Dancing Zombies Take Over the World;
Portland Hosts 3rd Annual Thrill the World SMYRC Benefit
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oct. 24, 2009 — It’s a 6-minute dance, full of moves like the “march booty swim,” “shuffle ha slide” and “hip n’ roar.” YouTube videos abound of people trying their hand at “Thriller” – wedding parties, Filipino prisoners and the cast of “13 going on 30″ – but there’s something so much cooler about a bunch of Portland hipsters, dancers and freaks covered in fake blood and dirt, all doing synchronized movements to Michael Jackson’s classic song.
Born out of a Canadian woman’s dream to break the world record for the most amount of zombies to perform Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” choreography at once, last year’s Thrill the World set a new world record with the Record Holders Republic, with 4,179 people from 10 nations simultaneously performing the Thriller dance (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Scotland, United States of America, and Wales); 67 of those dancers were from Portland. This year’s worldwide goal: 270,000 participants to break a Guinness World Record; Michael would be proud.
Locally, Portland Thrill the World organizers are hoping to up the ante on Saturday Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The site is a secret; this year’s event will be a flash mob and the location will be disclosed the week of the event. Donations are $5+, all ages, and all proceeds will benefit Portland’s Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC), an outreach center for Portland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth. Last year’s event raised $600. Through individual and family counseling, leadership development, outreach and public speaking, specialized skill building programs, and the recreation center, SMYRC helps young people succeed in their education, cultivates peer and community support, improves personal health, and fosters employment readiness.
Dancers will have to learn the dance ahead of time. Practices will be at Fremont UMC, 2620 NE Fremont in Portland (we’ll teach you the dance or you can use this time to practice from last year!):
Friday, October 16th, 6-8 pm;
Sunday, October 18th, 3-5 pm;
Friday, October 23rd, 6-8 pm.
The last practice will be on the day of the dance, 2:30 to 4:30 pm at Conduit Dance Studio, 918 SW Yamhill #418.
To sign-up, email firstname.lastname@example.org, friend us on www.myspace.com/ttwpdx or on facebook under “Thrilltheworld Portland.”
SMYRC is now located in the Garlington Center, 3024 NE MLK.
Footage of last year’s dance can be found here and here.