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Top 10 Flash Mob Dances Around the World

Nyesha loves writing content about cooking & food recipes, restaurant reviews, movie reviews, television shows, weddings, and poetry.

A flash mob dance can pop up anywhere in the world!

A flash mob dance can pop up anywhere in the world!

What Is a Flash Mob Dance?

Flash mob dances are a cultural phenomenon in many parts of the world and flash mob dances are also super fun! This article contains the top ten flash mob dances that I have seen in video clips from around the world. I love dancing, and it seems like it would be so exciting to be involved in a flash mob dance!

Wikipedia defines a flash mob as:

"...a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression."

Flash mobs occur in various forms around the world can range from simply freezing in position to intensely choreographed routines.

I have never witnessed one in person, but flash mob dances seem to be so much fun and spread so much joy everywhere they crop up in the world.

It's beautiful to see the dancers coordinate as a team and to watch the reactions of the unsuspecting crowds witnessing the flash mob dances.

Brief History of Flash Mobs

Early versions of flash mobs (called "flash crowds") were performed in the 1960s and '70s as street theater and statements on social issues and politics, unlike the spirited, happy-go-lucky flash mobs we're familiar with today.

The first organized flash mob dance as we recognize them was said to have occurred in New York City in 2003 at a Macy's department store. It was created by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper's Magazine, as a playful commentary on conformity and people wanting to be on the inside track for the "next big thing."

You don't have to be professional dancers to create a successful flash mob!

You don't have to be professional dancers to create a successful flash mob!

Knowing in advance what goes into a successful flash mob performance will make everything go smoother.

Knowing in advance what goes into a successful flash mob performance will make everything go smoother.

10 Great Flash Mob Dances

These are the top ten best flash mob dance routines that I could find. These top ten flash mob dances were performed in various locations around the world and are my all-time favorites.

10. Beyoncé "Single Ladies" Flash Mob Dance in London

On April 20, 2009 at 9:00 a.m., a group of 100 female dancers spontaneously turned into a flash mob in the Piccadilly Circus area of London and performed a dance routine to the Beyoncé song "Single Ladies."

9. Bollywood Dance in Times Square, New York City

On August 4th, 2009, dozens of Bollywood dancers appeared and began dancing in the middle of New York City. This was part of an all-day event around Manhattan to promote Bollywood Hero, a three-part mini-series on IFC, culminating with this grand finale in Times Square.

Some consider this event the first-ever Bollywood flash mob.

8. "Don't Stop Believing" Flash Mob Dance in Dublin, Ireland

On January 30, 2009, performers from Ireland's National Performing Arts School (NPAS) materialized into a flash mob dance routine in the Grafton Street area of Dublin to perform the Glee cast's version of "Don't Stop Believing."

This event was organized by a local radio show and was raising awareness about a fundraising effort for a local children's hospital.

7. "Don't Stop Believing" in Westlake Park, Seattle

In case it's not obvious, the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believing" is a popular dance mob song!

On April 10th, 2010, downtown Seattle, Washington was the site of three flash mob events. This video captures the Westlake Park area that was infiltrated by an estimated 1,000 performers who performed their version of "Don't Stop Believing" by the cast of Glee. This performance was organized by local event producer Egan Orion, who thinks public dancing events like flash mobs are "innate and prehistoric."

6. Black Eyed Peas and Oprah Winfrey in Chicago

On September 10, 2009, Oprah Winfrey celebrated her talk show's 24th season on television with a live event in Chicago. It was already exciting that the Black Eyed Peas would be performing their hit "I Gotta Feeling" live for the crowd. But what Oprah didn't know is that her staff had secretly planned for the crowd in attendance to prepare a flash mob routine, and it was amazing.

Oprah was confused at first, not understanding why she was onstage and why the crowd wasn't moving. But when she saw the dancers slowly coming alive—starting with one enthusiastic girl in the front row and spreading throughout the entire crowd of 10,000—Oprah was almost speechless.

