By Jill Fox
With schools currently closed, the J.P. Taravella High School Color Guard is having a difficult time recruiting new members.
The visual and dance group, who perform with the marching band, typically hold auditions, however this year, for obvious reasons, that’s proving to be difficult.
Instructed by professionals in the skills of dance, flag, and other techniques, the color guard meets daily during school, participates in football games, and travels to competitions.
Color Guard director Tramaine Weatherspoon, who has been with the program for three years, said typically, the color guard has an opportunity to meet with eighth-graders during the school year to explain the program.
However, with distance learning, he is trying to find different ways to get the word out.
“Recruiting is usually very crucial,” said Weatherspoon, “Band students already play instruments, but color guard is all new.”
In addition to emailing incoming eighth-graders program details, current students are reaching out to friends searching for boys and girls with a great attitude. Although no experience is necessary, dance background or training does help.
Weatherspoon said participants will be taught everything they need to be successful in the program, plus learn skills like leadership, time management, responsibility, and teamwork.
Brandy Mikkawi, the team’s “Guard mom” and actual mother to Layla, a junior, who has been on the team since eighth grade, said they are a tight-knit group who rely on each other.
“The kids are really missing each other and craving being together as a team,” she said, “They’re anxious to start a new show and performances.”
The school doesn’t have a firm date for band camp yet, but the color guard has already begun preparing virtually for the season.
Weatherspoon said he’s looking forward to going back, being able to continue his role as an educator, and try to push them and improve their skills on and off the field.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.