One second people stood around, watching the band at this Saturday’s Holiday Hoopla. The next moment, music started and that loose collection of people milling about in front of the Casino eased into a choreographed dance.
The Holiday Hoopla ended with a flash mob. Flash mobs, generally organized in secret, involve a group of people meeting in public and, on one person’s cue, starting to perform. Saturday’s group, which included well-known locals such as chamber personality Margo Scannell, Gecko Ball organizer Jon Ziegler, and several trained dancers rehearsed in secret for several weeks up to the performance.
Margo Scannell asked Lillie Cintron, who works with the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, to help choreograph the number. Cintron brought in trained dancers to work alongside the locals in the two months leading up to Saturday’s flash mob.
“Some of the dancers you saw on the flash mob, are not performers and have not trained as dancers, so it was part of my effort to get them ready and confident to do so. It was a beautiful experience and very fulfilling for me as well as uplifting for all of us, much deeper than what the public saw there in just 4 minutes of performance. The audience really got up on their feet dancing and cheering with us, as many commented they had never seen anything like it,” Ms. Cintron told the Gabber later.
Word leaked out about the flash mob, although many people just knew “something would happen in front of the Casino”, and by five o’clock Saturday night a crowd of bystanders gathered and watched the people who milled around, waiting for their cue.
Some people, after they learned the dance was part of a flash mob, expressed surprise.
“If we had just walked upon people line dancing in Gulfport, I wouldn’t have thought it was a flash mob. I would have thought it was Gulfport,” Gulfport resident Jon Kile said. “People dancing in unison in Gulfport is fairly normal.”