Today, flash mobs seem (ironically) common, especially in New York City. One of the first flash mobs recorded actually occurred here in NYC back in 2003 when over 100 people organized a secret gathering at Macy’s using social media. The participants met on the 9th floor at a specific time, began dancing spontaneously, and then went on to their individual shopping as if nothing had happened. The term “flash mob” was added to the dictionary shortly after in 2004, defining it as an organization demonstration that is “unusual” or “pointless.” That definition definitely seems to have expanded because contemporary flash mobs are often anything but “pointless.”
Since 2003, flash mobs have been organized for specific purposes of entertainment, artistic expression, political advocacy, commercial advertisement, social protest, and satire. Some recorded flash mobs have even turned violent, literally taking on the mob mentality of a riot. For the most part, however, flash mobs are known for their peaceful and creative approach by incorporating artistic elements such as song and dance.
Check out these “famous” flash mobs:
Flash mobs aren’t just exciting because of their element of surprise. There is something thrilling about the synergy of the whole event: the planning and organization, the communal participation, and the final social performance. And what’s more, flash mobs seem to unite people, especially through dance. You can search flash mobs on YouTube and find hundreds of events from all over the world. Flash mobs are proof that dance really is the universal language.
“Watching flash mobs is great, but to be a dancer in one is truly such a great experience. The crowd reaction is so unique and special. It’s such a great way to share my passion for dance with un-expecting crowds. What a way to put a smile on someone’s face!” – Latoyia Everett
“Being part of a flash mob is one of the greatest experiences because you get an opportunity to come together as one and be part of something that is bigger than anything you could do one your own.” – Olivia Conlin
“Being in a flash mob is an amazing thing to see what dancers love to do and how people everywhere love to dance.” – Jessica de la Cruz
“Dancing in a flash mob is like a tornado of energy! It’s an incredible experience!” – Matt Tremblay