- Boys who like to throw parties on the Metro. (Photo: YouTube/OMaster92)
The mystery has begun to recede in the case of the Metro Party Boys, a group that brought singing and dancing to our WMATA trains on July 4th. The crew left several YouTube videos in its wake and hoped to bring joy to riders with its renditions of Cee Lo Green, Disney songs, and Miley Cyrus. I've finally heard back from one of the party boys, and we have some answers.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the dancers are all rather young — high school students from Annandale High School, most of them 18 years old but also a 17- and 16-year-old among the group. Their biggest motivation: to help remove commuters' impression that people their age are "bad kids."
"We see videos on WorldStarHipHop.com or Youtube.com of how kids our age pick fights with people, especially on the Metro," 18-year-old Omid Shabon, a certified Metro Party Boy, told me in an e-mail. "Nope, not us — we want to change that. We want people to view us as kids that just want put smiles on people's faces."
Shabon provided several details that gave context to the dancing extravaganza that took hold of our trains yesterday. The Metro Party Boys, it turns out, aren't even all boys.
The Virginia-based group of students does include one young woman, the 18-year-old girlfriend of one of the Metro Party Boys. Shabon shared the identities of all the Annandale High students and their associated Twitter handles with me, but I'll let them reveal themselves on their own terms, especially considering some of them are under 18. Many of these students play sports, Shabon told me, with half on the football team and some involved in basketball and wrestling. None dance or sing professionally, but many came to feel like brothers from playing football together. The Fourth of July song-and-dance happened spontaneously, with no track choices or real details planned out beforehand.
"The only thing that was planned was that when we walked inside the Metro train that we'd spread out and start clapping," Shabon told me. "Everything after that was basically improv."
As initially suspected (and corroborated by a reader who tweeted in and had observed the cars yesterday), the Metro Party Boys rode the Blue Line in the direction of the Van Dorn station, closest to their hometown. The songs themselves were random, he said, with nothing planned. They even took suggestions from the crowd.
@unsuckdcmetro just saw an all male dance party on the blue line. A refreshing sight on the metro since all the fighting
@unsuckdcmetro spoke too soon... Metro cops just stopped the train bc of it.... Glad to see they're present for this and not the fights
And will WMATA riders see more of the Metro Party Boys or have they vanished onto the tracks like some strange Fourth of July miracle?
"Actually we are all thinking of doing one soon," Shabon said. He told me they hope to return to the trains with their dancing energy on a particularly busy day to keep the experience fun. Best of luck, guys.