The Best and Brightest of Trenton, New Jersey - All in ONE place to Shine!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Pillars of My Community
Written by Jamal Jones
On November 20, 2010, I was granted the honor of experiencing one of the most authentic and well-respected crafts that has helped to shape the community of Trenton, NJ, drilling. A culture that has taken part in nurturing, molding, and disciplining the youth of yesterday has advanced and matured for the past 20 years, and still services the youth of today. As an outsider looking in, when performances are put on it almost seems effortless. However, little does a feeble mind know, many years of sacrifice, and hours of practice allow all who participate to offer such jaw-dropping feats of physical display. To define what has taken place for the last 20 plus years, in the name of the progression of The Miller Homes Smoothe Steppers, The Sophisticated Debutantes, and the most recent, New Millenium, as a 'trend' would be equivalant to not recognizing someone for a certain excellence that has helped to improve a needy cause for the better. Instead, the work that has been put out should, respectfully, be referred to as a 'movement'.
Supporters from all over the city of Trenton shared seats with supporters from Philadelphia, Maryland, and Atlantic City at The P.A.L Center in Hockessin, Delaware to cheer on their friends and family members that were set to perform. As the drill teams were preparing, a warmth and comfort among socializing could be felt within the stands. Past participants of Trenton's drill teams who had also traveled out to show their support were happily reuniting and reminicing with past teammates; which really spoke volumes of the legacy that they helped to build upon. The aura throughout resembled that of a family reunion.
Without warning, a strong voice would interrupt conversations and gain our attention to welcome us to the 2010 Multi-States Competition. Following the welcome, the National Anthem would be sang, then the moment that everyone awaited would soon arrive, the start of the competition. The order of the competition would progress as followed: Pee-Wee teams, Junior teams, Intermediate teams, Intermediate Percussionists, Senior Percussionists, then Seniors. Smoothe yet sophisticated steppers of our present millenium commanded the attention of their supporters for more than two and half hours in an attempt to convince judges, through intriquet choreography filled with stunning theatrics, that they embody the necessary skills to represent their hometown on a gradeur scale of competition.
Granted, the purpose of the competition was to crown a winner based off of their skills and talents, however their seemed to be a greater purpose illuminating itself through the pounding of the drums, the stomping of the feet, and each salute offered. These teams were furthering the longevity of a legacy. They were paying homage to those who had come before them just by standing in the positions in which they had chosen to take part in, alone. And confirmation of their efforts were heard through cheers and applause, as well as seen in standing ovations by all who support the movement. This type of unity has found itself to be rare in today's society. So many are in search of an outlet that will distract their minds and/or their children's minds from the daily routine of drugs, and violence that could easily influence the downfall of our future's futures. The presence of Trenton's drill teams have always encompassed a spirit that challenged the community to take part in having a good time on their day off from work, or brief break from their daily routine. And from my perspective, that spirit has grown stronger within Trenton's drill teams and would prove to be even stronger if efforts of progression are encouraged to be the focus needed to continue this movement, collectively.
(These words are offered in respect of the names of ALL who have contributed to the drill teams throughout Trenton, NJ for the past 20 plus years and beyond. Please continue to remain encouraged.....)