“I like it so much because it keeps them busy,” said Remy Boyd, whose two daughters are members of a local group’s drill crew. “It’s a positive thing, and a lot of kids don’t have to do anything.”
But some residents who live near a city park where a local club practices say the drums are very loud and disruptive, and they wish the band would find another place to rehearse that isn’t so close to people’s homes. .
“I know they need a place,” said Deborah Schafer, who lives near the park and recently complained about noise during the public comment portion of a city commission meeting. “I want the city to help them find the right place.”
Children involved in drill, drumming and dancing teams need lots of practice to master the movements, music and routines before competitions and other community events, such as parades.
Many clubs practice most weeknights, if not every night.
Boyd’s 9-year-old daughter, Malaysia Treadwell, is captain of his peewee drill team, and his 12-year-old daughter, Maxzaira Harvey, is also a member of the drill team.
“They love to compete, they love to dance and they dress really well,” Boyd said. “I love it because it makes my kids smile…And black kids don’t have much to do.”
Boyd’s Girls’ Club practices outdoors, like many other local groups.
Practices certainly make noise, but the public park is one of the most convenient and appropriate places for kids to practice, Boyd said.
It’s a public space, and a lot of things kids do in public make noise, she says.
Some supporters say drill, drum and dance clubs often practice outdoors because they don’t have access to indoor spaces that can accommodate all the children.
The neighbors complain
Last month, Schafer, president of the Sandalwood Park Neighborhood Association, spoke at a city commission meeting to raise concerns about a drill, drum and dance club that often practices in Sandalwood Park. .
Schafer, who has lived near the park for 33 years, said booming drums drowned out her TV and interrupted conservations, adding that her 83-year-old husband was “losing his mind” to the noise.
She said the practices were held about 530 feet from her house and some of her neighbors lived much closer than that.
She said the loud noises forced residents to keep their windows closed in good weather, disturbed people’s dogs and disrupted the sleep of some neighbors who had to get up early in the morning to go to work.
Schafer said there are more suitable places to practice nearby that aren’t close to homes, such as Triangle Park, Kettering Field and Island MetroPark.
“Everybody wants to see them continue – not a single person who’s bothered by them wants to see the kids stop,” she said. “I guess I think it’s just a misuse of our little park.”
She said she surveyed her neighbors, and most said the noise was bothersome.
Representatives of the drill, drum and dance group that practices in Sandalwood Park declined to comment for this article.
Dayton police have responded to more than a dozen noise-related calls for service at the park since late April, but officers issued no citations and referred the matter to mediation, a doorman said. -word of the police.
Normal hours for the City Park are 8 a.m. until sunset, and the group’s club manager/coach told officers that practices would end at 9 p.m., the city and police said.
A different club called Western Stars Drill Team & Drum Line practices about three hours a night, five days a week in downtown Dayton.
Rehearsals are held in surface parking lots along West Monument Avenue, under and beside the Interstate 75 overpass.
Deputy director Dionna Rodgers said the group practices outdoors because they don’t have access to a facility large enough to house the activities and the 85 young people who participate.
Western Stars hasn’t had any issues with noise or disgruntled neighbors except for one time when the practice went on longer than usual and someone who lived nearby asked if they could keep the noise down, said Rogers.
She said they just moved across the street and that took care of the neighbor’s concern.
Rodgers, 33, who played with the Western Stars when she was growing up, said children in these groups learn valuable life skills while doing activities they love and honing their talents.
“We hold them accountable, we teach discipline,” she said.