30th Anniversary of “Thriller” Goes Global

MJ and his ghouls have been thrilling fans for three decades!

In 1983, “Michael Jackson’s Thriller” made its debut. The John Landis–directed music video features plenty of zombie gore and special effects—including M.J. morphing into a werewolf—as well as the iconic dino-armed undead dance break, co-choreographed by Jackson and Michael Peters. The anniversary makes this year’s Thrill the World (TTW) dance event particularly exciting, as groups of dancers from six continents prepare to perform “Thriller” at the same time.

The Halloween-themed event was first organized in Toronto in 2006 and has grown steadily since then, each year a new world-record attempt. TTW’s 2013 registration page lists participants in Australia, Austria, China, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Rwanda, Scotland, Turkey, Venezuela, Wales and 33 U.S. states.

Thrill the World had a huge turnout in Austin, TX, in 2008.

“Zombie” groups register online to learn choreography and raise funds for a charity of their choice. The TTW website offers video links to learn the moves, plus written and recorded “dance scripts” that state the dance steps rhythmically, a gesture intended to assist nondancers and anyone who prefers to learn verbally. (“Down clap slide slide slide stomp and shoulders look left.”)

This year’s event will take place tomorrow, Saturday October 26, at 9 pm Greenwich Mean Time, 5 pm Eastern. Participants worldwide can tune in to TTW’s official online radio station to make sure they start perfectly in sync, down to the 5, 6, 7, 8. Visit thrilltheworld.com/world-wide-dance-locations to find a performance in your area.

Photos: fanpop.com; thrilltheworld.com


Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.