Choreographing a Flash Mob Dance: How You Can Make It Happen

I just had the pleasure of choreographing a flash mob for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The “mob” performed on Friday, June 24th during the Detroit River Days Festival, along the Detroit RiverFront downtown. It was a huge success with over 100 Blue Cross employees, their friends and family, and other Michiganders – all dancing together.

So, What is a Flash Mob?

A flash mob is when a group of people come together to perform a dance or other activity at a public place, seemingly from nowhere. Think about one of your favorite movies or musicals. All of a sudden, a bunch of people are singing and dancing together in unison – very similar to a flash mob. They are fun and random, but really involve a lot of behind the scenes planning.

Choreography 101

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old, which is partially why I was asked to be the  flash mob dance choreographer. I have experience in many different forms of dance: from tap and ballet – to jazz and hip hop – as well as contemporary, pointe, and ballroom.

I danced in college and taught classes, coached dance teams, and was involved in a singing and dancing show called Velocity that performed at Greektown Casino. Whew! Needless to say I am very passionate about dance and music. I always say dancing is my thank you to music. Now you know, I am the dancing dietitian.

Choreography is no easy task, and choreographing for a flash mob is even trickier. Ideally, the choreographer should have some kind of dance background. But remember, participants don’t have to be professional dancers. It’s important to keep the steps simple and fun.

The Music

Finding a royalty free song is recommended to keep you from having to pay for the song. The song we used was BeeKoo by Lasswell. The song you choose should have a good energy, beat and tempo. The choreography should have the same feel as the music, and they should complement one another.

The Steps

Big movements are key to make an impact. Folks in the audience should be able to see level changes and ups and downs – a.k.a. arms going up or the entire body bending low, as well as jumping. Movement side to side and front to back are also key and show good dance flow.

The Tutorial Video

Since a flash mob is hush-hush, the tutorial video is a must. When you film the video you have to make sure to explain steps clearly and in layman’s terms, not with dance terminology.

I like to give fun names to different steps to make them easy to remember. Check out our flash mob tutorial below to get a feel for what I mean:

Practice Makes Perfect

The tutorial video allows your participants to practice without the choreographer and on their own time. Remind the dancers to be patient with themselves and take their time to let the steps marinate. With simple and fun choreography, the steps are not the hardest part of the dance – the tricky part will actually be memorizing the steps in the right order. In the end, repetition and practice will help anyone learn the flash mob dance. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Have the dancers sit or lie down and close their eyes, then play the music and tell them to picture doing the dance perfectly. Research has shown that practicing in the mind can be just as beneficial as physically practicing.
  • During rehearsal, the teacher should always call out the moves to help participants as they practice. Also, I like to use to help people learn by having them shout out the dance moves to me rather than me calling them out to them. This helps seal their confidence in performing the dance.
  • Practicing the dance is a great workout. To me, dancing is so much fun and anytime exercise is fun is a bonus. Sometimes dancers get stressed out about the steps and can forget it is all about fun with flash mobs. In the end, remind them to smile and live it up. Dancing is a celebration of music and performing a flash mob is amazing fun, so enjoy every second of it.

Check out our Flash Mob

Here is the end result of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan flash mob. Check it out and let me know what you think. We all had a fantastic time dancing together!

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Read 11 Comments

  1. Grace,
    I am looking for a fun and talented choreographer to help me with a “flash mob” type dance at my wedding reception. Music is so influential in how it makes me feel.. good music creates good feeling (in my opinion) and I just LOVE to dance! I am wondering if there is any way you can help me?!

  2. Hi! I am a high school student and my friends and I have literally been planning a flashmob for MONTHs with the help of the staff members. But when we start telling others to come to our meetings afterschool, we got a cold response. And no one would practice at home either! Could it be that our dance/music suck?
    If so, what can I do between now and late May to renovate? I don’t mind starting over if it makes people want to do it.

    1. Hi Diana,
      I think this dance and music are great. It is fun, energetic and easy. My suggestion would be to frame up the flashmob for a particular event or cause, so that people can get behind why they should want to do the dance/flashmob. I would also recommend having sessions where you teach the dance and sell it with the cause and as a free workout. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for your comment and reading this blog. 🙂

  3. Hi! I have been wanting to create a flash mob for a while and I want to make it all worth it! However, I am new at this and I need to know what and where to start first.

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