TV Guide's editors picked this flash mob event as the number one moment in the history of the Oprah Winfrey show.

5. Backstreet Boys Dance in Ukraine

On November 21, 2009 in the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk (now called Dnipro), a group of about 100 Backstreet Boys fans put together a flash mob in expectation of the band's upcoming concert the next month.

Fun and creative grassroots promotion for the band by their fans!

4. "Hammer Time" Mob Dance in Los Angeles

Even though this one made me laugh the most, and it's still a beloved early flash mob video that continues to draw in thousands of views, there's not a lot of information about this event.

The description under the video describes a flash mob invading a store on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles and dancing to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This."

It's likely this performance happened sometime in 2009 as a publicity stunt for MC Hammer's reality show Hammertime, which aired on the A&E Network in the summer of 2009—A&E is credited as the source for the video and there's a link to an A&E Hammertime website page at the end (though the link is no longer valid).

Turns out the video for the promotional stunt has lasted a lot longer than the TV show it was promoting!

3. Tribute to Michael Jackson's "Beat It" in Stockholm

Visitors to Sergels torg, a major public square in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 8, 2009 were surprised and delighted to see a flash mob break into a tribute to Michael Jackson's "Beat It."

Swedish dance company Bounce was responsible for the event, and organizers later described the day: More than 300 dancers were informed that the flash mob was happening, they all met at 3:30 p.m., and they learned the choreography in 30 minutes.

Less than an hour later, they were performing to an unsuspecting but appreciative audience!

2. T-Mobile Commercial at Liverpool Street Station in London

On January 15, 2009, during rush hour, commuters at the Liverpool Street Station in London were caught off guard by hundreds of dancers forming into one of the greatest flash mob dances of all time.

The event was part of T-Mobile's "Life's for Sharing" advertising campaign. A behind-the-scenes documentary describes the planning of this incredible undertaking: eight weeks to plan, eight dance routines combined into one piece, eight different songs (contemporary pop and hip hop, '60s and '70s R&B and disco, old school ska, classical, and more), 400 dancers chosen from 10,000 auditions, and 24 hours from the event to the commercial going to broadcast.

In the documentary and also in the comments section under the videos, it's clear this flash mob dance still resonates with people.

Folks who were at Liverpool Street Station that day for the event, as well as online commenters today more than a decade later, all agree that this performance continues to be emotional and inspirational for fans of flash mob dances.

1. "Do Re Mi" Performance at Antwerp Station in Belgium

Early-bird 8:00 a.m. commuters on March 23, 2009 at Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium, were astonished to see a small group of dancers morph into a flash mob to perform "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music.

The event was created to promote a reality TV show documenting the search for the lead of "Maria" in a Belgian production of the classic musical. But this moment became more than a publicity stunt and continues to enthrall viewers on YouTube. With only two rehearsals, more than 200 dancers created one of the most memorable flash mob dances ever.

Planned or Spontaneous?

There is much debate over what really constitutes a flash mob. Can it really be planned or is it always spontaneous? My opinion is that a flash mob dance cannot be completely spontaneous to be truly effective.

The most impressive flash mob dances include many participants and logistics, and the event must be painstakingly planned ahead of time to get everyone on the same page. This includes a massive amount of communication and organization, not to mention finding the right event space, the right song, and the right performers, as well as squeezing in enough rehearsal to pull it off.

When the dancing is random and not coordinated, it is much less impressive. To have a successful flash mob, remember: Practice makes perfect!

Avoiding these mistakes will make your flash mob event go from "fail" to "flawless"!

Avoiding these mistakes will make your flash mob event go from "fail" to "flawless"!

Flash Mob Marriage Proposals?

One lovely development that came out of the flash mob phenomenon is seeing couples turn the excitement of the performance into a fun, memorable marriage proposal.

Sometimes the families of the couple even get in on the dancing action!

