Color Guard Terminology

  • Auxiliary:  Another term for the color guard. This term is often used in the marching band setting to describe the visual ensemble which may include color guard but which also may include other visual performers such as a dance team, baton twirlers or pom poms. The term Auxiliary covers visual ensembles which may or may not include all of these types of visual performers.

    Air Flag:  Working without equipment.

    Blade:  Part of the sabre that, if it were a real sword, would be sharp

    Blade Toss:  Right-handed tosses on sabre that are thrown and caught from the blade

    Bolt:  Screw-like weight some guards use to weight flags

    Butt:  Larger end of a rifle

    Cattle Guard:  When a guard doesn’t use enough of a plie (plee-ay) when doing dance or across the floors and sounds like a herd of cattle

    Chasse:  (shaw-say) Dance move: right-left-right or left-right-left

    Crutch Tip: Rubber stopper on each end of a flag

    Double Time:  2 steps for each beat

    Drill:  Formations and where a performer moves to on the floor

    Drop Spin:  The most basic spin where one grabs thumbs up thumbs down, and always under the other hand

    Flag:  Most basic piece of equipment

    Flag Feature:  When the whole guard is on flag; a key point of the show

    Half Toss:  Most basic flag toss

    Hilt:  The handle of a sabre

    Jete:  (jet-ay) a dance move where one jumps from one foot to the other with a sweeping motion

    Parallel Toss:  Toss that rotates parallel to the ground over the head. Can be done with flag, rifle, or sabre

    Peggys:  Basic spin where one grabs down, flat, up, flat, always grabbing over the other hand

    Pique:  (pee-kay) a turn in which one steps onto a pointed foot while the other foot is raised to the knee

    Pirouette:  (peer-o-wet) a turn where one spins fully around on a pointed foot

    Plié:  (plee-ay) used in dance, downward bending movement of both knees

    Pole:  Metal part of the flag

    Releve:  To rise onto the balls of one's feet

    Rifle:  Prop weapon that looks like a gun, but is really only a piece of wood with a piece of plastic and leather attached

    Sabre:  Prop weapon that looks like a sword, not sharp

    Saute:  (soh-tay) a dance leap where one lands on the same foot

    Silk:  Part of the flag made out of silk or other light material

    Spotting:  A technique to help dancers maintain a straight line and prevent dizziness while spinning. When turning, the dancer picks a spot and follows it until their turn takes that spot out of sight. They then whip their head around to bring that same spot back into view as quickly as possible. This action is repeated for the duration of turns/spins.

    Strap:  Leather strap on a rifle

    Tape:  Refers to the tape at the middle of the pole holding the bottom of the silk on

    Tip:  Smaller end of a rifle, or the non-hilt end of a sabre

    Turn Out:  To rotate one's leg outward from the hip

    Washer:  Weights in a flag