I’ve been to many “flash mob” like events, but tonight was my first actual pre-choreographed flash mob run by Flash Mob America. I had never heard of FMA before, nor have I seen any of their flash mobs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really learn the dance steps for it. In fact, It wasn’t until earlier today that I actually watched the video through and tried to memorize as much as possible. Probably not the best plan, but in the long run, it worked out.
The crowd consisted of both men and women, though we (the men) were grossly outnumbered. We ranged from young children around 10 or so, to adults in their 40’s (maybe 50’s). Many were there with friends or their families. I was there with my friend Will who had been watching FMA plan the event for some time. Everyone was in “party” attire, mostly wearing white button-down shirts with black pants. The idea was to break in to a 30th birthday celebration being held at a catering hall in Plainview, New York. We all met in the basement of the catering hall to register and rehearse for the big flash. After checking in late (oops) and getting settled, I joined the crowd being lead through the entire dance routine. There were some last minute changes and we all continued to practice over and over for about an hour until people were comfortable with the routine.
Our leader, dancer Ljuba Castot, took a walk through the hall dressed as a waitress and got a peek at the layout. She came back and organized us into groups to come out of different entrances at different times. We went through the final arrangements and danced through the routine again a few last times. Then, It was go time!
We were taken out to our entrances in groups. I got to parade through the kitchen to a service hallway outside the party room. We all waited, whispering to each other in an attempt to avoid anyone in the party room noticing that we were there. Other groups were being ushered to their entrances as well. We were coming from two entrances at the back of the room and one entrance around the side behind the DJ. We heard our music cue and started filing out of the hallway, through the party room between all the tables and on to the dance floor. We had to merge into our dance routine and sync up with the other dancers. It was one of the most exhilarating feelings and it all happened so quickly. I feel like I only had a moment to look around at the expressions on the party guests. They were laughing. Some were dancing along with us, but I got a sense of overall joy and amazement as the dance floor overflowed with dancers all moving in sync (more or less. lol).
The routine began with a waiter and waitress busting out – over the top – to I Got a Feeling by Black Eyes Peas. Then the younger dancers and some of the more experienced dancers came rushing out to the dance floor in front of the DJ. During different breaks in the song, more of us went pouring onto the dance floor until all of us had filled the dance floor and some of us were left standing between the tables. The song shifted to LMFAO’s Sexy and I Know It. At the end, we all froze in pose and then dispersed as swiftly as we had entered. The looks on the faces of all the party goers indicated that they were all surprised and were enjoying the sight.
For many of the people involved, this was their first flash mob. They had heard about it from social networks like Meetup and Facebook, and had come from all over New York to participate. For me, this was the most organized event of this type and I would certainly join them again, though next time, I think I’ll put a bit more time into practicing and preparing for the event.
Thanks FMA for a great time, and for providing what I can only imagine will be an amazing memory for the party goers and our birthday guest.