The first time I saw these young men perform, in a tightly packed New York City subway car, I imagined we were all flying. I later learned that their dances and aerial moves were named “the part-time stripper,” “walking on air” and “the Kid and Larry.” Their physicality, bravado and humor captivated me. While some riders considered them a nuisance, I felt they transformed the subway car into a remarkable sort of public theater.
Last month, I decided to track down the subway dancers in the hope of filming them. After weeks of calls, I managed to book an afternoon shoot with some of the men, who call themselves the W.A.F.F.L.E. (We Are Family for Life Entertainment) crew: J-Black, Goofy, Boy Aero, Lex Aero, John-O and Sonic. I focused my lens on their hands seizing poles and feet fluttering in the air. As I zoomed in, I noticed that these self-taught artists are not just part of an underground subculture; their graceful moves also evoke a classical ballet.
— Joshua Z Weinstein, a native New Yorker, is a filmmaker and cinematographer. His latest documentary, “Drivers Wanted,” about a taxicab garage in Queens, N.Y., will be released this fall.
Thanks to the team behind CultEdge.
Read the interview in full here.
This is the 17th installment in the “1-2-1 w/jeffstaple” Series. Each segment, jeffstaple, Founder and Creative Director of Staple Design & Reed Space, talks to someone one-to-one. Direct. Intimate. No BS.
Staple Design and Puma recently came together to create a limited edition #PumaPigeon Suede. In order to help usher this in, Walt “Clyde” Frazier visited Reed Space and shared his experience and wisdom with an intimate group. Mr. Frazier is an integral figure in sports, fashion, hip-hop, sneaker culture and NYC in general. Thank you to Puma for making this possible.