Flash Mobbing Albuquerque

About a month and a half ago, I was contacted in regards to putting together a flash mob for a wedding proposal. When they first contacted me, all the oragnizers knew was that they wanted 20 dancers and they wanted to do it at the airport, so that after Keegan proposed to Ellie (both are non dancers and had been recommended to me by some random person), they would hop on a plane to San Francisco to celebrate their engagement for the weekend. They were scrambling to nail down a date, and when they finally did, I had about 2 weeks notice to get 20 dancers together (which isn’t easy in Albuquerque), create a 4 song mash up and teach and rehearse the dancers the choreography.

In the end, I was only able to scrounge up 16 dancers, with 2 girls leading, and of which most had never performed before. We had a total of 8 hours of teaching and practicing before the big day.

So here’s what the plan looked like. Ellie thought they were coming to the airport to pick up one of Keegan’s friends. As they get onto the escalator, Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve begins to play. It’s a very etheral song if you’ve never heard it. Then, once they get to the top, the dancers start dancing, and for the grand finale, we surround them to The Big Apple and The California Routine. The dancing ends, he proposes, he hopes she’ll say yes, they go back outside to get their bags, which Keegan has already discreetly packed for Ellie, and they go on their marry way.

We arrived at the airport at 9am on Saturday (I know! Right? So early to be dancing.) with Ellie’s entire family waiting anxiously for them to come. Kevin Clark waited at the bottom of the escalator with my phone and waited for a text from Keegan that they were inside the airport. He called me on his phone (it was a whole confusing phone trading fiasco that’s not really worth getting into) to count down when the music should start, I cued Brett Dahlenburg, he pressed play, and away we went. Here’s the video:

As Dani Easley is frolicking around, Keegan and Ellie are riding up the escalator. Ellie was really confused by what was happening, so we had to kind of push them here and there to keep them out of the line of kicks and death. Once we surrounded them with The Big Apple, some of the dancers heard Ellie say, “What the hell is going on?” and Keegan replied with, “I have no idea. This is really weird!”

Despite how little time we had to work it out, everyone did a really good job! They were super quick to pick up The Big Apple, and everyone seemed to have had a really great time rehearsing and performing.

Congrats to Keegan and Ellie!


About Rachel

Rachel Green is an avid lindy hopper, instructor, performer and bad mamma jamma. She's also the co-owner of Rhythm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a community-oriented venue dedicated to Lindy hop and to freelance dance instructors. When Rachel isn't dancing, teaching, or organizing, she's usually picking pennies up off the ground or trying to win at dutch blitz. View all posts by Rachel

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