Mandarins color guard member, Alexa Johnson, talks with DCI.org's Christina Mavroudis about the corps' 2007 show, "Dragon Dance," and how she was selected to be a visual soloist.
CM: How long have you been a member of the Mandarins? AJ: This is my second year in the guard here, and I love it. CM: Tell me about your solo in "Dragon Dance." AJ: My solo is during the battle sequence which is the preview before the drum solo. I get to spin a pole in the front of the field which is a lot of fun. That whole section is pretty intense though. We're supposed to be acting like a dragon, fighting the drum line and trying to pull them into us. CM: How were you chosen to do this solo? AJ: One day at rehearsal, our guard staff told us to try out some moves while spinning a pole to see if we could come up with something that was going to work during that part of our show. They saw me spinning and then told me they were going to put me right up front for that part. I guess they liked what I was doing. CM: Tell me about the uniform changes you have in your show. AJ: In the beginning of the show, we wear "village costumes." Then we tear them off to show our "warrior costumes" underneath and we act like we're going into battle to fight the dragon. CM: Tell me about the dragon in your show. AJ: The dragon is shown throughout the show and at the end, the guard wears pink costumes to actually represent the dragon. The dragon represents good luck and during the end sequence we show that we don't need the dragon to have luck. Instead, we are our own good luck, and we can do everything for ourselves. CM: Are you excited that the World Championships are in California this year? AJ: Yes, I'm really excited for that. All my friends will get to watch what I do and see what the drum corps experience is all about. CM: Any final thoughts about the 2007 season? AJ: I'm just excited to finish the season off strong. I love this activity because it's not just just about me and what I do. It's about the entire guard and the entire corps.