With a TikTok following nearly reaching 30,000, ASU Sun Devil Colorguard teacher David Delikat uses his account to post spinning tutorials, performance highlights and quips about the life of a typical colorguard member.
Delikat started sharing his colorguard experience on TikTok in March 2021. He originally made the account to help promote a project that would serve to connect colorguard teams all over the country. As his page gradually grew, his content — ranging from colorguard jokes to highlighting ASU performances — has racked up over 2 million likes.
“I just really like making TikToks with my friends and with the ASU guard and just being able to collaborate with them,” Delikat said. “At the school I teach at, students will come up to me and tell me that they saw my videos and it throws me off because they’re not at all involved with colorguard. It’s pretty cool to have a platform to kind of show off.”
Delikat has been involved in colorguard for nine years, first joining as an escape from playing a band instrument in middle school but quickly fell in love with the activity. He spent the last four years as a member of the ASU team and the last three as a captain while he pursued his undergraduate degree in chemistry. This year, he stayed with the team but transitioned to a teaching position as he pursues his master's degree in secondary education.
As a teacher for the team, it is Delikat’s job to help write the routines and make sure all of the members are practiced and knowledgeable, maintaining the synchrony of the group.
“As a teacher, my favorite part is seeing all the members perform and seeing all their hard work paying off in their performances,” Delikat said. “It’s my job to make sure that everyone looks and acts good together and is able to do the same thing as the person next to them. It’s important that we look like a cohesive unit.”
Brandy DuBose, ASU Colorguard’s instructional specialist senior, did not hesitate to pass on this role to Delikat because of his easy connection with other members of the team.
“David being a teacher just naturally fell into position. He always had a leadership role and he was just one of those students that was always trying to explore since he had such great ideas,” DuBose said. “He clearly has a really great work ethic, of course, but the way he is with his students and the way he's able to reach kids on their level is quite amazing.”
ASU alum David Roybalco-captained the team with Delikat for three years and said Delikat brought a joyful energy to the group and influenced others to succeed.
“He always finds a way to bring joy to the field. Whether it’s the Macarena dance he always does in the stands or the little jokes we’d exchange next to each other on the field, it’s hard not to have fun with David around,” Roybal said. “David also constantly challenged me to get better. My skills wouldn’t be nearly as refined if it weren’t for David challenging how I approached performing.”
As Delikat's platform on TikTok grew, he began to take note of the wide age range of his audience and kept a mindful eye to monitoring the decency of his content which is something he had not considered before.
“It’s been weird because the TikTok trends I see and the stuff I try to create content for aren’t always school appropriate,” Delikat said. “My mom always tells me that I have to delete videos with curse words in them, and I didn't exactly acknowledge what she was saying until a few weeks ago when a parent came up to me and she was like, ‘Oh my god, my eighth grader loves your videos.’ Realizing I need to monitor what I post has probably been the weirdest part.”
Delikat currently works as a high school chemistry teacher at an ASU Preparatory Academy while working to obtain his master’s degree and plans to get a Ph.D. afterward. In the meantime, Delikat has no intention to let go of his passion for colorguard.
He received a teaching scholarship for the team which covers the participation fee that all members of the colorguard team must pay. This accessibility allows him to continue sharing his knowledge with new and old color guard members in the coming years. He plans to continue posting to his TikTok account and will eventually shift to posting more educational content.
“The way that he has been able to capture the fun side of our activity and make it imaginative is what I think a lot of his followers probably like about him,” DuBose said. “He's able to reach the kids on their level and nurture young talent, and that just shows how imaginative he is.”
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Sadie Buggle is the Editor of the State Press Opinion Desk. This is her third semester working for the State Press after two semesters reporting for the Community and Culture Desk.