By Jasmine Cen
South Shore Drill Team is not “a diamond in the desert,” said Alderman Leslie Hariston (5th ward), “It is more than an after-school program. It is a composition. It is all perspective of art.”
South Shore Drill Team has inspired neighborhood kids with dance moves, music and rhythmic tricks since the 1980s. Founder Arthur Robertson, a Chicago public school teacher, started the team from his backyard. It grew from four to more than 300 kids. Team membership helps to prevent kids staying off the street and stay out gangs, Robertson said. Members practice daily after school. The team encourages its instructors to ensure kids are keeping up with their schoolwork. The team is also a place to let the stress out.
“The highlight for me is performing and watching the audience smiles. Watching everybody enjoys what we are doing,” said Johnny Morris, a senior member on the team from the neighborhood.