It’s Tuesday afternoon, and miraculously your chemistry class got out a few minutes early. You scoot across the ice to Knutson as quickly as you can because you know the 12:10-12:50 lunch rush is worse than Wal-Mart on Black Friday. As you enter Knutson, Anderson Commons in sight, your path is suddenly blocked. Junior Kyle Czech is…dancing…in the middle of the atrium. From out of nowhere more and more people join the choreographed dance. You are so surprised and amused by this display that thoughts of the lunch rush disappear.

Many Concordia students were similarly caught off guard on Tuesday, Dec. 7, when a flash mob suddenly broke out in the middle of the Knutson Center atrium. Little did they know that this flash mob had been in the works since before Thanksgiving and was put on by Dance Marathon to raise awareness about their organization and their upcoming fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network.

But wait, what is a flash mob? No, it is nothing violent, and it does not involve the removal of clothing. According to dictionary.com, a flash mob is “a group of people coordinated by email to meet to perform some predetermined action at a particular place and time and then disperse quickly.”

Dance Marathon’s flash mob was coordinated by Shane Yager, who has never had any dance experience, but has always wanted to be a part of something like this. He chose four songs which the group danced to: “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, “Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, and “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.

At the start of the music, Czech strutted into the middle of the atrium and began dancing to the surprise of everyone around him. He said later that starting the whole thing wasn’t too scary.

“It was fun! I was pretty excited,” Czech said with a laugh.

Around him, people’s faces were a mix of knowing smiles and curious stares.

As the song went on people jumped up from nonchalant positions of either leaning against a pole, sitting in their chairs or walking down the stairs to join in the dance.

Everyone was wearing the same white T-shirt promoting Dance Marathon and Children’s Miracle Network.

By then, a huge crowd had gathered. People in the back craned their necks to see what all the commotion was about. Students were laughing as it dawned on them that what they had seen in YouTube videos was happening right in front of them. And professors
who had no idea what a flash mob is was just looked on, seeming extremely confused.
As the song came to a close, the dancers simply walked back to their previous positions and joined the rest of the world like nothing had happened. The whole event took less than five minutes.

Sophomore Amber Pospisil ran to Knutson Center to see what was going on even though she had no idea why she was running there. She said her train of thought went from “Yay, there’s people dancing!” to “What? A flash mob?” to “This is awesome!”

Junior Danielle Dumonceaux had heard that something was going to happen that afternoon but didn’t know what it was. She enjoyed watching the spectacle from her chair by the windows in the Atrium.

“I thought it was really cool how people from everywhere all came together for this one cause,” she said.

As the dancers’ T-shirts advertised, the flash mob was held to raise awareness and get people talking about Dance Marathon, a new organization on campus similar to Relay for Life. The actual Dance Marathon event will take place on March 19 from noon to 10 p.m. in the Centrum. Participators can walk around a track in the Centrum and will be sponsored by pledges. Throughout the day there will be live music as well as different themes, including Disney Hour, Carnival, Lights Out and a Cake Walk.

In the end, the crowd’s excited reactions and the talk of it around campus proved Dance Marathon Coordinator Erika Swenson’s belief that “this is the best possible publicity.”

Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell, class of '13, is the copy editor of The Concordian and is majoring in English education. She is from Sauk Rapids, Minn. At Concordia, Kate is involved in choir and band and works at the Writing Center. After graduation, Kate would like to teach English in a middle or high school.

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