Color Guard Vocabulary
Color Guard Vocabulary
Here I will teach you the main color guard vocabulary used by coaches and performers everywhere. Refer to this page whenever you do not understand a word or phrase that I used in a tutorial. If there is a term on a tutorial that is not explained here, leave a comment and I will fix it and make it clearer.
Vocab terms & meanings
Foot positions: how to set your feet
1st position: heels together, toes facing out
2nd position: heels shoulder length apart, toes facing out
*There are more positions, but these aren't commonly used in color guard. If I get any requests, I can add them for reference.
Flag positions: how to set up your flag at certain checkpoints during work
Right shoulder: flag straight up and down, flag in the middle of your body, right hand at tab, left hand at butt and in front of belly button
Left shoulder: flag straight up and down, left hand at tab, flag in the middle of your body, right hand at butt and in front of belly button
Right slam: flag crosses body at 45 degree angle, right hand at tab near hip, left hand at bottom cheater near shoulder
Left slam: flag crosses body at 45 degree angle, left hand at tab near hip, right hand at bottom cheater near shoulder
Flagwork: what to do with your flag
Checkpoints: certain positions that the flag has to be at a certain count, the way that a color guard stays together during work, says that the flag should be in X position at the Yth count
Drop spin: a basic exercise where the flag moves up and down in a circular motion
Carve/Cone: a basic exercise where the flag makes a sort of figure 8 in the air
Flourish: a basic exercise where the flag first spins in front of you, then behind you
Pull hit/Crackerjack/Flick: a semi-basic exercise where the flag starts out facing down, then you quickly spin it around a full revolution and catch it in the same position
Thumb flip: a simple rotation of the flag at the tab around the thumb
J-toss: the simplest of the tosses, grab with a money hand and pull up and out, letting the flag spin around in the air
Single: another simple toss, starts at right shoulder, spins in the air once, then catch at right shoulder
Double: a difficult toss, same as a single except spins in the air twice
Horizontal toss: a moderately difficult toss where you throw the flag up so that it spins above your head in a horizontal circle
45 toss: probably the hardest toss that can still be considered basic, similar to a horizontal toss, but it spins in a 45 degree plane instead of a horizontal one
Sail: when the silk of the flag gets caught on the tip, usually caused by sudden direction changes, SAIL=BAD
Money hand: a way to grab the flag, hand straight out, palm upwards, pole between thumb and pointer finger
Free hand: the hand not used during that particular work
Choreography: staging and dancing
Bolt: the weight that goes into the tip and/or butt of the flag in order to spin more easily
Dinosaur arm: a free hand that remains up at the chest instead of at the side, DINOSAUR ARM=BAD
Rifle: a piece of equipment that looks like a, well, rifle. Rifle work usually looks very clean because of how it's designed.
Sabre: a piece of equipment that looks like a sword, very light and easy to toss
Air blade: a fairly new prop introduced that combines the clean-ness of a rifle with the lightness of a sabre
Winter guard: a color guard that performs to recorded music
Buy your color guard gear here!
Some helpful links for your guard career.
- Color Guard Central
A great place to find tons of info on color guard, plus you can buy flags and poles and gloves and everything else you could need for guard.
- Slang Dictionary
I personally have used about half of these words, but at least you can know other people are talking about if they do use them.
- Urban Dictionary
Not quite a dictionary of color guard TERMS, but it made me smile to see so many good things about guard written on one page, especially since we're so under-appreciated by our own bands.
- Winter Guard International
Doesn't have a dictionary or anything, but you can find out more about winter guard here.
If you have any other suggestions for color guard-related vocab words, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to include it.