PARKLAND, FL- Marching in a competitive high school program is not a sport, you say? Actually, it's a highly choreographed activity requiring cardiovascular conditioning, endurance, strength and flexibility. Oh yeah, musical and dancing talent to boot. These kids experience muscle soreness and potential injury after every practice. Let’s not leave out nausea, fatigue, and feeling faint from heat exhaustion. A study by the American College of Sports Medicine concluded that the physical challenges and demands of participating in competitive high school marching bands are similar to those experienced by athletes who compete in high impact sports. During a typical rehearsal, students will march between 1-2 miles every hour. Multiply that by several hours per rehearsal and you can easily be marching 4-6 miles per practice in 90+ degree heat, several days a week. Now add their instruments, which can weigh over twenty pounds. These kids march in a controlled geometric nightmare, in perfect alignment, covering an entire football field at very fast speeds, while blowing air through their instruments and avoiding strategically placed props. Try running a few miles in various directions, while carrying a dumbbell at shoulder level and not letting it drop an inch, all the while singing your favorite song perfectly. Let's not forget the Color Guard. Instead of instruments, they use equipment such as flags, rifles, and sabers. They perform using a wide range of facial expressions, while dancing to enhance the meaning and feeling of the performance. Go outside with a broomstick, throw it in the air with a controlled spin and catch it flawlessly behind your back while dancing. These amazing individuals do this and so much more, as 150+ band members are marching all around them at a frantic pace. It's grace, beauty, and poetry in motion! We should all recognize how hard these kids work! They do it for themselves, each other, and of course the crowd.
Watch this 30 second time-lapse video of our eight minute show and tell me it's not impressive, amazing, and yes, a sport!
-- Source material borrowed from the Post and Courier, Video from FloMarching