Monday, September 19, 2011

In Praise Of The South Shore Drill Team

Edited by Azizi Powell

The South Shore Drill Team - Bud Billiken Parade 2010

Uploaded by 773area773 on Mar 2, 2011
South Shore Drill Team doing it at the Bud in 2010!

This blog post showcases The South Shore Drill Team, a Chicago, Illinois performing arts group that I've not yet had the pleasure of seeing in person. But I love the videos of this group & I love what I've read about that group's history & purpose.

The South Shore Drill Team reminds me of groups who marched in the "Black" parades that were held in my hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I especially remember the male teenage drill teams that paraded when the [Black] Elks conventioned in Atlantic City. I lived about two blocks down the street from Atlantic City's Soldier's Home. As a child I knew that building best as the meeting place for a drum & bugle corp. Watching that corps practice in the Soldiers' Home yard, and experiencing them parading down my street even before their "real parades" nurtured in me a life long love of drum & bugle corps & drill teams. And the South Shore Drill Team certainly appears to me-and to many others- to be one of the best of the best drill teams.

Here's an excerpt from The South Shore Drill Team's website
"In 2010, South Shore Drill Team celebrates 30 years of serving youth. Founded in 1980 with a handful of neighborhood children, the team has grown to serve 350 young people ages 8-21 annually...

Well-known for its amazing precision drilling, the team is a favorite of parade-goers everywhere. In addition to its unique marching style, South Shore Drill Team has a wide repertoire of dance, including classical and contemporarymusic, hip hop, jazz, and modern dance. Team members have traveled extensively throughout the United States and toured Morocco in North Africa in 2005. The group was featured in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off...

The organization’s purpose extends far beyond entertainment. It was begun by former Chicago Public School teacher Arthur Robertson, and its focus remains on education. All members are required to be students in good standing, and their grades are monitored. The team offers tutoring for those who struggle in school. Despite the fact that the majority of members come from schools where thedrop-out rate is as high as 55%, the team sees 99.5% of its members graduate with their class and most go on to college or technical school, breaking a cycle of poverty.

In addition to Education Support, the team offers programs in Employment Training and Leadership Development. Training and Leadership Development. Members learn about self-discipline, teamwork, and responsibility. An estimated 5,000 young people have beenpart of the group. Team alumni include teachers, police officers, entrepreneurs and business managers, people in the entertainment field, and medical professionals. For more than 30 years, South Shore Drill Team has been helping young people build a future for themselves."

Here are a few videos of Chicago, Illinois' South Shore Drill Team:

Video # 1: The South Shore Drill Team - Bud Billiken Parade 2010

This video is presented at the top of this page.

Here's some information about the Bud Billiken Parade from "

The Bud Billiken parade is an annual parade in Chicago Illinois oldest and largest African American parade. Since 1929 it has been held the second Saturday in August... The idea for the parade came from Robert S. Abbot, the founder of the [African American] newspaper The Chicago Defender. The focus of the parade is the betterment of Chicago youth.

South Shore Drill Team 2011 - WGI Indianapolis Regional FINALS-February 20, 2011

Uploaded by 773area773 on Mar 1, 2011

Editor: From "Spawning from Drum Corps International DCI, Winter Guard International WGI was founded in 1977, as a visual performing arts organization that hosts regional and national competitions for color guards (known as winter guards) and indoor percussion ensembles.

South Shore Drill Team

Uploaded by Bigballalaw on May 22, 2011
West Virginia Strawberry Festival 2011

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  1. The video of the South Shore Drill Team at the West Virginia Strawberry Festival reminds me of some of the stepping movements of the Black Greek lettered fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc.

    I wonder if any Kappas were/are associated with that the South Shore Drill Team as choreographers or otherwise.

    And I'd love to "hear" whether any Kappas think this drill team performance reminds you of your stepping movements.

    1. A a former member, the answer is no. The choreographers are and were not former Kappa members. We all learned on our own and challenged each other to become better and creative. Sorry.

    2. Thanks for that information, anonymous.

      I appreciate "hearing" from you.

      As you probably can tell from these and other pancocojams posts on drill teams, I love the South Shore Drill Team.