Members of South Shore Drill Team value hard work and cooperation and are committed to performing their very best. The young people involved in the organization come from all over Chicago, but predominantly the city’s south side.
Approximately 85% come from low- or extremely-low-income homes, and the majority attend Chicago Public Schools. Team members participate in a number of different groups, listed below.
Ranging in age from 16-24, South Shore Drill Team’s Big Guard are seasoned performers. During parade season and at Winter Guard International (WGI) competitions they are a dominant force. Big Guard members rehearse at least 20 hours a week, learning a wide range of dance and mastering precision drilling. Recreational activities such as skating, skiing and paint ball provide down time and keep youth engaged in the program. There are actually three groups making up this section: the Big Guard Rifles, the Big Guard Flag Boys, and the Big Guard Girls. In 2011, the team entered two groups in Winter Guard International. While both made it to the WGI finals in Dayton, OH, one was eliminated and the other went on to win the World Championship. Read about the South Shore Drill Team’s win in this New York Times article.
The Ladies of South Shore
About 40% of South Shore Drill Team members are young women. The Big Guard Girls have competed as Ladies of South Shore in Winter Guard International and with the Big Guard Flag Boys in 2011. Along with the Cadet Girls, they bring extraordinary grace to both stage shows and parade performances. In addition to performing and competing, the girls enjoy fun outings such as movie nights and shopping trips. Since 2010, the team has increased the number of leadership activities for young ladies and brought in guest speakers to discuss a wide range of topics.
Ranging in ages from 12-15, the Cadets are dynamic performers, who, like Big Guard members, bring tremendous energy and talent to their precision drilling and dance performances. In 2010, the Cadets captured first place at the Midwest Championships. Within this section, there are the Cadet Rifles and the Cadet Girls. Both groups showcase their abundant talent in numbers ranging from classical to contemporary.
American Flag Section
Members of the American Flag Section have been with the team for two years or more. These enthusiastic performers travel with the team throughout the year, perfecting their moves and working towards the Cadet level.
The team’s youngest performers are a terrific junior-level group whose talent and enthusiasm charms audiences everywhere. Don’t let their age fool you – the Pee Wees are experienced performers who are often requested by event organizers.