Following her performance in Atlanta, Ga. on July 14, 20-year-old Blue Stars color guard captain, Sarah Conlin, talked with DCI.org's Christina Mavroudis about transitioning from marching with her immediate family members in an all-age corps, to marching with the Division I Blue Stars.
CM: Tell me about marching with your family. How did that happen? SC: When I was 12 years old, I started marching with Chops, Inc. which is an all-age corps from Minnesota. My dad put me in the cymbal line, my brother was in the tenor line and my dad was in the bass drum line. We marched there together for five years and then I decided to take a step up to junior corps and I came to the Blue Stars. CM: Is marching with a junior corps a different experience than with an all-age corps? SC: Yes, it's very different. Working everyday for two-and-half months is a lot to bear. It's much more work than all-age corps. But I've also learned a lot more with the Blue Stars, so I'm glad I've done both. CM: Did you every think you would end up in the guard after starting in the drum line? SC: No, I never thought I would. We had a color guard my third year in Chops Inc., and I wanted to try it since nobody in the drum line thought I could do it. I tried it out and worked really hard, and I ended up making it and proved them all wrong. CM: Tell me about your solo in the Blue Stars this year. SC: We have this big ending sequence where a circle travels across the field. The entire guard is outside of it, but I get to be in the middle of the circle and dance. It's really cool. CM: Do you have a lot of dance experience? SC: Actually, I've never danced before I came to the Blue Stars. But we got a really great dance instructor who has taught me everything I know. During the off-season we have camps once a month to show us what we're supposed to be doing at home so we were ready to go by the pre-season. CM: What keeps you coming back to Blue Stars year after year? SC: The Blue Stars are a great family. I love the staff and I love the members. The alumni come back and sponsor us and it's just a lot fun to be in this corps. I can't imagine going somewhere else, especially because I feel like I can work really hard here and help the corps get better and better. CM: What's in store for your future after this experience is over? SC: I'll "age-out" next year with the Blue Stars, and then hopefully I will become a teacher so I can have the summers off and get my kids involved in drum corps.