To most, color guard is a spectacle before sporting events, but to Cal State Fullerton junior Christian Maqueda, it’s a masterfully choreographed dance routine that allows him to display his pride in the United States alongside his own individuality.
Although Maqueda has devoted his life to dance, he got off to a late start. He took his first dance class in 2013 at Mount San Antonio College. Prior to that, Maqueda only participated in color guard in high school. However, once he tried out dance in college, his career path became clear.
“At the end of the semester, my dance professor said I had potential in dance,” Maqueda said.
While Maqueda was still in high school, he excelled in color guard, competing in the Drum Corps International championship in Indianapolis in 2012 and the WGI World Championship in Dayton, Ohio from 2013 to 2015.
Maqueda developed his color guard skills during his time at Baldwin Park High School and eventually teaching it to students at Verdugo Hills High School as the dance choreographer and instructor.
“The most rewarding part I get from teaching is seeing my students’ minds react to something they are learning, then they get it, and have a ‘wow’ moment,” Maqueda said.
Maqueda chose to major in dance and extend his knowledge of the art form at CSUF after meeting Dale A. Merrill, dean of the college of the arts.
When Maqueda was dancing at Anaheim Ballet under Merrill’s instruction, the two hit it off and Merrill suggested Maqueda come to CSUF.
Maqueda has taken many dance courses at CSUF and was also a cast member of “Spring Dance Theatre” last year in 2017. Maqueda loved the experience of the show and looks forward to being part of dance productions CSUF organizes in the future.
Maqueda loved the experience of the show and looks forward to being part of dance productions CSUF organizes in the future.
“The highlight and most fun part of performing in ‘Spring Dance Theatre’ would be doing the two weekends of shows because you know all your hard work is being put out there for others to enjoy,” Maqueda said in a text.
Maqueda said the hardest aspect of dance is, “figuring out going from step to step and doing transitional work and figuring out the movement while applying it to your body and learning technique.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree at CSUF, Maqueda plans to continue his education at UCI, intending to enroll into a masters program.
“What I look forward to is watching my choreography being performed by students and seeing how they grow and express themselves through it,” Maqueda said in a text.