Camden, NJ has a rap for being one of the most dangerous and poorest cities in the US, yet thanks to Tawanda Jones it is rich in music and dance. The NJ resident is the founder of Sophisticated Drill Team, a place where young people can go to sing, dance and play various instruments. Jones is confident that the team has and will continue to help Camden teens decrease: teen pregnancy rates, gangs, violence, and arrest by “providing [teens] with an alternative way to increase their self growth through educational programs, volunteering, and leadership training.”
This program kicks butt. Want to implement something like it in your community? Here’s what you need to do:
- Decide what your drill/music/dance team is going to focus on. Try to find something that would make your group unique.
- Find an expert in that area who can be your leader, choreographer or teacher.
- Find a space. Maybe it’s your school gym or church basement. Make a one-pager about what you are trying to do and present it to the proper officials.
- Post flyers around town and post on Facebook or Twitter to recruit members. \
- Create a set of guidelines for how the program will run. This should include rehearsal schedules.
And lastly, don’t get discouraged if things get difficult – spoiler: these bumps will happen. Some advice from Tawanda Jones, “As long as you stay determined and are really passionate about your group succeeding, there is nothing that will hold you back.”hing here.
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