Articles

Ellen’s Life-Changing Surprise for an Amazing New York City Dance Crew

October 6, 2019


If you’ve ever taken
a New York subway, chances are you’ve
seen our next guest. They are 10 dancers
from the Bronx whose videos are
constantly going viral. I said I wanted
them here, but we couldn’t get a subway car
all the way from New York, so we built one. Please welcome The
Waffle Dance Crew. [MUSIC – KID THE WHIZ, JOHN
O & ARNSTAR, “JOHN O CLAP”] (SINGING) Know what it’s like
just to roll with the crew. Just to roll with the team. Just to roll with WAFFLE. Keep the [INAUDIBLE]. DJ, turn around
and bring it back. Get ready to dance and
hit the John O clap. We can do it like this. We can do it like that. Swing your arms left and right. Hit the John O clap. Hit the John O clap. Yeah, hit the John O clap. King Kongs even
did it, as a fact, but I got to let you
know it’s a John O clap. Call me John O when I
step up in that circle. Killer moving and grooving,
it’s gonna hurt you. We gonna dance all
night, it’s no curfew. Spend around, knee drop,
hit the clap, look cool. Yeah, and don’t forget
the slow motion. We gonna get the Whiz smile
when they zoom close in. 100,000 plus every
time that we posting. World Star rise when we post it. Hold up. Wait a minute,
everybody fall back. John O, how y’all even
make the John O clap. Well first I went like
this, then I went like that, then I wiggled two times
and I hit the John O clap. DJ, turn around
and bring it back. Get ready to dance, and
hit the John O clap. You can do it like this,
you can do it like that. Swing your arms left and
right for the John O clap. Hit the John O clap. Yeah, hit the John O clap. King Kongs even
did it, as a fact, but I got to let you know
that’s a [INAUDIBLE] clap. Creative culture. Inner city. Swag on a million. B bop my ditty. [INAUDIBLE] and we
make it look pretty. And we still cool to act silly. Hit the nilly. [APPLAUSE] Woo! Hi. Hi. Hello. Hi, hi. Hello. Hello. Hi. How you doing, Ellen? Hi. Hi. How are you doing? Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. Y’all are awesome. Am I supposed to pass
these around for everyone to have something to say? Yes. All right. Somebody in the back. Thank you. OK. Y’all are awesome. Let’s start with the name. Why do you call yourself WAFFLE? First of all,
Ellen, we would like to thank you so much for
having us here today. We truly appreciate
this moment so much. I appreciate this moment. Y’all are awesome. I’d be stupid not
to have you on. All right. So WAFFLE, where’s
this come from? Well– WAFFLE. It’s simple. It stands for We Are Family
For Life Entertainment. It was inspired by Sister
Sledge, “We Are Family.” (SINGING) We are family. And you guys just heard it. But yeah, so our
founder, Andrew Saunders, he just loved the
song, so he put that. And then the acronyms came,
and we finished it off later. For Life Entertainment kind
of came, just running together as a team. I love that. I didn’t know it was
based on that song. I love that song. I’ve loved that song
for a long time. All right, so how did you start
dancing together, and then why the subway? Well, lifey is the
dance style that we do. And we all met each other
through the [? lifey ?] battle event. And it would cost money
to get inside the event. And subway performance
kind of, like, brang us together to make money
to even get inside the event. And over time, we realized
performing together as a unit is better than
competing with each other. So we are family is like
really something that’s important to us. Being a family is important. All right. Seriously. So you’re on a subway, and
when you start dancing, how do people react
when you appear? When we first step
on the subways, it’s like, people are confused. What are these kids doing? Like, they have a
radio in their hand. OK. Some people suck on their teeth. We have people
smiling ear to ear, like OK, I know what’s
about to happen. But the tourists from around
the world, they love it. Yeah, because a lot of
people know who y’all are– Yes. So they travel just to see you. Yes. Hoping you’re going
to be on a subway. Exactly. Do you announce
which subway you’re going to be on so they
know when to find you? No. You just show up on
different subways? Yeah, randomly. Yeah. And do you sometimes get off
and not know where you are? Or, I mean– you go back
to where you came from. Yeah, basically. We just go cart by cart. We usually do like
40 carts a day. Yeah. Which is a lot. Like, each cart is a minute. Yeah. But everybody’s reactions
is always the best, because all we try to do is
give them our great energy, and positive, and we want
them to come out smiling and– Yeah. Real happy. You know? What a great– Sometimes people in New York
city have a lot of trouble– Yeah. Or working all day
and night sometimes. We don’t know what they’re
going through, but– Exactly. At the end of the
day, we just want to come across that we want
you guys to have great energy. Yeah. What a great thing to do. [INAUDIBLE] greatest move. Hopefully you have a
lot of hand sanitizer. Those things got to be filthy. Those rails– All the time. All the time. Those railings are filthy dirty. So this saved a lot
of you– a lot of you were saying that the dancing
has saved your lives. Right? Yes. Why is that? Simply because, you know, coming
from a big city like New York City, there’s a
lot of dark spaces that you can sucked into. And coming from the inner city,
I mean, just being blatant, it’s not easy. So [? lifey ?] was
kind of like a way. It was pretty much
our way of, kind of, cultivating our own self,
and making a voice for ourself, and saying, hey, you know,
we’re not like everything that everybody else is saying. This is what we
want to do, and we want to change our
lives through dance. Yeah, very, very positive thing. I would also like to add,
because dancing really saved my life, because
there was a time and a point where I stopped dancing,
and I was like chilling in my neighborhood. And where I live, it’s totally
just a bad environment, and I was held at gunpoint. So for me to come
back to dancing, it really kept me
away from that path, and everything has just been
great since I’ve been dancing. Yeah. That’s great. OK. So what’s the biggest tip
you’ve gotten on the subway? So yeah, the biggest tip I
ever got was $50 to $100. On a regular, we get
singles, $5 bills, $20 bills. $5,200? What? No, $50– $50 bills– Oh, $50 to $100 I
was like $5,200? Everybody’s like, I’m going to
start dancing on the subway. So $100 is the most
that you’ve gotten. Yeah. Yeah, and then sometimes– And sometimes it’s
just singles and stuff. All right, well I want to be
the first to give you a tip. OK? And for the past
few seasons, we’ve been partnering with Walmart
to bring smiles and help people across the country
live a better life. So Walmart is committed
to supporting communities. And when they step in,
they really make an impact, so they want to
give you $10,000. All right? So the bigger the
hat, the more money. All right. Wow. Are you kidding me? Wow. All right. So that’s a hat. Can you bring this with you? Is that going to be OK? I would love for it. Yeah. So $10,000. And I think, let’s do
another $10,000 as well. All right. This is $10,000. But then, Andy, I want another
$10,000, because this– it looks like– What? All right. Cha-ching. Right. Andy, let’s do another $10,000. [APPLAUSE] [INTERPOSING VOICES] Andy, one more $10,000. [APPLAUSE] [INTERPOSING VOICES] Andy, you know what? There’s 10 of you right? So let’s do $100,000, so
they each get $10,000. [APPLAUSE] [INTERPOSING VOICES] Oh my god. [INTERPOSING VOICES] The WAFFLE Dance Crew is going
to perform one more time later in this show. We’ll be back.

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