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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Dance Dance Davis

Shelly Gilbride decided that because she wasn’t teaching or writing she would do something crazy: start a flash mob in Davis.
“[It happened] when I wrote a paper about people engaging in art not only in classrooms or dance halls,” said Gilbride about starting a flash mob.

Not only did she decide to do something that has never been done before in Davis, but she also took all of the steps for the dance routine from the people in Davis. She cataloged dance steps for two weeks and strung them all together.

During the rehearsal held at the Davis Art Center on Saturday, Gilbride and around 29 people practiced the dance routine that will take place Wednesday, May 9. This rehearsal was one of the four rehearsals for those who will be participating in the flash mob. Currently 170 people are registered to show up and dance.

“When I started this my goal was to get 100 people to do it,” Gilbride said. “I don’t know how many will show up.”

While Gilbride teaches Davis citizens and students, she also tells them where her inspiration for each dance move came from. Some dance moves came from her two one-year-old boys while others came from random people in Davis.

“I went up to some boys and asked them to show me a dance move,” Gilbride said. “They said they didn’t like to dance and I asked them what they did like and they replied that they liked to fight.”

From these boys, Shelly came up with a dance move for the flash mob dance routine.

Shelly wants the Davis flash mob to be a creative shared experience between Davis residents and students. There are 30 flash mob participants who are in modern dance classes and 20 to 30 people who know the dance routine well in the community.

“I didn’t want the dance moves to be hard so I took some dance moves from beginning dance class,” Gilbride said.

The inspiration for the opening routine move came from the bicycles in Davis and while Shelly was showing everyone the move a little girl said something that inspired her even more.

“We [people] don’t move our hands [back and forth] while bicycling,” the little girl had said and everyone laughed. Gilbride then said “Well, we will be abstract bicyclists.”

“I want to bring dance in peoples’ lives because it’s fun,” Gilbride said. “For the actual day of the flash mob those people who know the dance well should go to the front so others can watch.” There will be a live band who will play while the flash mob performs the dance routine.

Shelly moved from New York City to Davis and has lived in Davis for six years.

“There is a vibrancy here that is underappreciated. I don’t know if I could do this flash mob anywhere else — especially in a place like New York City,” she said.

The final rehearsal will be held tonight at the Mondavi Center from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the actual flash mob will be held at a Central Davis location on Wednesday, May 9 at 6:15 p.m.

KARINA CONTRERAS can be contacted at arts@theaggie.org.


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