Emily, our superstar performing arts intern, and Tim, whose 100-watt smile you see at HardwareÂ everyday, talk about how they teamed up to bring a day full of dance to FREE Day, which took place on February 11, 2012.
We spent a few days during the weeks leading up to FREE Day using the rehearsal hall space, listening to 80s music and coming up with an arsenal of funky dance moves to put together in a sequence that would be both visually appealing and easy to pick up. We had a lot of fun goofing around in the studio and perfecting classic dance steps like the cabbage patch, the running man, and the Molly Ringwald.Â Check out our rehearsal video here.
On FREE Day, we taught lots of different peopleâ€”toddlers, college students, grandmas, ballerinas, and football players alikeâ€”the dance we created. We taught about 20 people in each of our classes throughout the day. We danced Michael Jacksonâ€™s P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), because it was upbeat, light-hearted, and makes you want to move! We also asked the people who took our dance class to dance with us later in the afternoon, as part of a surprise flash mob in the galleries. Check out our dance class video here.
Our dancers milled about through The Workers: Precarity, Invisibility, Mobility exhibit, blending in with unsuspecting, art-viewing patrons. Suddenly, Michael Jackson music started playing through the galleries, and spontaneous dancing broke out! We definitely surprised a bunch of patrons who got caught in the middle of the flash mob. There was a lot of talent, but the best movers were by far were the 2 little nuggets (they must have only been 3 or 4 years old) decked out in pastels and mermaid gear from Kidspace who got their groove on right in the middle of the flash mob! Check out our flash mob video here.
PRE-SHOW DANCE INSTRUCTIONÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
To end the night, we taught a dance class on the Hunter Center stage, immediately before Gordon Voidwell and his band played some rockinâ€™ music for a psychedelic 80′s synth funk dance party. WeÂ wore headset microphones (affectionately called the Madonna mics in the performing arts department – check out the photo below, taken backstage!) to broadcast our voices to the crowdÂ on the dance floor. Since we faced the crowd in the Hunter Center,Â dance instruction was trickier because we had to reverse all of our instructions so that the audience could mirror our movements.
FREE Day 2012 was so much funâ€”music, dance, theatre, art-making activities, a mermaid parade, face painting, a hilarious photobooth, and great deals at Hardware! We were psyched to get to collaborate with the community and with each other. We canâ€™t wait for you to come back to hang out next year and dance with the two of us at FREE Day 2013! - Emily and Tim