Teens offer ‘Thriller’ surprise dance in La Grange
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:04AM
LA GRANGE — When the dance moves of the living dead begin infecting the kid standing next to you, it’s a little creepy. But in a fun way.
Members of The LeaderShop youth development group hosted a dance party late in the afternoon of La Grange’s Fall Festival Saturday. Zombies spread throughout the crowd at the Village Hall plaza and one by one, joined in the monster moves of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
And when the zombie stomp was in full swing, another five or six younger kids stepped in for the finale.
“It was great. The kids had such a good time,” said Meredith Schilsky, program manager. “They did the dance twice, because one little kid didn’t get in on it in time.”
An aspiring Michael Jackson, who looked to be 7 or 8 years old, shared the spotlight the second time around with Jake Walker, a member of The LeaderShop’s Watch My Feet touring dance troupe, Schilsky said.
“He did a really good job, and clearly, he knew the Michael Jackson moves,” Schilsky said of the younger Jackson. “Both of them had the silver gloves.”
Word spread during a Halloween costume parade earlier in the day that LeaderShop dancers would share their moves for the flash mob at a meeting at Cossitt School for kids who could stick around, Schilsky explained.
The teens staged their first flash mob July 28 for National Dance Day around dinner time at the village plaza, and reaction was positive, Schilsky noted. The La Grange Business Association, one of the Fall Festival sponsors, asked the teens to come up with another surprise performance.
“We have some phenomenal choreographers, college students who come back to work with the group,” she said. “Every year the group is more impressive. They have a passion for what they’re doing and a passion for change.”
The Watch My Feet troupe performs for 2,000 young people yearly in Chicago area schools and other venues, bringing messages of positive decision-making and anti-bullying, Schilsky said.
“It’s hard to be a young person in the world today and have people watching your every move,” she said. “But they really embrace the idea of being role models and are excited to be part of it.”