But You're Not a Rifle Person...

I find that many of us, at one point or another in our colorguard careers, have been told what we "are" or "aren't." The overall theme for me seemed to be "You are a dancer. You have skinny arms, so you can't be a rifle person." Even if it's something we hear only once or twice, perhaps from our instructors or peers or ourselves, a statement like that can stick with you.

At least for me, I always assumed I would be a B-line rifle at best, would automatically get picked for the dance line instead of a weapon, and would live out a sad existence struggling to throw big tosses forever. I have encountered plenty of small performers who were convinced that they would have to work harder to make it onto a weapon line, numerous boys who felt they only had value if they spun a weapon, and countless others who were convinced that they could never call themselves a dancer for one reason or another. 

Nonsense, I say!

You can be a small and formidable rifle. You can be a dancer with tight hamstrings. You can love spinning swing flag and still have the same value as someone on sabre. 

In my case, and in the case of so many others I have known over the years, we often limit ourselves in response to such hurtful ideas. I only recently decided that I wanted to train myself on rifle beyond an A Class skill level. Spoiler alert, it's going quite well! I already have skills and strength that I wish I had gained years ago. If only I hadn't worried so much about my skinny arms! Chances are, plenty of you have developed odd habits to compensate for your "deficits." Small performers often jump slightly off the floor when they throw. Many boys don't develop the expressive qualities of their female peers because they try to breeze through dance and flag training to get to the big weapons tosses. Some students who can't do splits hide in the back during dance block when they might otherwise flourish as great performers. 

Do not limit yourself by what others say or think of you! Learn the technique, put in the hard work to practice effectively, and perform passionately! 

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt