By Emily Peraza, 2022 FFCC Media Intern

As a senior, I have realized that I have taken a lot of things for granted. My name is Emily Peraza and I have been on the Freedom High School colorguard team all of my high school career, and it is something that I will never regret or forget. As a junior, I was a featured performer, and it was such a wonderful experience. This year, I am a media intern and I hope to inspire and assist others in finding their love for the sport just as I have. I recently went to the premiere at Deland HS, and it brought forth some strong emotions. The first show of the season is always so lively and amazing. I hope that everyone in the world has the chance to feel that type of way at least once in their lifetime; I am lucky to have felt it every single year for the past four years.

With all the stress that has compounded lately; in our world, in our communities, even in our homes, things become dreary and tunnel vision sets in. And most times, a big event needs to occur in order for one to snap out of the funk and become demotivated to succeed – and the premiere at DeLand High School this past weekend did just that. Personally, this year has been tough. I fractured my left hand in late October, and it was such a bad injury that it took 2 month sto heal, and I am still dealing with physical therapy and occasional pains. It was a weird time, due to the fact that colorguard is my life’s breath, and it has now become part of my identity! I lost a lot of motivation and pride in myself and other activities because I could not do what I loved.

But, seeing all the teams perform and smile with their friends on the floor – that made me so happy to come back to my own team and try out their amazing choreography and talk about the graceful and elegant productions. In that gym, I like to think I rediscovered my love for the sport – I have always loved it, but all my assignments, stressors, and the lectures I had been thinking about prior to premiere had vanished. It took all my focus and it was refreshing to see the chemistry these guards had on – and off  the floor. Melbourne High School blew me away with their fierce facial expressions and amazing catches, while Deltona High School gave their all on the floor!

With my own premiere being at Cypress Creek, watching the groups perform was like a fever dream. There was always something going on and it was so interesting to see teams give face or whip their hair around. It was captivating and made me want to try out the tosses and really crank my neck up to the audience.

The ability to watch other guards smile when they have partner work, or catch a toss strong and smirk at the audience. That is what makes it all worth it. To see everybody having a great time – no matter where they come from, what they look like, what they have been through; it is beautiful and awe-inspiring. It made me want to try harder, perform more, and most of all, have fun on the floor with my best friends.

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