Two Guys Breakdance To 'Uptown Funk' — Crowd Joins In Stunning Flash Mob

Sep 22, 2021 by apost team

It was a summery day in Sydney, Australia. The sun was shining, people were laughing as they walked through the streets and the birds were chirping. Everything seemed to be normal. Only on this day back in 2015, an amazing street performance orchestrated by CrazyDomains was about to take place.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit track from 2014, started blaring. A man walked through the crowd, broke into a small run, and started breakdancing in the middle of the street. His friend jumped in to join him soon after. A whole mob of people then joined the two and a dance routine broke out.

While flash mobs are always a stunning sight to see, it is obvious these dancers are professionals. Their moves were perfectly choreographed and the dancers were all synchronized with each other. Despite their impressive performance, you could see joggers running past the dancers.

The dancers themselves were a sight to see. They were dancing in suits, casual clothes, baggy clothes and sportswear — one man even wore a shirt with a tie. The differences between all of the dancers show just how music and dancing can unite people from all walks of life.

The camera not only caught the performance, but it also caught the reactions of the people in the audience. You could see the excitement on their faces. They all smiled and clapped along with the performance.

At the end of the video, you could see the dancers handing out shirts and flyers. It turned out the dancers were part of a campaign for CrazyDomains, a domain hosting website. According to Thrill, the performance may have been a way to make the company go viral while doing minimal marketing.

The plan seems to have worked, too. The video has received over 9 million views on YouTube since it was posted. If this is the marketing technique of the future, it is a welcome one.

While younger readers might not realize this, flash mobs, like the viral one in the video below, are a relatively new phenomenon. In fact, Rebecca Walker, a professor writing for the National Communication Association (NCA), traces the first flash mob back to 2003. During the summer of 2003, New Yorkers in Manhattan began to receive emails from “[email protected],” according to the University of Florida’s “Flashmob: 101” website. But rather than trying to sell something or scam people, these unusual and anonymous messages asked New Yorkers to gather at various staging locations, four bars in Manhattan, on June 3, 2003. After the participants received further instructions, they descended on a New York City Macy’s.

More than 100 people rushed into the store, traveling to its ninth floor, where the group would gather around an expensive rug. When asked what they were doing, the participants replied that they were shopping as a group and looking for a “love rug” for their “suburban commune,” according to news coverage at the time. Meanwhile, a Hyatt hotel near Grand Central Station and a shoe store in SoHo had problems of their own. At the hotel, 200 people from the mob project gathered and gave a round of applause for 15 seconds, whereas the shoe crew pretended to be a group of tourists.

"The mob itself was slightly bizarre. There were about 200 of us standing at the balcony railings on the mezzanine floor of the Hyatt Hotel, next to Grand Central Station,” mob participant Fred Hoysted said in a news article published back in 2003.

"At the appointed time, we burst into applause for 15 seconds as instructed. The look of joy on peoples' faces was incredible. And even though I'd felt somewhat detached from the proceedings, I couldn't help but smile and join in. I knew this was something I wanted to do again."

While the media picked up these strange occurrences, the public still had no idea who was behind these strange “flash mobs.” In a CNN article from August 2003, reporter Sandra Shmueli writes, “The phenomenon's creator is reported to be someone called ‘Bill,’ who began the trend by e-mailing 50 people and asking them to gather at a shop in downtown Manhattan.”

While reporters hadn’t yet identified “Bill,” he still gave interviews anonymously. Following his first host of flash mobs in Manhattan, he told CNN that he called the random gatherings “inexplicable mobs,” and that there were a variety of reasons why people seemed to gravitate toward these strange and random performances.

“For some people, it is purely funny,” Bill told CNN in 2003. “For others, it is social — they like being out with people. For others, it is political — just getting out in the streets is a political act. I personally like it because it is aesthetic — I love seeing all the people come together, seemingly out of nowhere."

It was only three years later in 2006 that we would find out the man’s full name — Bill Wasik, a prominent New York City magazine editor.

While Wasik is credited with starting the modern flash mob — which was only made possible thanks to 21st-century technologies like text messages and emails — there were certainly precursors to Wasik’s “inexplicable mobs.”

For example, Dadaist and Surrealist performances from the early 20th century share many similar qualities with Wasik’s flash mobs, including “simultaneity of action, a general spirit of anarchy, tactics of juxtaposition, and surprise, the use of detournement (a hijacking or alteration), an emphasis on place and space, and the use of games and play,” as Walker explains in her article.

With that said, these earlier forms never amounted to anything comparable to the modern-day flash mob, which has spread throughout the world on a massive scale. In one of the largest flash mobs ever, actor Alfonso Ribeiro organized a simultaneous dance with more than 2,000 dancers across 300 cities in 2012. Flash mobs became such a problem in one German city that local politicians banned them in 2009, according to The Local. And as the video below demonstrates, even companies have caught on to the flash mob craze, joining a sea of “inexplicable mob” videos on YouTube. But given that it’s been less than two decades since Wasik and his mob first descended on New York City, only time will tell if flash mobs endure or if they will become just another forgotten internet trend.

What did you think of the flashmob's performance? Were you impressed by it? Or were you disappointed that it was all a marketing stunt? Let us know what you think in the comments and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family! 

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