By JESSI MITCHELL
NEW YORK (WCBS) — As part of Soul Train Awards weekend in Harlem, the BET team made an official attempt to break the world record for longest soul train line.
Hundreds of dancers of all ages lined up at Marcus Garvey Park to strut their stuff. Bernard Dove’s love for dance began in Harlem, at the Apollo Theater on stage with James Brown.
“I did like a half split and the people screamed and that was like, I taste blood,” the 81-year-old said, “and I said now I know this is what I want to do.”
Alongside original dancers on the iconic television shows were some who were not even alive during the era of Apollo and Soul Train. Parents brought their children, and the Brooklyn United marching band was teeming with excited young performers.
The 40+ Double Dutch Club was first in line for the Soul Train. A group of women over 40 from around the country, they channeled their inner child, with jump-roping skills on full display.
“Soul train is a part of our culture and a part of our history,” said group member Pamela Robinson, “so we had to be a part of it.”
Cheering everyone on was Angela Simmons, whose father Rev. Run performed both on Soul Train and at the Apollo.
“It’s just so crazy how it comes full circle,” Simmons said. “This is iconic. This is great.”
A Guinness World Record official was keeping a close eye on the dancers as well. They had to groove a full 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 passersby, the world record was broken at Marcus Garvey Park with a total of 536 dancers. One thing was never in question, though. Everyone had a great time doing it.
The Soul Train Awards air next Sunday, Nov. 28 on BET.
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