Dance group steps out to amaze shoppers

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

CHRISTMAS shoppers were left beaming when scores of fellow bargain hunters simultaneously broke into dance at a festive fair.

Visitors to the Llangollen Pavilion Christmas fair could not believe their eyes when more than 80 amateur dancers unexpectedly took to the stage and began an energetic routine to a Christmas song medley.

The so-called ‘flash mob’ was orchestrated by New Dance, a Llangollen-based charity which works across North east Wales to ‘promote excellence and innovation’ through dance.

According to Sam Wyse, artistic director of the 10-year-old company, the impromptu activity on Saturday was organised in a bid to bring the community together and unite the public and dance groups in the festive spirit.

She said: “This was a massive operation but all our members threw themselves into it and it seemed to go down well with the audience.

“I don’t think people knew what was going on at first.

“We had all arranged to get to the fair by noon where we posed as regular shoppers but with a subtle signal from me the music came on and we all started dancing.

“It was so much fun to see the surprise on people’s faces.”

A flash mob is when a large group of people suddenly start dancing in a public place and then disperse.

And the key to a successful flash mob is to keep the location secret to ensure maximum impact.

Although anyone could volunteer, participants had to go along to special rehearsals to find out the venue.

Sam added: “Until the day itself we weren’t sure how many people were going to take part. But it clearly did the trick because the looks on people’s faces was priceless. It was fabulous.

“Men, women and children of all ages started joining in even though they didn’t know what was going on – it was true community participation which is exactly what we hoped for.”

Angela Fessi, senior dance tutor, enjoyed the event so much that she is already planning another flash mob for the new year in Wrexham.

She said: “We’ve never done anything like this before and it was really, really fantastic, the atmosphere really set it apart.

“We danced to a Christmas medley of songs from across the years so everyone had a favourite and it ended with a huge glitter explosion.

“We’d been talking about doing this for quite a while but never seemed to find the right time but with Christmas coming up it was a perfect way to get everyone in the festive spirit and bring the community together.

“We just wanted to do something special and different.”

And special and different is what New Dance seems to be all about.

The charity, which relies on funding from the Arts Council of Wales, works in Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire holding dance classes in schools and village halls.

The professional teachers lead a variety of dances from zumba and hip-hop to ‘Strictly Fun Dancing’ specifically designed for the more mature students and community projects, including workshops with teenage schoolchildren, which aim to inspire respect for authority and education.

For more information about New Dance or to take part in next year’s flash mob call Audrey or Angela on 01978 869456 or go to www.newdance.org.uk.

To view the video of the flash mob, click here.

See full story in the Leader

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