Group seeks to overturn New York’s ban on subway dancers

Subway entrance in New York

Subway entrance in New York. Image by Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY 2.0

New York’s decision to ban subway dancers has been criticised because of the positivity it had brought to Bronx and Brooklyn area of the city.

Now a new group called Waffle (We are for family forever entertainment) want to separate themselves from the image of criminality that had latched onto the ‘Litefeet’ style of dance.

Irish filmmaker Scott Carthy spent time with the group last year and the news website, thejournal.ie reports that he found how the revolution of dance in underground cars actually brought positivity into the areas.

The activity kept young people off the streets and, in fact, brought gangs together, said a Waffle representative.

Deshawn Martin, (20), said there are people who used the subway dancing as a way to escape from the gang culture and criminality in their neighbourhoods. “There was always gangs, but when Litefeet came around, people stopped their gangs to make dance teams.”

This style of dance even brought gangs together as they left rivalries behind and showed each other moves they had learned or created, it was stressed.

“They’re not going to stop dancing just because they don’t have the trains anymore,” filmmaker Scott Carthy told thejournal.ie. “They’ll find other ways to use their talent.”

From Carthy’s documentary alone, you can see how supportive all the dancers are of one another and how encouraging they are of the children in the crew who dance.

“It’s incredible to see them getting involved at such a young age,” he said. “It’s not like dancers developing in a dance school, they learn from the streets, they learn it all from scratch.”

Related content