In honor of the upcoming anniversary of the first “official” flash mob—which is said to have taken place in a Macy’s department store in Manhattan on June 3, 2003—we’d like to take a moment to discuss what makes these falsely impromptu performances so special.
A flash mob, at its core, consists of a group of individuals gathering together in a public place to participate in some kind of coordinated performance. Meant to look like an accidental example of synergistic humanity, the flash mob phenomenon has evolved over the past decade to encompass a wide range of populations and purposes.
There have been flash mob pillow fights, flash mob dance-offs, even a flash mob that involved 100 “Where’s Waldo?” look-alikes.
And, unlike other fads—for example, the Harlem Shake—the flash mob hasn’t completely faded away. In fact, it has retained much of its magical cache, despite being nearly a decade old.
5 Reasons Why Elderly Flash Mobs Rock:
They draw attention to important issues: In the video above, a group of aging adults organized by Ethos, a Boston-based non-profit that helps elders age in place in their own homes, dances to raise awareness for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Continue reading to witness the “World’s Oldest Flash Mob” in action…
They do it in costume: These senior living residents may not be out to save the world by drawing attention to a noble cause, but they sure gave their fellow community members’ a memorable Halloween surprise.
They prove that, if you have the gift of groove, age really is just a number: The Lifemark Flash Mob, unofficially dubbed the “Oldest Flash Mob in the World,” requires two things from its members: you must be at least 65-years-old and you must have a pulse, says Billie Jordan, organizer of the Lifemark flash mob, in an interview with 3News in New Zealand. Some members are deaf, some are blind, and others must sit or use a walker during their performances. But that doesn’t stop them from shaking their groove thang.
Their meanings cross boundaries, both generational and geographical: India’s first-ever elderly flash mob was organized by Bachpan after Pachpan, a student-led organization dedicated to bridging the gap between the young and the old.
Their effect is undeniably heart-melting: A group of elders in Lawrence, Kansas warmed the hearts of holiday shoppers at a local store with their touching rendition of “Last Christmas.”
By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor