Until Claremore Helps Thrill The World!

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Rogers State Hillpost | Monday, September 28 | Page 5

Can they 'beat it'?
RSU students to help set world Thriller dance record
By: Bekah Warren

Features Editor

In April, 2002, 197,569 elementary school students in Canada simultaneously did the Hokey Pokey to set a world record. On Oct. 24, RSU students will help attempt to break the record.

Oh, and the Hokey Pokey? History. Now, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is what it's all about.

Thrill the World is an annual event in which thousands of people around the world perform the Thriller dance at the same time, zombie attire and all. Created and organized by a dance teacher from Canada, the event has two goals: to raise money for different charities and to set a new world record to be recorded in Guinness history.

Since its beginning in 2006, the event has grown rapidly. With the death of Miachel Jackson earlier this year, Thrill the World has increased in both popularity and the number of participants. It seems that now, more than ever, fans of Michael Jackson wish to pay tribute, and Thrill the World provides a perfect opportunity to do so.

In previous years, Oklahoma has not had an in-state event. This year, however, there are several cities participating in Thrill the World, including Claremore. Claremore's Thrill the World team leaders Caleb Gerber and Brittany Campbell, both of Claremore, are very excited about Claremore being a part of the event.

Gerber, an RSU student, and Campbell are coworkers at Java Dave's Coffee Shop. Learning the Thriller dance has always been on their to-do list, so after Michael Jackson passed away, they decided it was time to make it happen.

Youtube had numerous instructional videos for the Thriller Dance, but one stood out more than the others.

"This great video taught the dance step-by-step," Campbell asid. "We followed the links on the page to the Thrill the World website and realized that we'd missed it for 2008."

Fortunately, Gerber and Campbell had plenty of time to sign on an organize an event in Claremore for 2009.

Claremore's team leaders are currently recruiting participants. And no, a great sense of rhythm is not included in the criteria.

"The dance isn't that hard to learn," said Campbell. "And I think anyone of any age can do it."

Gerber and Campbell both agreed that learning the dance step-by-step was not terribly difficult, although it was very time consuming for them because they were learning from a video.

"Since we know [the dance] now, we're able to teach others. It'll be a lot easier than learning from the video," Gerber said.

The goal of Thrill the World is to break a world record, but the event will also be helping raise money for different charities. The claremore team is currently working with local business and organizations to recruit potential sponsors to raise money before and during the event.

There are more than 280 Thrill the World events scheduled in over 25 countries, so the goal of 200,000 dancers is certainly not far out of reach. And there is still a month left for people to sign up.