Phantom Regiment Winterguard Participates in WGI Spinfest Convention

Written by Adam Dalton, member

On September 15-16th, members of the Phantom Regiment Winter Guard traveled to Orlando, Florida to participate in a ground breaking convention presented by Winter Guard International. Spinfest, as it is called, is geared toward color guard instructors in A and open classes and is an educational event bringing together some of the best designers and educators in the activity including Regiment’s own color guard caption head Adam Sage who presented a clinic on the production value in designing a winter guard show.

The event also included a monumental session with world renowned choreographer Mia Michaels who’s work can be seen in Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show and Cirque du Solei’s Delirium. She is also a judge and choreographer on Fox’s hit TV show “So you think you can dance”.

Eight members and staff of the winter guard learned a two-minute piece choreographed by Michael James with equipment work from Adam Sage and Rick Subel. With minimal practice time, the group packed an entire (brand new) winter guard production into just a few short minutes to present for Mia Michaels and the Spinfest attendees. Along with five other world class groups, Phantom Regiment opened our color guard world up to Mia Michaels and allowed her to catch a glimpse of how we incorporate dance with our equipment and performance.

Regiment’s piece was a completely original work to “On My Own” by The Used and was meant to depict the pain of breaking up and trying to recover from a long-term relationship. After the first performance, Mia could not speak and simply asked the members to “show her again.” She spoke with Michael and Adam about the motivation behind the piece and then commented to us that she “didn’t even realize that we were spinning equipment” and that our production and performance qualities were genuine. To the staff and members, this was one of the best compliments Mia could have made. Inspired by her words, the members performed the piece again even better than the first time.   

Following everyone’s performance, Mia shared that when she gets truly inspired she feels nauseous, and she indeed felt sick after watching everyone’s performance. She even commented that she was “angry” that the performers could add equipment work to already difficult dance movements and said she would love to return to be involved with color guard.

The rest of the Mia Michaels’ experience included a two hour dance class where over 300 attendees learned a piece of Mia’s unique choreography and an interview session where everyone caught a glimpse of how she gets inspiration for her works and puts it all together in choreography and staging.

These moments with Mia truly impacted the attendees of Spinfest 2007 and the color guard community will forever be changed because of what someone outside the activity brought to color guard.

Phantom Regiment being asked to participate shows that they are an innovator in the activity and members Danny Acevedo, Coleen Bonislawski, Lindsay Brooks, Adam Dalton, Courtney Mills, Glen Panzerella, Annie Pelka, and Brian Winn were honored to represent Phantom Regiment and will take away a lifetime of memories.


See video of the performance here.