KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metro drill team is trying to find a new place to practice after the team’s founder said they were kicked out of their current facility.
Alayna Taylor, founder and director of KC Fusion Drill Team, fears she’ll keep losing members if she can’t find a safe space for her team to call home.
“[The kids] parents don’t feel safe with us practicing in a park or parking lot,” she explained.
On Monday, Taylor said she was informed that the team of dancers and drummers could no longer practice at the Justice Center due to noise complaints.
“Nobody has ever told us, ‘Y’all too loud. Y’all got to move to a different spot,’” she said. “When the police do show up, they’ll clap and celebrate with us and they’ll leave.”
The drill team had been using the space, located at 2908 Indiana Ave., for free up until recently when the owner started charging them – a fee Taylor said she was paying.
“We are in the inner city,” she said. “We don’t have — we’re not rich. We don’t have the money.”
The team of 40 kids, ages 4 through 18, is now practicing in Central Park. However, the conditions are not ideal.
“We struggle with the bathrooms, the water, just the air conditioner,” Taylor said. “It’s hot. We just trying to figure it out.”
For many on the team, like Jai’Eisha Lewis, KC Fusion is family and an escape.
“I get energy out of this,” Lewis said. “It’s like my workout, and I get a healthy relationship with Ms. Alayna.”
The 9-year-old dreamed of being on a drill team. She said she would just be sitting at home if she wasn’t on the team.
“It’s something really good for me because, without drill team, I would be nothing right now,” Lewis said.
It’s a creative outlet that Taylor said builds character, self-worth and, most importantly, keeps kids off the streets.
“This is just as important as the community,” Taylor said. “We just want a place where they want to hear the drums, see the kids and youth do good. That’s all we’re asking for.”
FOX4 reached out to the Justice Center for comment but have not received a response as of Thursday evening.
Taylor said other drill teams in the city have offered their facilities, but because many of the kids walk to practice, they need to find a space on the city’s east side.