Poetry In Motion

Poetry in motion.  Visual interpretation of the musical performance.  This is what the Color Guard brings to a marching performance.  The Pride of Hennessey Color Guard sums up both statements as they continue to add trophies and titles for outstanding color guard all across the state.  This is just one of the reasons that the Pride’s award winning Color Guard is this week’s featured section.

As a former color guard member, I know how challenging flag work, projection and performance in both field and street can be.  Just like the band, the guard has to be duel focused to be able to do the work and march at the same time.  Considering how young of a guard we have and the fact that they are doing 5 and 6A work and continuing to bring home accolade after accolade shows what amazing and strong young women making up our guard. Being on the field as a visual performance means you have to have stage-like presence  that projects to the top of the stands.  It means smiling until your face feels like it’s going to fall off.  It means over exaggerating every single movement so that the judges in the press box can see your every movement clearly.

In order to have a strong color guard, you have to have a strong instructor working with them.  The Pride of Hennessey is very lucky to have on staff Nicole Steuart who pushes these girls to work together in parade and field competition, to shine independently in solo competition, and to develop a strong sense self confidence in themselves and in their work.  And while she is not a paid member of the Pride of Hennessey staff, you will find her spending much of her time in sectionals, at early band, at evening rehearsals and every game and competition, giving of herself and time to make this guard the best that it can be.  As a former guard instructor for Enid High School, Nicole brings what it means to be a big guard and instills it into are small group of seven.

While all seven girls do an outstanding job, only one can be the featured section member.  What makes this young lady stand out to me, is that she performs every time she picks up a flag or steps on the field or street.  There was one evening practice that she attended while sick and still gave 100% at the practice, smiling the whole rehearsal, projecting to the press box level, even when she physically didn’t feel like being anywhere other than at home resting. At Regional Marching Contest, she received a Superior (1) rating on her solo, and with her team received a Superior on their ensemble.  This week’s outstanding section member:  Vanise VonSchultes.

Vanise is an 8th grader, whose favorite colors are purple, lime green and yellow, loves spaghetti and Joseppie’s Italian Restaurant, is mostly into country music but really loves her solo music, “Calling All the Monsters” by China Anne Mclain and lists “Despicable Me” and “Date Night” as her favorite movies.  More of her favorites include the numbers 15 and 25 and the books “Number the Stars”, “Click Here”, and “Itch”. While watching competitive sports, you will find her cheering for her Hennessey Eagles and OU.

When it comes to sports her true love is volleyball.  This year, she started every game and is a strong server for her team.  She has even been told by her coach that she “serves like a high schooler.”  While the team didn’t win their final game of the season, they brought forth an amazing showing, and although the volleyball season has ended, basketball season has started and Vanise is serving as basketball manager.

In speaking of band, Vanise says, “Band to me is not a sport or activity, it’s my entire life!” and has no plans to walk away from it any time soon.  It’s always awesome when most of your best friends are in band as well, because you build many strong memories that will last a lifetime with them, and Vanise lists Shaianne, Shelby, Erica and Amber as her best friends.  A sisterhood of bandies that share probably the greatest memory of a lifetime, being Class 2A OBA State Marching Band Champions!

In putting together this story on Vanise, she shared with me some of her favorite quotes, which are true words of inspiration from the late Steve Jobs:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you have to connect them looking backwards.  You have to believe that the dots will connect themselves down the road.”

“Keep looking….Don’t Settle.”

“Stay hungry….Stay foolish.”

Great words from a truly inspirational man, and while I was so impressed that she has such awesome quotes to draw from, I was even more impressed when she listed her mother as her role model.  Living in a day and time that our youth is drawn to and look up to celebrities, be it positive or negative, it is a rare thing to find a young person that chooses to want to emulate the people that impact their lives on a daily basis, their parent(s).  

http://www.usingenglish.com defines “poetry in motion” this way:  “Something that is poetry in motion is beautiful to watch.”  The Pride of Hennessey Color Guard genuinely sums up their definition of the phrase.  These beautiful young women bring forth grace and charm each time the step onto the stage, be it field or street to perform.  They are beautiful to watch.


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