This year marked the second annual FFCC Solo Competition. Over 100 young high school performers from around the circuit competed against one another for the chance to be one of the solo champions on their respective piece of equipment. I recently got the chance to sit down with one of the Flag Champions, Jordan (Jojo) Anderson, a senior from Weeki Wachee High School, to see what his thoughts were on the competition and on color guard in general.
I asked Jojo how it felt performing his solo, both at the competition and on Saturday after he won. He said he was really nervous performing both times. He performed it at Weeki’s friends and family night send off show before championships and states it was a very emotional performance for him. Jojo explains that having all his friends and family watching him added to the pressure. At the competition, Jojo missed his check in time and had to perform later, which only amplified his nerves. He said he, “really focused on just performing it and maxing it out,” and tried not to dwell on the competitive aspect. When he got to perform his solo in front of everyone at the Ocean Center, he said he was nervous about the number of people, but again just tried to have fun and perform.
When asked how he felt when he won, Jojo said he didn’t expect it. He saw some of the other performers and thought they were great. He was genuinely shocked when he won. He became very emotional and teared up a bit when they announced his score, a 90.5, as well! He said it was a great way to end his senior year and last season at Weeki Wachee, on top of all the other achievements and accolades he received this year as well.
What struggles did Jojo face when writing his solo? He said his biggest problem was trying not to make the work super spinny and fast. He wanted to have work in different speeds in his routine and wanted to try to use more body as well, so that it wasn’t entirely just spinning. He said he found inspiration for some of his choreography from watching groups such as USF and Tarpon Springs. He tried to adapt some of their work, but made it his own and gave it his own personality and emotion.
Going forward and looking to his future outside of high school, Jojo dreams of marching Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps one day. He hopes to be able march USF Winterguard next year, as well, having heard about the great family atmosphere of the program. Eventually, he would like to become a colorguard instructor himself, having been inspired by instructors such as Michael Shapiro and Jeannine Ford. No matter what Jojo decides to do in the future or where he plans to march, expect great things from this talented young performer.
You can find the link to a video of Jojo’s Performance here.