Senior on Color Guard qualifies for State

First-time soloist preps for competition


Reagan Pohl

Calla Montana ’23 practices her Color guard routine at NC with teammates. Montana qualified for State earlier in February (Pohl/LION).

Nina Ivancevic, Reporter

Calla Montana ‘23 joined Colorguard sophomore year after being persuaded by a friend to participate. With no experience beforehand, Montana easily caught on and created many new friends, making lasting connections within the community. Due to COVID-19, she didn’t have the traditional beginning of the season experience; however, she excelled at choreography and leadership, she said.

“I met a lot of cool people through it,” Montana said. “It’s been really nice [to make] a lot of friends in other grades.” 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no traditional audition when Montana joined, which created an easier way for her to learn the basics at a slower pace. Montana competed as a soloist the weekend of Feb. 10-11 at the Bank of Springfield Center. This wasn’t her first time competing at state, but next month will be her first time individually, Montana said.

An 80% accuracy with a four-foot pole is required of two prior competition results to qualify for state, head coach Bridget Dominiak said. This is judged based on the timing of the song and the movements, then the score is received from the judges.

Montana choreographed her own routine with the help of her coach. As the state competition approached, the main focus for her was being aware of corrections given by her coach and listening to audio critiques given by judges from prior competitions, she said.

“I listen back to those and I take their little tips and pointers and I try to add those into my routine,” Montana said.

With her theater background, Montana is used to performing in front of people, but there are still nerves and pressure sitting with her, she said.

“I get nervous but I try to take those nerves and channel them into energy,” Montana said. “I try to hype myself up and have a positive attitude.”

On and off the stage, Montana is present for her teammates. Whether it’s making jokes or helping the underclassmen, she establishes personal connections with everyone and takes the time to listen and understand, Fen Markus ‘24 said. 

“As co-captain of the team, she’s a very good leader,” Dominiak said. “She helps the underclassmen learn the steps and guide them so they’re on the right track.”

Results of the state competition are not included due to our print deadline but are available in the online version of this story.