To see Alex Wong in Midtown, Manhattan you might think he’s about to film one of his very popular dance videos for social media.
Instead, Wong is recounting a harrowing experience he had here on March 3, when he encountered dozens of teens on bikes around Broadway and 58th Street.
"So I was biking down the bike lane right here, and I was passing slowly. One of them threw a handful of like rocks at my head,” Wong said, showing the pot where the attack place. “And then I kept on going, like, I tried not to react just because they didn't want to give that to them. And as I kept on going down there was like six or seven of them coming up the wrong way. And as I passed, another one threw a rock at my head and then kind of like cheered when it happened.”
Looking back, he wonders if this was one another of the many anti-Asian attacks that have happened in NYC and across the country.
"I don't know. Had it been like a thing that day to like target all Asians? I really don't know," he said.
Stunned by what happened, Wong stopped several blocks away and recorded his account. He says he told some police officers who were near by, but did not file a police report.
With the recent rash of attacks against Asians he decided to post it on Instagram March 17.
“the response has just been really, really like outpouring generosity and kindness and just, I guess overall apologetic that this is happening to Asian-Americans in America," said Wong.
Wong is well known from his appearances on season seven of “So You Thing You Can Dance” and all star appearances, plus his trick-shot style dance videos.
He grew studying many styles of dance, but originally chose ballet because he thought it was the only path open to him.
As he started to see more Asians in TV and fIlm he was inspired to join “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2010. He hopes he's creating more visibility for Asian performers and changing perceptions.
"If I don't speak out about, like, what if like my mom gets pelted with rocks or an older person," he said.
Wong hopes that by sharing his story, he'll encourage others to come forward if they, too, feel that they've been targeted.
"This rise in reported Asian crimes, It's partly also due to people, giving others the confidence to speak up." Wong added.