From My Experience: An Interview with Jenn Carrasco, Colorado Instructor

| May 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

Jenn Carrasco currently has two Colorado teams holding gold medals from the 2010 RMCGA winter guard season. Her Independent group, Malachiw is a two year gold medalist in IA. Her high school group won the gold in SA and will be traveling to BOA in the fall with the band. Jenn is known through the circuit for her kindness and helping hand.  Her teaching methods are effective and both programs are growing annually. (intro by Darcie J. Gudger)

Jenn Carrasco

Number of years in the activity: 
21 years

What inspired you to become involved in color guard?  
The performance given for us at a school recruiting rally.  The rifles came out spinning and tossing and I have never been the same.  I knew I had to do this activity.

What is your experience as a performer?

  • 4 years in Pomona High School color guard
  • 4 years in Pomona High School winter guard
  • 2 summers @ Blue Knights drum & bugle corps
  • 2 seasons with Speakeasy winter guard
1 season with St Ann’s World

What is your experience as an instructor?

I have been coaching since 1995. A list of guards taught (all are in Colorado):

Cherry Creek HS
Ponderosa HS
Eaglecrest HS
Pomona HS
  • Northglenn HS
Arvada West HS
Overland HS
Rampart HS
Malachi Independent

Do you have other staff members that help you?  
Yes.  Sometimes I am by myself but the majority of the time I have a tech and sometimes others that specialize in movement, cleaning, and weapon.  I work best when I am in a group collaborating with others.

How often do your rehearse in a week?  
For a high school team 2-3 times a week, averaging 16 hours.  
For an independent group 2 times a week, averaging 14 hours

What is your ‘day’ job?  
Mommy to 3 amazing little boys


What do you believe to be your most successful moments as an instructor?  
When I see the lights go on and someone shows up.  What I mean is performers spend a lot of time going through the motions making what they do muscle memory.  When the lights go on, they have ignited the spark that makes a performer go from good to amazing.  I find that this happens most often when performers learn to take their show from their head to their heart.  When they then share their heart with the audience it is unforgettable.

How did you get your programs to the level they are currently at?  
Creating structure and routine. We really focus on the environment that we provide for our groups and I think that keeps them coming back for more.  While we strive for excellence we always provide a safe place for our groups to be.

Where do you find inspiration for your creativity?  
I find myself listening to music and all I can see are flags.  I find myself closing out a season listening to music for the next season.  Trips to WGI are also very inspiring creatively.  I think it is essential to continue to feed your brain.  So either going to WGI/DCI watching guard is a great way to inspire creativity.

How do you balance the demands of color guard with your daily life?  

My husband is a huge help with our families and helping me through the creative process.  I also plan ahead and get things done when I can.  I am constantly spinning in my backyard while the kids play working out some new choreography.

What is the most important advice you would give a novice instructor?  

Structure and routine.  We have a judge in our circuit who says it this way: do the same thing the same way every time you do it.

What keeps you involved in color guard?  
My guard coaches in high school left such an impact as did the activity that I feel led to give it back.

What is something you have learned along the way that you wish you had known from the start about instructing? 
To keep it simple and focus on building relationships with my teams.  There are many life lessons to be learned from color guard.


Category: Interviews

About the Author (Author Profile)

Darcie Gudger has a B.A. in psychology from Houghton College and and M.A. in Education from the University of Colorado at Denver. In high school, Darcie marched outdoor and indoor guard for Lake Lehman High School in Lehman, PA. She instructed an award winning color guard at Sheridan High School in Denver, Colorado for eight years. Currently Darcie teaches color guard at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and will be starting her 8th year as an Individual Analysis Equipment judge for the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association . In addition to teaching guard, Darcie is the Outdoor Recreation Examiner for and has completed her first young adult novel which includes the world of color guard. Currently, Darcie’s agent is shopping her manuscript to potential publishers. Hobbies include hiking, camping, biking, knitting and singing.

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