A Halifax dance studio is calling on all zombies to join them in a worldwide recreation of Michael Jackson's Thriller music video.
The Ready to Rumba Dance and Fitness Studio on Herring Cove Road is registered to participate in Thrill the World, an annual Halloween event where people all around the globe dress like zombies and dance to the song Thriller to raise money for charity. The event was founded in 2006 in Toronto, and is now performed annually in over six continents.
Studio owner Suzanne Bechard said she's ecstatic with the interest in the event so far, and encourages anyone interested to show up and dance.
"I knew that it was going to be big, but I just didn't know how big it was going to get," Bechard said.
This is the second year in a row Ready to Rumba has hosted the Thriller event. Last year, about 40 people learned the dance routine to the six-minute-long song, and performed it in the studio parking lot in front of hundreds of spectators in full zombie attire (watch last year's video).
This year, Bechard expects participation to triple given the interest so far from people of all ages.
One of the people who has signed up to perform pledged his involvement over a year ago.
"I promised (Suzanne) if I made it to 90 I would take part in the Thriller," said Sidney Gould, who happily did celebrate his 90th birthday in June.
Gould, who is a regular at the dance studio, credits Bechard for his good health and fitness, and helping him get through after his wife of 60 years died.
"I was in the doldrums," Gould said. "Now I'm getting exercise, I'm mixing with young people, and it's different."
Gould, who was born in London, served in the Royal Navy from 1941 to 1946 and captained two frigates, is the oldest Thriller participant. The youngest is five.
Bechard said the event is attracting a lot of families, because it's something they can all do together.
- The Ready to Rumba Dance and Fitness Studio on Herring Cove Road is registered to participate in Thrill the World, an annual Halloween event where people all around the globe dress like zombies and dance to the song Thriller to raise money for charity. Studio owner Suzanne Bechard said she's ecstatic with the interest in the event so far, and encourages anyone interested to show up and dance. " />
- View the gallery
"One couple said it was so great because it was something they could do with their three teenage daughters," she said.
Last year the event raised almost $1,300 for Healthy Kidz, a community-based program serving marginalized communities located in Greystone in Spryfield, and run by Family SOS. Bechard hopes to raise even more donations this year for the program.
The money is raised through pledges for those participating in the dance, cash donations and collected from bystanders on the big night.
The Thriller dance is easy to learn even if you have no prior dancing experience, she said.
To help everyone get ready, Bechard is offering one-hour lessons of the Thriller choreography (watch video) every Sunday from 11a.m. to noon. up until the big day. The Thrill the World event takes place Saturday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. in the Ready to Rumba parking lot at 225 Herring Cove Rd. in Spryfield.
You can also teach yourself the Thriller dance by going to the Thrill The World website at http://thrilltheworld.com/thrilltime/ and download the dance script. You can also search for Thrill the World in YouTube.
On Thrill the World day, Bechard plans to have her parking lot decked out for the occasion, and some people on hand who can help dancers with their zombie makeup.
The event is videotaped and submitted to the Thrill the World organizers to use for promotional purposes.
For more information, go to the studio's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-to-Rumba-Dance-Fitness/105575549495165 or call the studio at 444-3129.