Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are rehearsals?

  • The rehearsal schedule is set at the beginning of the season, but includes most Sundays in the season with a couple of full weekend practices for staging and season preparation.

2. Where does Lake Area rehearse?

  • Lake Area Independent rehearses in Westlake, LA just outside of Lake Charles, LA at S.P. Arnett Middle School.  While this is the primary location for many of our rehearsals, we often look for alternate rehearsal space to reduce travel occasionally for our members, such as in Lafayette, LA or the Mississippi gulf coast area.

2. Can I balance school and guard?

  • Absolutely!  We only rehearse and compete on weekends with the exception of possible regional competitions and WGI Championships.  The season schedule is set in the fall semester so members have plenty of time to adjust their schedules. Active participation and attendance is expected of all members, but with proper time management skills there is no reason our members can't excel on the floor as well as in the classroom/professional world.

3. How much does it cost?

  • Tuition depends entirely on the size of the group each year and competition travel costs.  For reference, our current tuition cost is $800 per person, however, this is paid in monthly or weekly installments throughout the season for easy management.  If tuition and fees are a concern, please contact Head Director Patrice Turner at

4. What other expenses are there?

  • Members are responsible for their own weapons (rifle and sabre) and flag poles, however, we provide all practice and performance silks.  Costumes are a part of tuition, but members may be responsible for their own make-up, hair products, and jazz shoes - depending on the performance attire.  Other miscellaneous costs will include food and travel costs for rehearsals and shows.  Our members and instructors have many connections that can help with these extra expenses so feel free to contact Head Director Patrice Turner at if you are concerned with these costs.

6. Are there out-of-state competitions?

  • Yes!  Lake Area Independent is a member of the Louisiana-Mississippi Color Guard and Percussion Circuit so we will sometimes have competitions in Mississippi.  We also travel to a couple of WGI regional events per season in the gulf coast area.  Finally, we attend WGI Championships at the conclusion of the season in Dayton, OH.

5. How long is the season?

  • The season begins with auditions in late September and goes through WGI Championships in April.  While we do not meet as a team during the summer months, we hold spin clinics that members help with for high school and college students.

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