This isn’t another YouTube sensation or a gameday crowd. A sea of students dressed in crimson and cream backs away, preparing for the KOCO 5 broadcast to begin. The group moves to take center stage, or, in this case, center grass on the South Oval.
Swaying giant, knee-length copies of David Boren’s head float in the air and “Don’t Stop Believin’” projects from a hidden speaker. Students jump up and down fist pumping the air. Bystanders watch, iPhones and cameras in hand documenting OU’s flash mob as they suddenly break down disco-style to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. And all of this was in time for KOCO 5’s 5 p.m. news broadcast.
Not a typical spontaneous flash mob, President’s Community Scholars hosted rehearsals and publicized the event on Facebook.
“The point is to just show that we have fun,” said Megan Bebb, graduate assistant to leadership development and volunteerism. “I understand that people say, 'Oh whatever,' but at the same time there will be people who don’t know about it and to them it will be a flash mob.”
Bebb, true to her word, was right. Some students didn’t know about the dancing magic.
“I heard about the news cast, but not the mob,” said Courtney Haveman, elementary education senior. “It was pretty cool and surprising to see the news and students dancing but it’s not a flash mob; more of a choreographed dance.”
Those participating didn't care if the event didn't match the technical mob definition. The goal was to have fun and showcase students’ school spirit.
“Everyone was doing the right thing, everyone had school spirit, and we gave it a little shake to the normal definition of flash mob,” said Melina Reyes, a freshman from Oklahoma City.
Choreographed or not, students had fun dancing to a mix including “Oklahoma,” played by the Pride of Oklahoma.
“It was fun to be with students just dancing,” said Kylie Bishop, a freshman from Plano, Texas. “It’s cool to be the first one to have done this; Hopefully it will continue on in future years.”
PCS originally performed the flash mob for Clarke Stroud, university vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. Becoming instant movie stars, PCS knew they had to perform again.
“The idea actually originated this summer when PCS went on a retreat,” said Kari Dawkins, assistant director to leadership development and volunteerism.
On a sunny summer day, Bebb choreographed the dance with student worker Kaleigh Kaczmarek.
“It’s kind of a joke in our office cause I love to dance,” Bebb said. “We went upstairs and just really cranked out the choreography in thirty minutes. We used moves that we think were fun and easy so others could catch on pretty quickly. We just wanted it to be fun.”
A combination of fist pumps, disco waves and clapping, the choreography was simple and addicting as the group grew with each performance. Bebb gave some instructions, yelling when it was time to let loose and “free style.”
Wendell Edwards of KOCO 5 introduced the finale performance, as he threw his fist in the air and signaled for the music to begin.
This story appears in Sooner 2011. To purchase your copy, go to www.studentmedia.ou.edu or call 405-325-3668.