Local flash mob prepares to perform at music festival
Flash mobbing is an online sensation that has hit center stage in locations across the world over the past couple of years, and a local organization is preparing to make Lansing the next location to follow the trend.
A flash mob organized by Meridian Entertainment Group will perform spontaneously at the annual Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing this week. Sheila Poole-Montalvo, an intern at the company, has been leading the organization of the team, which has been practicing at the Spartan Dance Center, 3498 Lake Lansing Road, since May.
“It’s a marketing tool,” she said. “We wanted to get a younger crowd to start coming a little bit more to Common Ground, and it’s kind of hard because, at this point, most of the students are gone. So, we’re trying to find a lot of ways to do something different, and flash mobs are really big.”
Owner of Spartan Dance Center Tiffany Russell has been instructing the flash mob.
Russell, who opened Spartan Dance Center in September 2010, has been instructing and dancing professionally for most of her life, so when she received the offer from Poole-Montalvo to choreograph her first flash mob, she couldn’t say, “No.”
“(Poole-Montalvo) gave me a call and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea I want to do.’ We met the next week, we put the song playlist together and started choreography,” she said.
Meridian Entertainment Group and the Spartan Dance Center publicized the free flash mob practices through Facebook, flyers, local websites and word of mouth.
East Lansing High School senior Jessica McArthur said she was nervous at first because she didn’t know what a flash mob was, but she now is looking forward to it.
“It brings a lot of people together,” she said. “A lot of people (here) aren’t dancers, so it’s great to see how they start off not knowing anything, and then they actually can dance.”
Russell’s daughter, six-year-old Averie, is the youngest of the dancers, but her age isn’t obvious, judging by her moves.
Russell said the flash mob was a good way to bring together different people from the community.
“It’s such a cool opportunity to be able to get so many new faces together,” she said. “We definitely built some new friendships at the studio because of it.”
Poole-Montalvo said she’s excited to see people’s reactions.
“Someone standing next to someone else who starts dancing, and they have no idea what’s going on — that’s what I’m looking forward to,” she said.