Dance studio shows its skills Saturday in downtown Ann Arbor flash mob
Just when the senses were nearly maxed out with the temperatures of summer and the colors of fall, diners at Zingerman's Deli on Detroit Street and shoppers at the nearby Ann Arbor Farmers' Market got an unexpected surprise at 12:40 p.m. this afternoon when a flash mob broke out from among the picnic tables at the Deli.
Close to 100 dancers took to the street and performed to Whitney Houston's recording of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" by moving in synch, twirling, and cheering.
The dancers are all students from Ann Arbor Dance Classics, the dance studio located on Plaza Drive near Zingerman's Bakehouse, which led to today's venue.
"My job is to help people live their dreams, and I never saw a flash mob before," said Ari Weinzweig., co-owner of Zingerman's Deli.
The purpose of the performance was to give people a chance to see the art of dance in action as part of the celebration of National Art and Humanities Month.
"We've been rehearsing since the second week of September," said Morgan Grubola, who choreographed today's dance. "A flash mob brings art to a community when they least expect it."
Participants described the event as fun - and a way to encourage dance.
"I love dancing," said flash mob participant Jada Wooten, 9, a fourth grader at Emerson School.
"It's awesome to reach out to the community and show them what an amazing art dancing is," said Piper Friend, 16, a junior at Community High School and a flash mob participant.
"This spreads the message about how much fun dance is and what great exercise it is," said Jadi Kieft from Ypsilanti, whose daughter danced today.
Chris Sholtis, whose daughter also participated, says that her daughter has been a student at Ann Arbor Dance Classics for 12 years.
"She is so secure and self-assured," Sholtis said. "Dance gives kids drive and determination and a good work ethic."
"We're like a family," said dancer Avery Moje, 13, a freshman at Skyline High School, who has been dancing since she was 5. "Dancing is my way to express myself and my sport. We want to introduce dance to people so that they'll come and see what we're doing."
President Obama proclaimed October 2011 as National Arts and Humanities Month during a speech Oct. 3 in which he said, ""Great works of literature, theater, dance, fine art, and music reach us through a universal language that unites us regardless of background, gender, race, or creed...We must recognize the contributions of the arts and humanities not only by supporting the artists of today, but also by giving opportunities to the creative thinkers of tomorrow."
Grubola encourages people of all ages and abilities to give dance a try.
"I would love to see more people coming and taking classes," she said. "It's never too late."
See a rehearsal for today's flash mob.