|Photo credit: Bart Everts|
Those of you who know what I'm talking about have just shuddered. For the rest of you, here's how it goes down.
Two to five young men get on the train together, and one announces, "Showtime, showtime. What time is it?" and the others respond, "Showtime!" One of them may ask people to move out of the way because, "we're going to do a show." Then one of them turns on the most obnoxiously loud boom box you've heard since the last time.
And then the dancing begins. And by dancing, I mean stunts with a little break dancing thrown in. Back when this nonsense first started, there was just one dance crew that did it - one older boy and his two younger brothers. The younger ones did the worm and a trick where they formed a human wheel and rolled down the filthy subway floor. I'm surprised I didn't catch hepatitis just from watching them.
Nowadays, there are plenty of dance crews, and it's all about the pole work. Hanging off the poles, right in someone's face as they try to ignore the dancers, usually. I keep waiting for one of them do this right in front of me, so I can flip them off.
When they're done, they go around passing the hat, often declaring how they're doing this to stay out of trouble and saying how at least they're not breaking the law. Which is total bullshit because dancing and panhandling on the subway is illegal and they could get arrested for it.
I don't know what's worse - the loud music that hurts the ears and head, the danger of getting kicked in the head or knee, or the people who are actually amused and impressed by this.
On our way home Friday night, HA had a team of three in the subway car with us, while there was a solo act in the very next car. We thought that maybe they were together, but no. The solo guy came into our car and started talking shop with the other guys, and it was clear that they they weren't together.
Solo guy may be the only subway dancer in the city who's "afraid" (his word) to do back flips on the subway because he might kick someone. Bless his heart.
We also learned that he made $2 in the next car, which he didn't seem to think was much. One of the guys from the group broke off and went into that car, and after the next stop, actually started a solo routine of his own. After most of the people in there had just seen a dancer.
The fucking nerve.
For a moment, I thought solo guy was going to start his act in our car, but no. He packed up his things, stayed on a few stops and went home.
This really has to stop. There has got to be someplace in the city where young men can dance and get paid for it by easily impressed white people without harassing people who don't want to be bothered. It's almost enough to make me miss that fascist Rudy Giuliani. Almost.