Local Zombies Shuffle Toward World Record "Thriller" Dance

Ruesing: Yes! The proof is in our group! We have ten year olds, sixty year olds, dancers, non-dancers, rhythmically challenged and many victims of Aunt Patty. As CJ mentioned, we have had to play cheerleader quite a bit since people think that if they do not look exactly like MJ the first time they do it, then they are doing it wrong. The most challenging thing we have encountered is building confidence. A lot of the time, people think we are just blowing smoke up their ass. We just can't seem to get them to understand that zombies aren't supposed to be perfect dancers.

What are some obstacles in teaching zombies how to dance?

Thomas: We have to avoid limbs falling off due to safety issues with our dancers. We also asked that props such as hatchets, guns, swords, severed heads and such be eliminated. Following Murphy's law (who is Murphy, by the way?), if something can go wrong it certainly will. Dancers were instructed to begin dancing in the shoes they plan to wear as well as practice with any hats, headpieces, wings and flowing garments to make sure everything stays where it should during the dance. I choreographed for years and generally did not have to require such restrictions from professional dancers; we would just need to build that into the rehearsal practice and, of course, had a costume designer helping with logistics. Here, we are working with some trained dancers but mostly non-dancers as well as some children.

Ruesing: Ditto to everything CJ said. The biggest obstacle I see is with directions. This dance changes directions fast. I'm afraid of someone getting their eye poked out or a domino effect from someone falling over! At our last rehearsal, I squashed a ten year old when I moved backwards and he didn't. If someone falls in this, they could get stepped on -- repeatedly!

Nancy Pasternak | HEC-TV
This is Thriller. Thriller night.
Will everyone be in costume? If so, are only zombie costumes allowed, or will an army of superheroes, fairy princesses and SpongeBobs also show up?

Thomas: Yes, everyone will be in costume and makeup. Most will be a zombie of some sort. There will be a couple of Michael Jacksons and at least one bird zombie that I know of. Go figure!

Ruesing: We are requiring everyone to be in some sort of costume. They don't have to go wild, but they do have to be costumed. We have not encouraged anything but zombies. Anyone who has done the choreography can clearly see that zombie is the necessary costume. Now with that said, there is nothing keeping them from being a fairy zombie, a Batman zombie or even a SpongeBob zombie. But everyone will be a zombie of some sort.

Which local charity will the St. Louis zombies be supporting?

Thomas: Dancers can make contributions to Carol House Quick Fix Pet Clinic in Lafayette Park through our event. The Quick Fix Clinic offers low and subsidized fees for spaying and neutering pets. The suggested donation is $10.

The St. Louis contingent will be dancing at the Lemp Mansion, which is said to be haunted. Do you think the house ghosts will be dancing along to "Thriller?"

Thomas: Oh, gosh, I hope we will be joined by the spirits of the Lemp Mansion! How cool will that be?

Ruesing: I hope so, too, but since Lemp is having their raging Halloween party later that night and the Cards are playing, they might just rest up for all the festivities that night. If they do decide to dance, they'd better be in costume and know the choreography and rules. I would hate to get disqualified because of something they did. If anything, I know they will be watching!

Zombies in St. Louis' Thrill the World will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, October 26, in the parking lot of the Lemp Mansion, 3322 DeMenil Place. Participant registration for the event is closed, but spectators are encouraged. For more information, email info@studiorue.net or visit the group's Facebook page.


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Location Info

Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn

3322 DeMenil Place, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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