Posted by: Andrew Pask | February 14, 2010

Dancing in the Street

Street take-overs come in all shapes and sizes, but some definitely manage to convey more of a sense of fun than others.

After a raucous morning of anti-Olympic protests in downtown Vancouver that saw newspaper boxes overturned and several windows of the Hudson’s Bay store smashed, an afternoon flashmob event on Robson Street proved to be one of the high points of Day 2 of the Vancouver 2010 Games.

Organized by, the event featured a crowd of several thousand people dancing  a synchronized routine to the Martha and the Vandella’s classic “Dancing in the Streets.”  Along both sides of the road hundreds of other folks gathered to watch.  The enthusiasm was infectious – with dancers spending equal time singing along to the song and laughing at missed steps.

While word about the dance had been making its way around the internet for weeks (along with instructional videos for the routine), the event kept true to the ephemeral nature of flashmobbing: it was over and done in less than a dozen minutes.

Imagine1Day, incidentally, is a charity working to establishing primary education facilities in Ethiopia.  It’s not totally clear what the connection between this event and their work is… but that’s okay.  Let’s take it at this: a bit of schooling on how to enliven city streets and add a dash of choreographed colour to the otherwise gray asphalt.

:: For more photos and video from the Dancing in the Street event see the VPSN Flickr set.

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