Members of NYPD's dance team are busting moves instead of crooks while off duty

CeFaan Kim Image
Friday, January 19, 2024
This NYPD team assembles on the dance floor in their free time
CeFaan Kim has the story.

MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- From busting crooks, to busting moves, a group of NYPD officers are trading their badges while walking the beat for rhythm and choreography when off duty.

They are the NYPD's Dance Team.

"I'm just answering 911 jobs all day, all day, all day out of roll call until it's time to go home," said NYPD Dance Team Vice President Lauren Pagan. "Music is amazing. And when I get to sit here and just listen even if it's the same song over and over, it's a nice place to be. Everybody here loves to dance. They love being here."

Make no mistake. Like police work, this is not all fun and games. It's a commitment with a rigorous schedule. They practice two to three times a week, for two to three hours, and that's after coming off a grueling shift patrolling the streets.

"It could be the longest, hardest day at work. I come here, the girls are always smiling and it's just nice," Pagan said.

The dance team was formed in 2022.

The NYPD has about four dozen competitive groups, and it's more than just a football club and a boxing team. There is even a chess club and a knitting group. So why a dance team?

"Why not a dance team? We have a dance team because the mental health kind of takes a toll while doing this job," NYPD Dance Team President Autumn-Raine Martinez said. "So, we just wanted to have an outlet to allow people to express themselves creatively."

The dance team performs at police versus firefighters games, galas and even at schools to promote physical and mental health.

"They're always surprised, like do you get the bad guys?" Martinez said. "It's so fun. They love to dance. They love learning. And we love teaching it to them. They get so excited whenever we come."

Some have danced competitively since childhood. Others have no dance background at all. Most of them were perfect strangers before joining this team. It's a lesson in teamwork they can use on the streets.

They're looking for recruits with the hope of competing, perhaps one day, if the FDNY is down for a dance off.


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