Admittedly, I am not always enthused by the subway dancers during my daily commute between Brooklyn and Lincoln Center. But sometimes when I see a talented group on my way to work they remind me of how much fun dancing can be and I’m inspired to go to class or rehearsal. And the dancers always make me conscious of how lucky I am to be able to earn my living by dancing. I’m often blown away by the technical aspects of their work—some of the “untrained” train dancers
Occasionally a group of dancers will be too wild and I’ll have to switch train cars to protect my own feet (about which all dancers are very neurotic), but for the most part the dancers in the subway have incredible balance and timing and can consistently pull off flips and break-dancing moves without so much as grazing anyone on the bumpy rides. Many klutzy pedestrian riders are far more dangerous when they forget to hold on to a pole! Honestly, I think the people passing out flyers at the top of the staircase at the Columbus Circle subway exit every day are the most dangerous of all. So many commuters stumble backwards at the top of those crowded steps when they are accosted by the literature of the bike rental guys or the free newspaper that is being shoved in their faces. The police should really do something about that!
Oddly enough, even before Gia’s article I was thinking about the subway dancers a lot recently. While I was home sick for a few days last week I watched a bunch of crap television and random movies, and one of the oddities I came across on HBO GO was Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic The Warriors. Although the film is supposed to convey the extreme violence of gang wars on the subway, to my jaded modern eyes it looked like it was about teams of ballet dancers trying to upstage each other with goofy costumes and dance moves (let’s just say that fight choreography has come a long way). My boyfriend asked at one point, “how come everyone in this film looks exactly like someone in your company?” It was funny but true! For example: the handsome lead actor Michael Beck—who plays a gang member coincidentally named “Swan”—closely resembles my very handsome friend Stephen Hanna! We kept laughing at the film, and I can’t help but chuckle at the fact that those are basically the kinds of people the NYPD are after these days!