CHICAGO — The cold couldn’t keep down the members of the South Shore Drill Team, who danced their way through the organization’s first ever Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City Thursday.
“It wasn’t as cold as Chicago was,” 15-year-old team member Dinata Herron said by phone with a laugh. “The crowd was really engaged. Their energy kept us up and that really helped us throughout the parade.”
The drill team, which had set a fundraising goal of $35,000 to take the trip, ended up raising $32,014 with help from some last minute donations by Walgreens, McDonalds and a local development company.
"It was never any doubt whether we would go or not," said Sara Vlajcic, administrative coordinator for the team. "I would have put the tab on my credit card if it came to it."
Herron, a seven-year veteran on the drill team, said the group’s costumes helped keep them warm.
Indeed, in a play-by-play of the parade, Entertainment Weekly blogger Lanford Beard wrote:
Bravo, Chicago’s South Shore Drill Team! After a lot of same-samey acts (Power Rangers, TMNT, Fall Out Boy), finally a jolt of energy to get us through the last half hour. I unexpectedly dig the Tron: Legacy-style costumes (also, smart to cover up!) and the EDM drill team routine to Loreen’s “Euphoria.” Can we just watch this for the rest of the parade? Also, get these kids a touring schedule!
For Herron, who has dreams of moving to New York and becoming a Rockette, just the chance to drive by Radio City was enough
“It was an honor to be somewhere I might be some day. It was an experience I’m never going to forget,” she said.