the funk of forty thousand years.

i miss michael jackson. not the scandal, lisa marie, neverland, white michael jackson – but the old michael jackson when he was young michael jackson. not jackson 5 young. i’m talking more like captain eo, billy jean, bad and beat it young. i miss that iconic michael jackson.

it seemed only natural a month ago while we planned our youth halloween party to suggest that we have someone teach the kids thriller. (here is where my friends laugh. then they tell me that was my first mistake, assuming someone knew thriller.) i tried to enlist an amazing dancer but he was intimidated (as was i) by jackson’s stellar lightning fast moves.

“if someone taught me, i could learn it” i thought. i got to work with various you tube clips and ultimately thrill the world. with a week to spare the training dvd arrived. i had sporadic training in our living room with the couch pushed back and our book cases swaying. despite all my zombie marches and stomps no one in our building complained.

yesterday was the big night, and i have to admit i was nervous. like so many other things i knew it would be a huge hit or completely bomb. i also wasn’t sure how lingering parents would react to me encouraging their children to shake their booties and move their pelvis. after some pumpkin carving, cookie decorating and apple bobbing the kids reluctantly were under my supervision. “we’re not going to dance are we?” all attempts to escape failed. i asked who had heard of michael jackson. very few hands raised. who had seen thriller? even fewer. my task at hand – turn a group of 30+ kids and leaders into recently risen from the dead dancing zombies in 40 minutes or less.

we learned about a 1/3 of the dance and they were fantastic sports. while some really got into making zombie faces, others needed time to loosen up, but all in all i say it was a cultural hit! afterward i was bombarded with requests to learn the rest and to watch the music video. if thriller continues, my only request is to have one of those boy band headsets. a few back up dancers/zombies wouldn’t be too bad either. anyone? anyone?

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8 thoughts on “the funk of forty thousand years.

  1. >Ok, seriously, you are awesome! Will you come to Atlanta and teach ME the Thriller dance? I’ve always wanted to learn and I’m far too uncoordinated to try and teach myself. C’mon, convince Christian a trip to the ATL is in order. Bribe him with the idea that he could visit his old roomie. That would work, right? 🙂

  2. >Many years ago, I bought the “Thriller” album* for someone special.As I recall, all I got in return was a zombie face…* Yes, as a joke.

  3. >i’m just imagining napolean dynamite in his bedroom when he’s working on his sweet dance moves. 😉 glad your keeping the thriller legacy alive! if we ever meet, i hope you’ll teach me and seth that dance.

  4. >I heard that part of the Halloween party was awesome; tons better than the sheep brains and cow tongue from Pike Place. And speaking of The Amazing Dancer, could you rig another ward talent show and request a George and Natalie show again?

  5. >I am so excited you had success!! AMAZING! That was my first attempt as a new YW president. The real Thrill the World was in 28 days. I set out to teach our youth during activities and planned to perform it at our ward halloween party, during the actual time the rest of the world was participating! I was overwhelmed with excitement. They and the parents were not. It was a FLOP! I had a BLAST learning the dance at home. The Thrill the world videos are AWESOME!! I made a blog of them thrilltheworld.blogspot.com.NEXT TIME I SEE YOU WE ARE DOING THE DANCE TOGETHER!!! Grace knows parts.

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