The McNicholas community is constantly curious about surprises that are teeming around the corner during pep rallies, dances, and other events. A recent trend which seems to be becoming more prominent on campus is the flash mob. In the past two years, five groups have organized successful flash mobs. These groups decided to share their tips for planning the perfect flash mob below.
Step 1: Find a date, place, and time.
Before any progress can be made in planning a flash mob, the basics must be set. There must be an audience in a specific location and enough space to perform the dance. Senior Riley Whitehouse planned a flash mob for this year’s Father Daughter Dance, which took place on Sunday, Nov. 17. The girls danced to a medley of songs at the Holiday Inn Eastgate. “It’s our last year, so we wanted to do something fun for the dads,” Whitehouse said. She claims that the event was pulled off seamlessly, partly because the spacious dance floor gave the group a sufficient amount of room and the timing wasn’t rushed.
Step 2: Organize a group.
In order for a flash mob to be able to accomplish an interesting, dynamic routine, there must be a sufficient amount of people that know the choreography. Courtney Lindsay, Class of 2012, was on Mardi Gras Court and convinced the whole court to do a flash mob during the ceremony. “The plan was to do something that had never been done before so we would be remembered,” Lindsay said. “All 40 people danced. Only about 35 of them had rhythm, but everyone enjoyed it and made some great memories.”
Step 3: Decide on music.
Senior Kayla Woods choreographed a dance for a group of football and basketball seniors to perform at a recent pep rally. Woods took requests from the boys but made sure all the songs revolved around a comedic, boy band theme. “I decided on the songs ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyoncé and ‘Bye Bye Bye’ by N Sync because they were funny, and I knew the crowd would enjoy them,” Woods said. She used a program on her iPad called GarageBand to cut the music into a two minute mix. “It’s important to not make the mix too long or too short. I think anywhere from two to four minutes is a good range,” Woods said. “Also, it really helps to find a theme, or at least use songs that you know the crowd will be familiar with.”
Step 4: Purchase matching outfits.
Similar clothing contributes to the uniformity of a flash mob and its overall appearance. At the Mom Prom last year, almost 50 senior moms participated in a flash mob to surprise their sons. “We thought we’d make it a total Mom Prom and wear prom dresses,” Laura Wilson, mother of Paul Wilson, Class of 2013, said. “Some bought dresses from Eastgate Mall. I got mine for $13 on clearance. Others were vintage and from recent weddings. The boys’ faces watching as their moms danced in prom dresses were priceless.”
Step 5: Rehearse.
Last spring, French teacher Julie Dill decided that it would be fun for the teachers to plan a flash mob for a pep rally. Dill approached English teacher Julie Muething, who has a background in theater and dance, who agreed to choreograph a routine and teach it to the staff. Muething discovered that she had to be very flexible with such a large group that wanted to learn the moves. “It’s important to make sure there are multiple rehearsals,” Muething said. “We had three or four so everyone had the chance to learn the routine. Each one was about thirty minutes, and they were held in room 10 in English hall. We blocked the windows off so no one else would figure out what we were planning.”
Keeping these tips and stories in mind, anyone can plan the perfect flash mob. It is important to stay organized and accommodate all participants, but each group agreed that the most important element is enthusiasm. With a little bit of perseverance and excitement, flash mob members are sure to impress even the toughest of crowds.