I am always looking for random and interesting things to do in our city. I came across an advertisement for anyone who wanted to be in a flash mob to meet at the local college for practice for an upcoming flash mob. I know what your probably thinking,”why would anyone want to do that?” …but why not? This was a safety in numbers event, so you were guaranteed not to look like the guy in the AT&T commercial who shows up at the location too early and starts the dance only to get a text a few minutes later that the time had changed.
I recruited a friend who made the mistake of telling me that she liked to dance. So perfect combo; dancing and the Michael Jackson songs “Beat it” and “Thriller.”
We had no idea what to expect when we got to the college campus. We made several wrong turns thru the building before getting to the right destination. I was relieved when I saw a room packed with people. They were all ages and both genders. We’re talking grandkids to grandmas, all wanting to be apart of something that was out of the norm.
They were also having practices several nights that week and you only had to make one. That meant there was a good chance there would be a huge crowd doing this together.
The first song we learned the routine for was “Beat It”. It took a little while to get the hang of it. The instructor had us keep on switching the side of the room we practiced on and had us rotate being in the back. He told us that is helps you learn better and to not get stuck if you need to perform from a side you aren’t used to on the day of the flash mob.
After many practices of that routine we transitioned into learning Thriller.
Now I had a little experience with that one. We performed the dance to Thriller with some students in our youth ministry many years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. We were talking about fear and it was a fun way to get kids involved. I was at the practices so much, I joined the crew. Nothing like a pregnant dancing zombie to really get the kids afraid.
There were bits and pieces of the routine that came back to me as we were learning. The practice was for about 2 hours. We also had a link for youtube where we could watch the instructor doing the routine facing us and also where his back was to us.
To me it was way easier to learn with his back to us because you wouldn’t have to reverse the moves you were doing. We tried the routine a few times with the music video but it was harder to follow because of the vantage point. At the end of the evening we got our paper with the youtube link, where to meet and what to wear.
My friend and I scheduled several practices together and also put in some time on our own. If I was going to do this I did not want to be the one in the crowd who was off. We were getting the hang of the routine and then we can across a glitch. My friend’s son had an unexpectant travel baseball game several hours away the day of the flash mob. He didn’t have anyone else to ride with so she was going to have to bail.
No doubt panic set in for me. This is where I had to put my money where my mouth was and suck it up and do it solo. The feeling of doing this with a friend in a crowd is a whole different comfort zone vs. hoping to recognize a few random strangers you saw in practice a few days earlier to join you. My nerves were heightened the rest of the day but I could not back out!!!!
I was SO RELIEVED when several hours later I got a call that she had a grandparent who was able to go to the game.
Next we meet at the designated location, a half hour before the flash mob was to begin. We were told to wear red and black and just mingle the area like any ordinary day. Arriving at the location I was relieved to see a lot of red and black. I was glad I chose to leave my fedora at home. (It would have been to over the top) The art museum next to our location had easel set up for people to paint on the sidewalk in front of their building. My boys got to work on creating a masterpiece while we were waiting.
Finally, it was our time to start. The music started playing and the instructor started the routine to “Beat It”. We were supposed to gradually join him in stages. My friend and I jumped in around the third chorus. I pretty much had it all but my mind did go blank over a few moves. I implemented the “fake it til you make it” plan with hopes that no one was specifically watching me among the masses of people. We transitioned into the zombie walk up the stairs by the art museum when the song was over. I took my position right side toward the back for “Thriller”. I felt that routine went way smoother. The total time was less than 4 minutes. So when the dance was over we were supposed to dissipate into the crowd like nothing ever happened.
I’ll show you two different angles from our husbands who recorded the event.
The first one shows you how it started and the second one shows us clearly in the beginning.
I forgot to take pictures of us together that day after it was over. The whole thing happened so fast.
I am so glad that I took the leap of faith to step out of my comfort zone for this experience. It was fun to be part of a cultural trend as silly as it seems.
Ever dreamed of joining the mob?