I used to get turned away a lot from clubs, but I decided to refuse to be told where I could or could not dance.
So I got the idea that I’d bring my headphones and dance on the sidewalk in front of these establishments. Soon after, when I was told I wasn’t allowed to dance on the sidewalks, I took my dancing to the streets because I thought, well no one owns the streets, and the only people that could tell me to stop, are the cops.
To this day, I still dance in the streets. (That's how I met Mandy, who asked me to write this.)
I’ve had my fair share of bad reactions, bad experiences, cops and whatnot, but I’ve also taken in some amazing experiences. Yes, dancing in the streets is absurd and when I take a step back and think about how it may look to others, I understand that it is weird, but it doesn’t stop me. I absolutely love it, and I never feel so alive as when I am dancing.
One time near West Broadway and Broome, I was happily dancing away when suddenly the cops, a fire truck and ambulance arrived. The head of the fire department in SoHo proceeded to ask if I was okay. I said "Yes, I’m OK,” and just as I was about to be let go, the fireman asked others what they thought. As a result of their responses, I was then told that if I didn’t get in the ambulance, I would be arrested.
I had no choice but to listen. I got put in the ambulance. Once we arrived at the hospital, I was taken to the ER. It was there that I would get a psychological evaluation where I was asked about my condition, where I worked, and why I was dancing in the streets. Mind you, I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers at the time.
I also had to take a urine test -- to check my system for drugs I’m guessing, in which case, of course I didn’t have any in my system. Before I was released, the doctor called my oldest sister and asked about "my condition." My sister was in shock and said, "Of course she’s crying because she was just dancing in the streets having fun, nothing more.”
It’s been a while since I’ve had any run-ins with the law.
I’ve had some super cool cops that would ask me why I stopped dancing in the streets. One time, a cop busted a U-turn on Bowery near 3rd Street, and being afraid, I stopped. The cop then asked, "Why did you stop?” He later turned on his siren and radio so I could continue dancing. I spend most of my time these days dancing right there, on Bowery and 3rd. I’ve also had some cops warn me about other cops not being so cool. At the end of the day, as long as I listen and stop dancing when I'm told by authorities who may be worried about "my condition," I’m all good.
Years ago, I was dancing in front of Cipriani’s on top of the fire hydrant posts when a Rolls Royce pulled up. I couldn’t tell who was in it, because the Rolls Royce was equipped with curtains covering every window. I continued to dance, when suddenly Swizz Beats emerged from the car. He applauded and his driver started recording me dancing. This isn’t the good part, though.
It would be a week or so later that I’d run into him again, but this time, in front of the Gemma. As I walked past, Swizz Beats recognized me and invited me to join him and his friends for dinner. I had been 86’d permanently from the Gemma the day before for wearing angel wings, so it was funny that I was with Swizz Beats, and therefore invincible.
I had some of their pizza and I chatted for a bit with them. Swizz talked about how he wanted to set up a place in Brooklyn, make it into an art studio and have it mirror the concept of Andy Warhol’s “Factory” where people would come and create. I stayed with them until dinner was done with and did a little dancing performance for them before they left. Swizz is such a humble and down to earth person and I’m glad I got to join him. Of course Swizz Beats left in his silver Lamborghini where the doors open up. Wow!
An even crazier story happened two summers ago when I was at Lucien’s having a Bloody Mary, when Ryan Gosling and two of his friends came in to have lunch. I had no clue it was him because I was just writing in my notebook minding my own business. I later got the urge to dance in the streets, and suddenly I saw a guy filming me (which I later learned was one of his friends).
I finished up and headed back inside, and after I sat back down at the bar, they all start asking me questions. Ryan said that he wished he had the balls to do what I do. (I thought to myself, I wish I had the balls to do what he did.) I managed to get in some questions about his movies, and he told me that "Blue Valentine" was much more a realistic love story than "The Notebook" (I hadn’t watched "Blue Valentine" yet).
Anyhow, he was telling me that he was moving to New York soon and that he’d like to take pictures of my dancing in the streets some time, so he asked for my phone number. His friend even took a picture of the piece of paper with my phone number on it so Ryan wouldn’t lose it. On their way out, I saw the piece of paper in Ryan’s shirt pocket!
Ryan blew up the next year and I never heard from him, but I’m glad I got to meet and talk to him at all!
Perhaps my wildest experience happened when I got to perform with Kanye West at the Top of the Standard when he had a pop up performance during Fashion Week. I wore my angel wings, and Andre Balazs threw me up on top of the bar while Kanye performed. At that time, I still didn’t really like Kanye after that whole MTV debacle with Taylor Swift, but he was very nice and said, “God sent me an angel.”
I also got to meet Julian Lennon years ago while he was shooting a music video for Lupus. To this day, he’s one of my biggest supporters, just as I am his. He describes me as "madly insane and amazing." I'll take it!
I think my happiest experience happened when I had a song written about my dancing in the streets called “She Owns the Streets” by the Raveonettes. It all went down when I was at Madison Square Garden for the Black Keys concert, and during intermission, I wanted to keep dancing, so I put my headphones on and danced (this was the biggest crowd I ever danced for).
Sune Rose Wager happened to be there. Sune told him, “Look at that, down there, someone’s dancing.” A friend of mine told Sune: “Oh, that’s Loan, I know her.” I met Sune that night and a couple of days later we met up for lunch. I told him my story and later danced in the streets for him. After that, he went home and wrote the "She Owns the Streets"! He said it took him only 10 minutes to write!
I no longer work for a Big 4 consulting firm and now am trying to pursue my creative interests full-time. I guess what I would tell anyone who wants to do something that seems "crazy" and who is told they can't do something -- DO IT!
It will lead you to places you never dreamed possible. But if you happen to meet Ryan Gosling, make sure you get his phone number back!
Below is the trailer to the Kickstarter that the director who is filming a documentary on me created. The money has already been raised, but you can see me dancing -- and if you see me around New York, please say hi!
Or even better, dance with me!