By SAVANNAH ROBERTS
Last week, UMW’s Enigma Winter Guard finished strong at their second to last competition, receiving a score of 64.83 from the judges. This was a far jump from their first competition where they scored a 30. This is a major improvement for the team, especially since they lost three members during the first few weeks of practices. Teams are scored on their equipment, movement, design analysis and general effect. Score numbers are judged on a scale from zero to one hundred.
Winter Guard is considered the “sport of the arts” because it combines strength training, colorful flags, plastic rifles and weighted sabres with music and dancing to create a beautiful spectacle to be appreciated by art lovers and sports fanatics alike. Intricate maneuvers, tosses and catches construct a performance created to captivate the audience. The sport is also well known for its inclusive nature. As all types of people spin together, it designs a show that can speak to everyone.
Enigma Winter Guard’s show is called People Help the People, featuring the song of the same name by Birdy. Their show is about how lending a helping hand is what brings people together in the end. Many winter guard shows include a greater meaning to their show, often including themes that convey meaning and emotion.
Enigma Winter Guard practices three to four times a week, with competitions on Saturdays. The team is made up of eight motivated members that work hard to achieve their team goals. Recently, the Guard has had their ups and downs after losing three members to scheduling conflicts.
“We basically had to remake our show in two weeks,” said freshman Kendall McCracken. The team mentioned that they created most of their show in the second semester, which added to the stress of losing members and learning new work.
Though the team has had its fair share of problems, they still managed to place first at every competition they have performed at so far. They perform in an open class, meaning that any group can perform and be scored by judges. Enigma Winter Guard has made improvements after every competition, only competing against their previous scores, and others performing in the open class.
UMW’s Enigma Winter Guard welcomes any prospective students to join their team, and are willing to pass their skills onto those who have no knowledge of how to spin. “I played tuba throughout high school, so this is a drastic difference,” said Anton Stevie, a freshman pursuing a theater major. Most of the team had never performed at a competition before this season.
“We all come from different backgrounds and we bring in different pieces of what we’ve learned,” said Julia Rizzo, a freshman pursuing education.
The biggest event of the season is just around the corner for Enigma Winter Guard. Next week, the team will head to championship finals, along with every guard in the Atlantic Indoor Associations Northern Division. This competition will be the last of the season for the Enigma Winter Guard.
Overall, the team is confident that they will succeed and raise their score. Their improvements so far is a telling sign that things can only get better; especially since they doubled their first score at their previous competition. This week is their last week of practice before championship finals.
“I feel confident. We’re cleaning up what we already have,” said Savannah Rowland, a junior in the college of education.
The group feels ready to take on their last competition of the season, and feels prepared enough in their work to leave with winning smiles on their faces.
A previous version of this article misspelled Julia Rizzo. It has since been corrected.