My first “faux” flash mob in Madrid

The Flash Mob is an American-originated concept that’s made its way over to Spain, similar to other things I’ve written about (like Black Friday, Running Strollers, Babies R Us, etc.). Here they even have customized versions such as the “Flamenco flash mobs” (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22110887). The general gist, as you’re probably familiar with, is a large group of people coming together suddenly in a public place to perform a coordinated act or dance for a brief time and then quickly dispersing. Keep this in mind as you keep reading.

Yesterday I participated in my first flash mob here in Madrid – or what I thought was going to be my first flash mob… Let me back up for a minute: a few days ago I was in the Corte Ingles picking up my dorsal for my last 10k race of the season. As I was waiting in line, a cheerful cheerleader-like girl approached a group of us to announce that a dance group called SLS Dance was organizing the first flash mob in a large sporting event in Spain. Intrigued, I logged onto the web site back at home and found the choreographed dance that I would have to learn to participate, to Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando” no less. I figured, “Well, I’ve never been in a flash mob before, so why not?”

By the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was pretty pumped for the upcoming mob, actually moreso than for the 10k race that would follow. To my surprise, as my friend and I were at the starting line, the same girl who I had seen the other day at the Corte Ingles announced to the crowd over the loudspeaker that in one minute we would all be performing the first sporting event flash mob in Spain. Fifty seconds later she proceeded to start a 10-second countdown.

Wait a minute – since when do you announce a flash mob over a loudspeaker and have a countdown? I also don’t recall flash mobs having people on stages showing the dance to the crowd….So, A for effort for the dance group wanting to organize a flash mob, but downgraded in the actual execution part. I think we need to recognize it for what it was: an organized dance.

In any case, there were two positive outcomes from this faux flash mob experience for me:

  1. I started off the race in a good mood after dancing with the crowd and set a personal record.
  2. I’m determined to take part one day in a real flash mob so that I can really check it off my list.

Overall it was an amusing experience. Hey, I guess any import takes a little bit of time and tweaking to get it right 😉

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