Dance a welcome diversion

Published 10:22 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stomping the ground of the Brown YMCA in unison, the more than 30 ladies of the Infamous Drill Squad and Drum Corps are fierce.

Formed in April, the group’s purpose is to provide young women with an activity for summers and after school hours so they will stay away from negative behaviors.

“Our underlying theme is to prevent substance abuse, teen pregnancy, keep kids off the street as much as possible and change attitudes because a lot of these kids have attitude problems,” said Lawrence Mims, head coach and founder.

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The group follows the three Ds: discipline, dedication and determination. By following these guidelines, Mims believes the group will be able to improve attitudes and create a safe haven for the girls.

“We’re trying to have a family-based environment that if you can’t turn to mom, we’re here for you,” Mims said.

Girls meet at least two times a week for practices. Six boys have volunteered to play the drums for the drill routines, but the group only has one drum currently.

Group member Africhinae Fikes got involved with the group as a pro-active measure to remain away from negative influences.

“It’s a great opportunity for girls to get out and stay out of trouble,” Fikes said. “Plus, it’s fun. We get to learn lots of new dances.”

Tyeshia Faddis enjoys being a member of the group because it’s fun and a way for her to use her cheerleading skills.

She also likes to practice the routines outside of group meetings.

“It’s something fun I can do at my house,” Fikes said.

Now the biggest challenge for the group is fundraising. Mims estimates that to pay for uniforms, drums and travel, the group needs $8,000.

“It’s been hard because we don’t have the money to get the equipment,” Mims said. “If you can give, please give.”

To donate money or drums to the group, contact Mims at 412-9741 or e-mail him at