BY NISHA LOWERY
For the second time Perth has broken the record for the largest dance performance in the country, drawing 450 participants for Thrill the World.
Thrill the World is an annual worldwide event held to break the world record for the ‘Largest Simultaneous Dance,’ to raise money for charity.
It also pays tribute to Michael Jackson by performing the iconic ‘Thriller’ dance.
The first Thrill the World in 2007 involved just under 2000 people from 17 countries.
In 2009 the event broke the record with nearly 23,000 participants in 32 countries.
Thrill the World 2010 smashed its own record with 25,000 participants.
Perth not only, once again, had the largest turnout in Australia, but outperformed many other international cities including Vancouver (284 dancers) and Seattle (278).
In 2009 the event was held at the South Perth foreshore at 8am on a Sunday and attracted 419 dancers.
In 2010 it was held at Forrest Place on a Saturday at 7pm.
The original idea began in Canada with 62 zombies performing in a community hall in 2007.
The Perth event was co-organised by Weng Ho and Kelly Granger.
Ho was learning the Thriller dance for a wedding when he came across the Thrill the World website.
His colleague, Granger, suggested they try organising a Perth division.
“Whether it was just going to be him and myself on our own, or whether we were going to get 400 people we didn’t know,” she says.
Granger says the opportunity to involve the community, as well as raise funds for charity held much of the appeal.
Ho says the response from people had been great: “They love it. There are so many people out there who just get a joy out of it. We’ve got people coming all the way from Karratha to come join our event, flying in just for this.”
“It means a lot to people to pay tribute to Michael Jackson as well as to have some fun,” he adds.
First-time participant Tara Rogan found Thrill the World on Facebook and decided to get involved : “I love Michael Jackson and I love getting dressed up.”
Jenny Glasson came dressed as a zombie bride as part of a group: “We just had such a good time last year, we wanted to do it again.”
Although the zombie costumes were optional for dancers, children and adults relished in the opportunity to dress-up.
There were many assortments of shredded dirty clothes, bloody wounds, messy hair and insects attached to costumes.
Elly Mills, heard about Thrill the World through her Zumba dance group.
She says it took her and friend Kerry Greer about two weeks to learn the dance: “We were practicing every night… scaring all our neighbours.”
To help participants learn the dance, a number of classes run by The Dance Collective have been held in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s event.
As for another go: “We’re not really sure yet,” says Granger.
“We’ve got such a massive momentum going at the moment… but stay tuned.”
Watch the video to see the zombie dancers in action and hear from participants and organisers.