- Wear your dancing shoes into WMATA. (YouTube/aadragna1988)
One of the most delightful parts of our WMATA transit system is the strange ways that people act out, all of us packed in there together. The Metro has its infamous Christmas caroller. There was the recent Metro Swing, strung up between the train poles. Last summer, a group of teenagers calling themselves the Metro Party Boys crashed WMATA trains with their song-and-dance routine. Occupy D.C. protesters (including D.C. hunger striker Adrian Parsons) ambushed the Metro satirically in the fancy garb of the 1%. Did anyone imagine New Year's Eve would come to pass without some bizarre WMATA hilarity?
The Metro, after all, is the natural transition from what's happening on the streets. And what's happening on the streets on New Year's is very, very drunk ... and the spirit is one for dancing, clapping, and singing along to music that is very much not confined to earbuds on this Saturday night. Trains ran until 3 a.m., so the intoxicated, excited celebrators would naturally move underground for the afterparty.
Two videos from Foodista editor Anthony Adragna highlight how this dancing spirit entered the Metro Red Line starting around the Van Ness-UDC station. Here's the first — starting with the loud tunes of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back":
Shoulders shake, heads bob, and no one seems bothered by this rambunctious display on the Metro — one that, to be fair, seems more than liable to disrupt the average commuter's ride. But last Saturday was New Year's Eve. People knew what they were getting in to.
And where was all this '90s music coming from on the Metro?
"We climb on the Metro to go home after New Year's Eve," Adragna explains alongside his videos. "There is a guy with a 1980s tracksuit, haircut, and HUGE boombox. He starts play 1990s classics. It was AWESOME! Perfect way to ring in 2012."
Sounds like it. You can see the buoyant atmosphere the man describes clearly enough. But that was just the beginning. Next, close to a half dozen women broke into the dance known as the Cupid Shuffle.
In the first video, people are still loosening up. The action is casual. A little clapping, a little singing ... that's harmless enough.
But it's in Adragna's second video that we see the riders of the Red Line truly begin dancing. The new year never begins with many inhibitions, after all, and these riders quickly relaxed and stood. One dark-haired woman breaks into a big smile as she removes her jacket to join the others in the center of the rail car in a little Cupid Shuffle action, a dance that's kept people moving since 2007. Seconds later, we see her and all her friends dancing in the center of the train. One pony-tailed woman even dances from her Metro seat without rising. Sometimes arms are enough, I suppose. Onlookers are clearly amused, piled into the transit system after counting down to midnight. Yet I do notice at least one unsmiling dude in the center of the car looking at the dancing women with a heavy dose of dubiousness. Perhaps he didn't drink enough champagne?
See the Metro Cupid Shuffle in the video below and realize that mass transit really doesn't have to be boring. Happy New Year, D.C.