Litefeet – the subway dance movement

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Great creative movements have often come from underground, socially-rejected artistic expressions. We need only look to hip-hop, breakdancing, parkour, and so forth. The funny thing is that the venues for their expression are driven by their novelty and thus lack of “official” spaces to practice. Their venues for expression are also driven by┬ácommunities from which they emerge and the lack of means to practice anywhere else. As a result, authorities often ban these art forms. This is silly on many fronts: the fact that they are potentially forcing kids who are now doing good, to go back to doing bad; they are stifling artistic evolution; they are wasting city law enforcement resources.

Litefeet2Litefeet is one such creative movement that is currently under threat. What is Litefeet? In short, it is subway dancing. For anyone who has visited New York City, you will most likely have experienced a performance. Young kids come onto the subway cars and do some of the most unbelievable acrobatics with the poles and limited “dance space”. Their imagination is staggering, and how they channel such great energy into positive creative expression is admirable.

Much like so many street artistic movements before it, Litefeet faces being banned. It is remarkable how authorities have not learned over the decades – they simply but legal barriers against things they don’t understand and in doing so make the movement stronger. Cities that spark these kinds of movements should be proud to have such creative and action-oriented youth amongst their citizens.

The following short documentary film accounts the story of a Litefeet crew in New York City and tells, through the voices of the dancers, how they view their movement and how society has reacted towards them. It is beautifully done and is truly inspiring. Have a look.

Litefeet from Scott Carthy on Vimeo.

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