Muirlands students perform ‘flash’ dance

If you missed Oprah’s 24th anniversary show in October, you can catch part of the highlight at Muirlands Middle School on Fridays at lunch.

The Black Eyed Peas were scheduled to perform their hit single “I Gotta Feeling” in a free concert to be held on Chicago Avenue for 20,000 people, and shown live on Oprah’s 24th anniversary show. But as a surprise for Oprah, 250 professional dancers were hired to teach a dance to spectators when they arrived for the free concert. The result was a mob dance for 20,000 that not only surprised Oprah, but also generated new interest in “Flash Mobs.”

Muirlands physical education teachers Suzanne Serafin and Rob Wood were inspired by the Oprah dance and decided to teach it to the eighth-grade students as part of the dance curriculum in physical education.

“It was a unique opportunity to incorporate a piece of pop culture that was so new many people hadn’t even heard the song yet (“I Gotta Feeling” from the Black Eyed Peas). We couldn’t pass it up,” Serafin said.

After all the eighth-grade students had learned the dance, ASB adviser Victor Totoris agreed to play the song on Fridays at lunch to see if the students would actually “flash” into place and begin dancing. It took a little organization, but the result was fantastic: A super-positive feeling overwhelmed the lunch court as approximately 200 students danced together, Serafin said.

Note: A variety of “spontaneous” dances in public places around the world can be seen on YouTube if you Google “flash mobs.”