Supported by

The Atlantic Selects

The Boys Who Dance on the Subway

Jun 06, 2016 | 831 videos
Video by Hayden 5

In New York City, a group of teenagers perform on the subway for money. They’re mostly known as the “Showtime Kids,” but the moniker they’ve given themselves is “We Live This.” This short film, directed by James Burns and produced by Hayden 5, explores what drives these young entertainers from the projects to perform for unenthusiastic train audiences. For most of them, it’s about survival. “I’m begging, without words,” says one of them, who is homeless. “I’m begging with a smile, not with a frown—because this is panhandling.”

More work by Hayden 5 can be found on their website. The boutique production company is currently working on a documentary called Revolving Doors, also directed by Burns, which follows three men from Baltimore on their journeys after incarceration.

via Daniel Lombroso

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to

Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.