Through Lite Feet competitions, a group of young New Yorkers banded together to bring life to mundane Subway commutes. Despite eye-rolls from commuters and singles for tips, the W.A.F.F.L.E. (We Are Family For Life Entertainment) dance crew’s tenacity has resulted in a major payday.
After sitting down for an interview on Ellen where they discussed their group’s origin and how dancing saved their lives, Ellen DeGeneres decided to give them the biggest tip they’ve received to the tune of $100,000. In partnership with WalMart, DeGeneres and her crew dumped stacks of bills into a giant cap, which is reminiscent of how young dancers on the train collect money from commuters.
The ensemble added that they perform their routines in 40 carts a day, but they’re still grateful for an escape from the perils of their neighborhoods. One dancer shared that he was held at gunpoint once, but through dance, he was able to find an out.
“Coming from a big city like New York City, there’s a lot of dark spaces that you can get sucked into,” another dancer said. “And coming from the inner city, I mean, just being blatant, it’s not easy. So life feet 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 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.'”
Watch their interview above.