NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As part of the Soul Train Awards weekend in Harlem, the BET team made an official attempt to break the world record for the longest soul train line.
Hundreds of dancers of all ages lined up in Marcus Garvey Park to strut their stuff. Bernard Dove’s love of dance began in Harlem, at the Apollo Theater on stage with James Brown.
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“I liked a half split, and the people were screaming, and it was like, I tasted blood,” said the 81-year-old, “and I said that now I know that is what I want to do.”
Next to original dancers on the iconic TV shows were some who were not even alive during the Apollo and Soul Train era. Parents brought their children with them, and the Brooklyn United marching band abounded with enthusiastic young artists.
The 40+ Double Dutch Club was first in line for the Soul Train. A group of women over 40 from across the country, they channeled their inner child, with spring-roping skills in full screen.
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“Soul train is part of our culture and part of our history,” said team member Pamela Robinson, “so we had to be a part of it.”
Angela Simmons, whose father Rev. Run performed both on Soul Train and on Apollo, who cheered on.
“It’s just so crazy how it comes full circle,” Simmons said. “This is iconic. This is good.”
A Guinness World Record official also kept a watchful eye on the dancers. They had to groove the entire 40 feet down the line in pairs to add to the count.
The number to beat was 426. It was a close call, but with the help of the surrounding community, police officers and passers-by, the world record was broken in Marcus Garvey Park with a total of 536 dancers. One thing, however, was never mentioned. Everyone had a good time doing it.
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The Soul Train Awards air next Sunday, November 28th at BET.