Lifestyle

The dancing crossing guard who moves children crossing the street to safety with rhythms and style

In the bustling streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Esther “Star” Bishop turns the mundane act of crossing the road into a lively dance performance. With earbuds pumping beats into her world, she guides children across the asphalt while dancing.

“The dancing, it’s just inside of me, and I’m telling you, I can’t even get it out,” the school crossing guard told the New York Post from her post at Saratoga Avenue and Bainbridge Street last week.

Decked out in her NYPD uniform with a touch of navy face glitter, 54-year-old Bishop grooves to the tunes of Sade’s “Smooth Operator” as she controls traffic outside PS 137.

For four vibrant years, she’s merged duty with style, ensuring the safe passage of elementary schoolers with her unique flair.

“The NYPD serve and protect. . . . I can serve with a dance – and I protect,” she told The New York Post, spinning for effect. 

The East New York native revealed that she’s been dancing since infancy, which has turned her into an unstoppable force on the move.

Yet, she’s resolute that her passion won’t overshadow her responsibilities, firmly committed to balancing her love for dance with her duty to keep the streets safe.

“I just want to always move, and it’s very hard to explain, but it’s me. It’s like a part of me, it’s like a connection, a spiritual thing. . . . I can’t even contain it.

“But I would never dance to where I’m oblivious. . . . I’m stopping the cars. They ain’t going nowhere. And that’s what my job is first – but I mix it with dancing,” Bishop said through shiny gold grills.

Lucero Sanchez, a 31-year-old nanny in Bed-Stuy, finds joy in watching Bishop’s street dance routine, an act she claims brightens her day amidst the bustling Brooklyn streets.

“The kids love when we have to cross that street, because she dances and they just adore it. It makes them so excited to see her dance and move – it’s really fun. I think it’s not very common what she does, and it really just makes us happy to see it,” Sanchez gushed. 

Bishop’s playlist includes favorites like George Michael, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga, yet the allure of dancing alongside her idols wouldn’t sway her from her role as a street-crossing guardian.

“My passion is not to dance for Lady Gaga. . . . my passion is here. The joy of dancing is to protect the people.”

“I’m gonna do it til I retire.”

Stephen Nartey

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