NEW YORK - On Sunday, multiple-time Grammy-, AMA-, VMA- and BET-award-winner Missy Elliot tweeted a video to her 6.9 million followers of a New York City dance group performing to Missy's 2005 hit "Lose Control" in a moving subway car.
"Missy Elliot is one of our biggest idols ever," Ty Live, one of the members of that group, said.
"We were all competitors before we were actual friends," Ty Live said.
The competitors eventually decided to form a group together and call it W.A.F.F.L.E.
"[One of us] was listening to a song by Sister Sledge, 'We Are Family,'" Joel Kozik said. "I got all my brothers and me."
"We Are Family" gave these friends "W.A.F.", to which they added For Life Entertainment to create the acronym W.A.F.F.L.E.
"Everyone loves waffles," Joel Kozik said.
The newly formed W.A.F.F.L.E. dance crew started out by performing on the subway for tips, then posted videos of their train car performances to social media and started getting noticed by people other than weary commuters.
Appearances on both of those shows produced still more opportunities in music, television, movies, sports, and merchandising, all of which W.A.F.F.L.E. seized and hopes to expand upon.
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"We got producers," Astro said. "We got actors. We got musicians. And we're going to spread our culture."
"And that's light feet," Arnstar said. "Light feet is a dance style that comes from Harlem as a little brother to the Harlem Shake."
While W.A.F.F.L.E. supports the greater light feet community — now in more than 30 countries — it's not holding tryouts or accepting applications for its 12-man group.
"We're a whole bunch of brothers," Astro said. "You just can't get down with WAFFLE. It's something that happens naturally."
Kind of like Missy Elliot posting their video and tagging all 12 of them in a tweet seen by millions. W.A.F.F.L.E. would love to parlay that into an appearance in a Missy Elliot video but does not foresee any level of fame stopping them from performing on the subway.
"It's because this is home — it's what made us who we are today," Ty Live said. "This is where we found our style, our grit, our grind, our hearts, and our heads, and, most importantly, this is where we found each other."