A field littered with six-foot green, yellow, silver and gold metallic flags has become the norm again for the University of Miami Color Guard team. The Hurricanettes waved back into action this Saturday at the first football game of the season against Bethune-Cookman after a temporary leave of absence the last three years due to limited commitment.
“This year we took people with previous experience and added people who hadn’t spun before but were really interested in joining to put together the team,” sophomore Hurricanette Sondra Pearson said. “Having a presence out there is really important. And just practicing on the field or carrying the flags around lets people see and learn about us.”
The Hurricanettes practice four days a week alongside the Frost Band of the Hour to choreograph routines that include rhythmic dancing and flag-waving. They also attend all Band of the Hour events performing at pep rallies, homecoming, tailgates and other school functions.
“We add a visual and colorful aspect to marching band to interpret the music,” Pearson said. “What most people notice first is the flags because they’re so big, so we work really hard to create a great routine.”
The team performs several different routines including a full halftime show and additional pieces, like “Miami U” and “Hail to the Spirit of Miami U.”
“The show this year is Rhianna and it’s really cool because at one point in the routine all the dancers join in and the whole field is covered in flags,” Hurricanettes coach Amy McCullough said.
The Hurricanettes delivered a spirited performance of the crowd-pleasing Rihanna tunes “Where Have You Been,” “Only Girl in the World” and “S&M” during halftime. Flags twirling in sync and fans cheering, the Color Guard’s return was made completely by the football team’s resounding 45-0 win.
“The game was an amazing experience,” senior and new Hurricanette member Colene Gogue said. “It felt great looking up to the field instead of down, and I can’t wait for the next game.”
This season, the team is emphasizing gaining experience, practicing safe moves and enjoying their re-entry to the Canes field. In order to overcome the brief absence they took, the eight 2015-16 Color Guard team members and coach Amy McCullough have collaborated to focus on getting their foot in the door and creating a foundation and stable performances to build from in coming years.
“I think it’s important that we generate motivation and keep the momentum up throughout the season,” Gogue said.
“We’re excited to put the flag to the field and enjoy the challenge,” Pearson added.
For more information on the Color Guard, please visit the Band of the Hour’s website.
Feature photo courtesy Hurricanettes Color Guard Facebook page.