|Freshman color guard Allie Rose practices her routine with the marching band on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The marching band was preparing for this weekend’s upcoming game against Notre Dame. The band practiced a dupstep dance routine. Julia Nagy/The State News|
Alexandria Rose hurled her magenta flag into the air and couldn’t help but crack a smile.
“It kind of gives me the whole feeling of being a Spartan, I guess,” the premedical freshman said.
Many agree the MSU Colorguard is an integral part of MSU’s band when it comes to animating football fans.
Through rigorous, five-days-a-week training sessions in front of Demonstration Hall, the colorguard aims to perfect a different, flag–twisting routine before each football game.
“It adds an extra visual element on the field,” said Hannah Walker, a colorguard member and apparel and textile design senior. “Somebody who doesn’t know anything about colorguard can know that, ‘Oh, there’s something pretty going around in the air (in unison).’ They can respect it regardless of their knowledge and background.”
According to Rose, MSU football head coach Mark Dantonio even brought some of his players to a colorguard preseason practice this year to tell the flag-bearers how much they “pep” the players up before games.
Rose joined her high school’s colorguard her sophomore year and hasn’t stopped since.
“Being a freshman, it’s kind of scary to commit to something with that much (time consumption) … but I have not had any regrets,” she said.
Section leader Ellen Crain said colorguard members have to know what they’re doing on the field.
“You have to know your drill, you have to know your work and you can’t be fazed by 80,000 people watching you,” Crain said.
Colorguard can range from 32 to 36 members after annual June tryouts.
For those passing by some of the practices and wondering about the magenta flags in place of green or white, Walker said they are solely for practice.
She said the larger game flags are: “pleated, and so it’s kind of a little bit more obvious if we’re not all together.”
Spartan pride and a mean workout aren’t the only perks to joining colorguard. Rose and Crain agree that everyone in the band — both colorguard and musicians — are some of the most friendly people on campus.
“It’s like 300 automatic friends,” Rose said.