Rayquan Perez is a 19-year-old dancer with 2Live, a group that performs on the 4 and 2 trains. He spoke to Brian about what it's like to flip and somersault through a moving subway car, and about the crackdown on dancers.
How’d he get into dancing?
His uncles used to dance with Crazy Legs and taught him and his cousins how to perform on the trains. “They wanted me to stay out of trouble and stuff, so instead of getting into trouble I started dancing.”
What’s a good day?
$100 to 150 over 3 or 4 hours of work – but he could keep going all day. Money really comes out on Fridays with tourists and events at Barclays or the stadiums.
Has anyone from the group been arrested in the latest crackdown?
Two of his cousins, both 2Live members, were arrested for dancing in a subway car – and his uncle was arrested and is still in jail for an outstanding warrant. “I never thought dancing was a crime, I thought it was a way to express yourself.”
What happens when you get arrested just for dancing?
“We have to go through the whole system.” Rayquan heard from his cousins that they got community service, but the next time it happens they could get 30 days in jail – and that bail is $5,000.
So… have they stopped dancing on the trains?
“Nah, I’m about to go dancing today,” he said. And no, he’s not afraid of the bail.
Our Full Conversation About the NYPD Crackdown on Subway Dancers
Does he ever get hurt, or hurt someone else?
Sometimes during practice the team does get hurt. But have they ever kicked a passenger? “Me personally? Not yet. I’m not going to say never… I’m not gonna lie, I had a team member, he was young and it was his first time. He apologized after the show and the person still donated.”
Is there a way to do the shows more safely?
They could do platform shows, but they don’t make as much money doing that. “We know how to maneuver around people. Let’s say we see somebody getting up because they’re scared – we’ll maneuver around them instead of hitting them.”
And yeah, they know the trains.
Like that big curve on the 4 train coming into 42nd street? “We know those by heart,” Perez said.