NUTLEY, NJ - The NHS Winter Color Guard presented a friends and family preview of "Falling in Love", their floor show for the 2020 winter season Friday at Radcliffe school. The show, set to "X.O." by John Mayer and featuring romantic quotes, is about love, but not just the romantic kind. Coach Rachel Cordasco, an NHS alum and former NHS color guard member, says that the show is about "falling in love, but also family love, love of friends." The students channel that love into their performances.

Junior Kirsten Patalinjug told TAPinto "I channel my love for the sport, spinning for everyone and not myself. It's really like a family."

The show features Junior Meghan Tran - who was the featured dancer in the Marching Band show, "In Between," - and Sophomore Diogo Ramirez acting as a couple, displaying the romantic aspects of the show. Outside of color guard, the pair are very close friends, and they draw inspiration from the platonic love that they have for each other. Ramirez says that "we really love each other, and we channel that friendship into 'love love'." Tran added that "it's easy to perform, because we already have that connection."

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They also draw inspiration from the love they have for the captain, Daniella Cabezas. Ramirez says "I love our captain, she's supported me through everything," followed by Tran adding that Cabezas "was the first person to convince me to do guard." Ramirez also included that "we have a deep connection with her, we love her with all our heart."

Cabezas, who is the only senior in the Winter Guard, channels her love of guard into the show, saying that "we're a big family, it's fun!" She's motivated by the fact that the other members of the Winter Guard, who she has watched grow, are all having fun and performing.



This is Cordasco's first season as the coach, with the help of assistant coach Samamtha Miller. TJ Kozell, the previous coach of the Color Guard, choreographed this show, and is still involved. Cabezas, who was a freshman during TJ's first season as coach, says that she is "really grateful that TJ saw something in me, and he made me the spinner I am today."

The group performed their show in competition Saturday at Saddlebrook High School in Saddlebrook, New Jersey. Their performance received a score of 59.52 as well as a third place trophy. They were only four points behind the first place group, Port Chester High School, who received a score of 63.85, setting the Winter Guard up for what will likely be a very successful season.

Their next competition is on Saturday, March 7, at South Brunswick High School in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.

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