Creston color guard soloists brought home half of the state trophies for small schools this year. Of five competitors from Creston Community High School, all received superior ratings and four placed in the top eight to earn trophies with Mackenzie Bodell taking state champion and Paige Keller coming in second.
This is the second year CCHS has participated in solo state color guard contest — officially known as the Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Association solo contest. The contest is broken into two categories: large and small schools. Students who have participated in color guard with the CCHS marching band were encouraged to create a solo routine and perform it Nov. 1 in Newton.
“I was very proud of all the girls and their performances,” said Lisa Peters, CCHS color guard coach. “We went there with the goal of everyone earning a division I rating and everyone made that goal. Having four out of the five girls then placing and receiving trophies was just extra happiness for all of us.”
The color guard will also be entering the team competition Dec. 6th in Hy-Vee Hall.
“Mackenzie Bodell was our school’s first state champion in this competition,” Peters said. “Mackenzie really deserves this honor, she has worked hard and her solo was amazing. It was fun to see her receive her crown and then have the opportunity to perform for all of the people there after she was crowned. Her next duties will be at the State team competitions. She, along with the other dance and large group guard champions, will be introduced at both award ceremonies and then will be handing out all of the awards given. It will be fun to see her up there and a proud moment to hear that she is representing Creston.”
Bodell, a senior at CCHS, placed third last year at state. This year she performed to “Genesis” by Ruelle. She said she chose the song for its intensity. Her routine, which she designed and choreographed herself, consisted of both flag work and rifle spinning.
“It was really cool to spend a few weeks writing a solo,” Bodel said. “I got to choose everything about it.”
The support from her teammates who traveled to Newton even though they weren’t all performing meant a lot to Bodell.
“Every single time someone went up to perform there was so much cheering from the Creston side,” she said. “I think that was my favorite part of the whole event, just seeing how supportive our whole team was.”
Bodell is planning to attend Iowa State University next year to major in theater with emphasis in technology to go into stage management. She hopes to participate in color guard while there as well.
Keller is also a senior who said she has a passion for dance and color guard. Her performance for state included flag work and acrobatic tricks. She choreographed her routine to “Bad Dreams” by Ruelle. This came in handy when she missed a flag catch and had to improvise part of her performance.
Color guard is a very welcoming and open group, both locally and in competition, Keller said.
“It’s a great time and a really good way to make friends,” she said.
She is inspired by the music involved in solo competition.
“It’s always very easy to get caught up in the music,” Keller said.
After graduation, Keller plans to go to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln to study psychology and hopes to play the tuba in their drum and bugle corps
State Champion — Bodell
2nd place — Keller
5th place — Trinity Earleywine
7th place — Saige Johnson
Superior rating — Taylor Seaton