instructor uses to keep time during rehearsal.

  • Color Guard - The term for the guard during the fall marching band season. Their show is performed with the marching band providing music on the football field.

  • Cracker Jack - A flag basic which involves pulling the pole of the flag in two opposite directions, releasing, allowing the flag to rotate once, and catching the pole in the same position. Named after the noise that a pole will make if it contains bolts.

  • Double - A toss that rotates twice in the air before being caught.

  • Equipment - Any prop that is used in the show, including but not limited to flags, rifles, and sabres.

  • Flourish - The back and forth movement of a piece of equipment. Also considered a way of performing with large movements.

  • Jam Weight - A small metal weight used in the ends of aluminum poles, named after the process used to insert it into the pole.

  • Lunge - While standing in a wide second position, one knee is bent and the body is straight above it while the other leg is straight and reaching along the ground.

  • Lock - The preparation for a toss of double or higher on a rifle or sabre. The weapon goes from being flat to being at a 45 degree angle opposite to the direction of the toss. Also called a Prep.

  • Newbie - A new member of the guard, usually reserved for Freshmen and people who have never spun a flag before.

  • Performance - Any time a guard member is in uniform it is considered a performance because everyone in the community can see them. Also, it is how you portray your show to the audience.

  • ole - The pole of the flag, generally made from aluminum.

  • Pow-wow - A sit-down meeting of the color guard with their instructor. Usually scheduled within practice.

  • Prep - See Lock.

  • Rifle - A piece of equipment that resembles a wooden gun.

  • Sabre - A piece of equipment that resembles a spanish sword.

  • Shatter Weight - See Bolt.

  • Silk - The fabric part of the flag.

  • Single - A toss that rotates once in the air before being caught.

  • Spin - The movement of a piece of equipment in a rotational motion in one dimensional plane.

  • Sponsor - Any person or business who donates money to our band that we advertise for. WE LOVE THEM.

  • Stir - A choreographed move in which the equipment moves in a motion that resembles stirring. Also referred to as a carve, witches' brew, or hourglass.

  • Strap - A leather strip found on the underside of a spinning rifle that is not intended to be slung over a shoulder.

  • SYDTO! - A cheer of encouragement and hype for the Liberty Guard.

  • Toss - Any time the equipment is thrown in the air with the intention of being caught.

  • Tracks - A basic move performed with a rifle or sabre in which the weapon passes from one hand to the other flourishing on either side of the body in between.

  • Triple - A toss that rotates three times in the air before being caught.

  • Tropicana - A game of rhythm and focus that the guard likes to play while waiting for something.

  • Quad - A toss that rotates four times in the air before being caught. Also the muscle on the front of your thighs.

  • Weapon - A spinning rifle or sabre. Not actually intended to be used as weapons but referred to as such because they are modeled after actual weapons.

  • Winter Guard - The term for the guard in the spring. Their show is performed in the gymnasium with recorded music.

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