Dance like you’re setting a world record
Put on your dancing slippers!
Somebody has to do it ... and it might as well be us! That’s the spirit behind the most light-hearted Fort Smith Bicentennial event.
Records are made to be broken, right? Early in the brainstorming for ways to mark our 200th birthday, Bradford Randall and others suggested a Guinness World Record attempt, with a goal of making a high-quality video to release online.
The original plan was a lip dub in which crowds pretend to sing to a recorded song – hence the name the group originally registered as a nonprofit organization. However, when they learned a “record” lip dub required more than 5,000 participants, they changed tactics.
“We found the world record for a street dance was set in 2015 with only 254 people. We can beat that standing on our heads!” he exclaimed. A crowd must dance the same routine for 5 minutes. Do-able!?And it will make for a fun musical video that may go viral.
After the planning and fundraising, the time is upon us. The attempt is May 28. Three mass rehearsals are set from 2-3:30 p.m May 20, 26 and 27 at the River Park Amphitheatre at Harry E. Kelly Park. Many more than 254 people are invited to dance in the street just before the rodeo parade begins, in the 400-500 block of?Garrison Avenue, which will be closed to traffic.
Filmmaker Phillip Person will direct and edit the video. A writer, Joseph?Hood, is onboard. Choreography for the dance was created by Western Arkansas Ballet, whose staff will teach at the mass rehearsals, lead the performance and publish videos of the dance steps for home practice. The music, Randall said, is secret for now but will be a special mash-up of music with local resonance to Fort Smith’s identity.
“We want to see it reflect our values and our culture and how much we care about our community,” Randall said.
But can you boogaloo? Yes, says Melissa Schoenfeld, director of Western Arkansas Ballet. Everyone from the lower age limit of 12, “up to 112,” she said, can learn this dance that will be “simple but fun. We all just have to jump in and get started learning.”
Dancers will be placed in teams by various color and their dance leader will wear that color. The street will be sectioned by colored tape. Friends may dance on the same team.
“To set the record, everyone must dance through the whole five minutes,” she said. “A drone will be filming to help make the official count of people.”?The dance moves also will have references to the past and “Elvis moves will make an appearance,” she hinted.
To dance in the World Record Street Dance Attempt, May 28
- Connect online via Facebook/LipDubFortSmith
- Attend at least two rehearsals at 2 p.m. May 20, 26, 27, River Park Amphitheater
- Practice, practice, practice along with online videos
This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine.