Camden's Sophisticated Sisters has now grown to 323 and moved to a larger and better space.
The dance and drill team's home base is now at the Walt Whitman Arts Center next to Rutgers-Camden. The center is opening its doors free of rent and fees to Sophisticated Sisters, who garnered national attention this year for the positive influence the group has on its members, ages 3 to 18.
"They've allowed us to use the whole facility... we can divide the age groups and have older girls downstairs and younger girls upstairs," said team founder and director Tawanda Jones. Sometimes they practice outside, as well.
The center will be a temporary home as Jones searches for a permanent one. The team’s members had been practicing in space underneath a water tower in the Whitman Park section.
"We're very grateful that we have a safe and clean environment," to practice, Jones said. The girls practice early evenings Tuesday through Friday.