On September 16, 2012 people from more than 90 cities in more than 40 countries performed the same Zouk choreography – to show that we as people can put our differences aside and come together, cooperate, dance, have fun and live in peace. Many participants have never danced anything before. Everyone who helped them learn the choreography were volunteers. It all began with one man’s idea and caught like fire within weeks – I couldn’t possibly miss this!
It all began for me in Leiden, Netherlands, where I took part in my very first IZFM choreography training. There were several more girls than guys, so I figured I’d step in and learn the lead part. Here we all are after the training:
Afterwards I went back to Prague for a few days, where I dropped by for their second training session. That day Lucia’s partner was not there and, luckily, I could step in as a lead because they were doing the exact same segment of the choreography we had already learned in Leiden.
I had a few trips lined up, so the next time I could come for the training in Prague was weeks later, but I had an opportunity to learn the rest of the choreography.
On the flashmob day I was in the Netherlands yet again. In the morning we had a final practice session at BraSa studio and then ventured out towards the city center. We thought that on the way to the event we could dance a bit in the train – this is how it went:
We also had two groups do the flashmob in the metro. This is group 1, I was in the second group but I cannot yet find that video 😀
Seven of us have gotten off one train stop earlier (Neumarkt) than the rest (Centraal). On our way to the first flashmob location we realized we still had plenty of time… So we stopped at the market and had a mini-flashmob there with just three couples :). I’ll post the video once it surfaces, if it ever does :).
We then proceeded to Beursplein. This was the location where we had the permit from the city to have the flashmob. The sound system caught a cold or something – the music was very hard to hear that time and pretty coarse – but we did it! The scenario was such that a few couples would start free-dancing first, the crowd would join them for the choreographed segment. After the choreography finishes, we continue dancing free-style for the remaining piece of Rehab and another song after it. If you want to find me, looking for red hair would help ;). I was wearing black pants and a sweater with black and fuchsia stripes, dancing slightly right of the center of the crowd (as you face it), a few rows from the front.
After this first official run, I was stomped by the bull…
However, I had survived the attack and we proceeded to the Dam square for session 2. This time we did not have permission from the city… But it didn’t matter! We were lucky to get electricity from a nearby hotdog stand and this is what the unsuspecting passers-by could see (full video of the event):
It was very hard to dance on the cobblestones, but it was great fun! Here is a video someone filmed while walking between us as we danced:
And in this edited version there is a short interview with your humble servant (myself):
We had one of the biggest IZFM groups in the world – more than 100 people, possibly close to 200!
We even had some random people dance with us, like this ‘monk’… It was his bachelor party day and he asked us for pictures after the event .
After the flashmob we were incredibly hyped up – we just participated in a massive global event! In many cities of the world the flashmob made local and national news on TV, in newspapers and other media. Even in Hong Kong, where flashmobs are illegal (look up IZFM Hong Kong on YouTube and watch till the end – you see police coming up :D) there was an article in the newspaper about the event!
On our way to the metro we ‘crashed’ a few tourist photos – by running into the frame and making crazy faces . On the way back to BraSa in the metro we continued dancing – not the flashmob choreography anymore, but fun free-style (if I ever get the video, I will post it ). The afterparty at BraSa was way too short for my liking, but everything comes to its end and so did the day of September 16, 2012…
Right now you can see whether your own city participated in the flashmob, watch the videos, see the pictures – all on www.izfm.org. I helped to proofread the website and collect links to pictures and videos from the training sessions that were posted in local IZFM groups. There are rumors that the same type of madness will be repeated next year, so stay tuned! Maybe consider monitoring the IZFM Facebook group to make sure you are the first to hear about the next event – you don’t have to be a dancer to take part! There doesn’t need to be a crowd either – there were places where just a handful of people took part, like Hawaii :).
What touched me the most, however, was recently learning that one of the people who participated in the IZFM 2012 has been battling colon cancer. Yet he went to the practices and the flashmob despite the pain that movement caused him – just to be able to take part in something that is about unity and the dance that is his passion… We’re all busy quarreling in this world, and it is people like this hero who remind us that petty disagreements are silly compared to real life struggles and pain, and that the pull of togetherness and joy and love for something common is – and should be – stronger than even the pull of the grave… This is a true hero and a reminder of what is the right way of living life and making decisions.