© 2010 Nyesha Pagnou MPH

Comments

Rhonda on January 27, 2019:

Love the "Do re Mi" Flash Mob. Is there a tutorial, and how do I access the music? I can totally make up my own, but I would like to copy one first for practice. I feel like my middle school kids would love this one.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on February 17, 2014:

I've also just learned about Flash Mob America, a company that claims to be the largest flash mob company in the world. If you prefer not to put together your own flash mob but rather to join in on one that is already scheduled and in the process of being coordinated, you can register as a dancer for events with Flash Mob America (http://www.flashmobamerica.com) and join their mailing list. They are based in Los Angeles, California but right now there are events scheduled as far as Orlando, Florida. You can take a look and see if there are any dances coming near you.

Flash Mob America is also available for you to hire their dance groups for your own events such as a big wedding proposal!

Flash Mob America puts together dances for events for both for profit organizations and charitable organizations. Their clients have included Universal, Dell, ABC and the American Red Cross to name a few.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on February 17, 2014:

Thanks to stan, mike and De marquis miller for all the most recent comments on this hub. I'm sorry for my very late reply.

A lot of flash mobs that appear spontaneous are in actuality very well planned and choreographed. If you would like to participate in a flash mob, you might want to take the lead in putting one together.

Depending on how large of a crowd you want to have participate, you might be able to rely on phone and email communication with just family, friends and acquaintances to pull it together. If you are looking for a larger group of participants in the flash mob dance, you might want to put up fliers in your area. You can tack some fliers on the community bulletin boards in cafes or supermarkets for example.

On the fliers, you can state, "WANTED: Flash Mob Participants!" Indicate dates, times and locations for both the flash mob rehearsal(s) and the actual flash mob dance event. Best of luck to you or anyone who reads this and is thinking of putting together a flash mob dance! Have lots of fun.

De marquis miller on November 09, 2013:

I need a flash mob were can I find one

mike on October 28, 2013:

thinking of doing something like this

stan on October 10, 2013:

There's a russian one, dancing to puttin on the ritz. They look like they're having a great time.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on September 15, 2013:

Hi Vega, thanks for commenting. That is really cool that you were considering it. Maybe you will still be able to participate in one sometime in the future. I'm sure you'd have a great time.

Nicole Paschal from Saint Petersburg, Florida on September 13, 2012:

Wonderful article. I was trying to get into a Flashmob in San Francisco, but they didn't plan anything- untiil after I left..lol

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on March 15, 2012:

Hi santiago and phdast7, thank you both for commenting. I'm glad you agree that flash mobs are great. I appreciate your nice words.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on October 28, 2011:

Flash Mobs are wonderful. They speak to so many emotions and desires and joys that we have. Thanks for the Hub and the great videos you shared. Wonderful.

santiago on April 20, 2011:

a great way to break out of a daily routine, dance, and enjoy a group effort.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on May 14, 2010:

Hi Ethel, thanks for commenting. Yes, the Black eyed peas one is great. They must have spent a good while rehearsing.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on May 14, 2010:

Fabulous. I love the Black eyed peas one. How did they all stay in such good time?

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on May 13, 2010:

Thank you so much Nancy!

Nancy's Niche on May 13, 2010:

What a delightful and uplifting hub! I’ve always said that voices lifted in song and a little dancing in the streets would promote a happier world. This is the first time I've heard of or seen flash mob dancing; I love it---let’s hope we see move of it!!!!! :o) I will be sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on May 13, 2010:

:-) Thanks for commenting Hello, hello!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 13, 2010:

Thank you for updating me. Sitting here and typing all day round I would miss it all what goes on in the world.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH (author) from USA on May 13, 2010:

Hi Alekhouse, thanks very much for your comment. I am glad to share the info. with you. I was very impressed when I first learned about the flash mobs too.

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on May 12, 2010:

Loved this! never heard of a flash mob dance until now. Really fun watching the videos. Thanks.