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Color Guard

The University of South Dakota's color guard, The Color of USD, plays an important role in the visual presentation of the SOUND of USD. In The Color of USD, you can twirl flags, rifles and other props. You will perform at all home games in the DakotaDome and travel to at least one away game a year with the band. Select members of the Color Guard also perform with the Sound Bites.

Potential new members and returning members are invited to spin with us this spring.  USD Color Guard Instructor Baylee Knippling will lead clinics called "Spintastics" to teach our style of spinning and prepare everyone for next year's SOUND of USD color guard! Spintastics takes place from 12-4 p.m. on the floor of the University of South Dakota DakotaDome. Please check our Facebook page for advertised Spintastic dates.

Contact Todd Cranson to reserve your spot at a Spintastic.


Interested in joining The Color of USD? Send a video of a prepared routine showing the fundamentals and tricks outlined below. Videos will be viewed by the director of athletic bands and color guard instructor and will be judged based on technique, difficulty, control and overall performance and showmanship. 

Submit your video, or a link to your video, and complete the form on or before April 30.

Your prepared routine should include the following: 

  • Attire - black jazz pants and a solid shirt color, or similar athletic attire with tennis shoes
  • Two to three minutes in length with appropriate music of your choosing
  • Routine must include flag, but can also include rifle if you would like. If you choose to use other equipment, flag must be at least 2/3 of the routine. Please note that if you choose to use rifle in your routine, this does not guarantee placement on the rifle line. Rifle line auditions will be held during preseason camp in August. 
  • Demonstrate the following: back scratchers, drop spins, cones, single toss (right or left) and parallel/flat/helicopter toss.
  • The following are some of the flag tosses that The Color of USD performs during different halftime shows. Your routine may include these or any other tosses you may know: prayer/clap toss, 45 toss, single 1/2 toss, double toss. 

Those chosen for The Color of USD will be notified the first week of May, and will move in a day early before preseason camp begins in August. 

Additional information will be emailed to you directly. Please contact Todd Cranson with any other questions or concerns. 

Name Department & Office Contact
Todd Cranson
  • Assistant Professor of Low Brass, Director of Athletic Bands
W M Lee Center for Fine Arts 116