With over 800,000 views as of December 1. 2022, UW-Eau Claire’s Facebook page posted a video highlighting the Thriller Flash Mob performed by this semester’s Dance Appreciation class (DNCE 101).
UWEC Facebook Post – Video:
The class performed on October 27th, three separate times around campus. The video that went viral was their performance in front of Schofield Hall, with a special appearance by the Chancellor, Dr. James Schmidt.
“Leading up to the performance, we had roaming rehearsals on campus to practice. The students had two weeks to prepare, four classes to learn the choreography.” says Stephen Stone, instructor for the course and lecturer of dance.
Stone praises the involvement of students and the energy on campus. This is Stone’s first semester teaching at UW-Eau Claire, and he attributes the viral success of the performance with campus life. “I’ve never experienced this kind of enthusiasm before. It’s invigorating for the campus experience.”
Stone’s Dance Appreciation class is comprised of 37 students, with fewer than 10 students having any prior dance experience. Stone emphasizes how great of an opportunity it is for students across all disciplines to experience this course. “Having this class be in-person, students have the opportunity to experience dance movement and perform what they have learned.”
As the fall semester ends, DNCE 101 will perform a swing dance for their final. Stone emphasizes the learning experience of the Thriller performance, “it’s life-changing to perform in front of others, many of my students now have an ease in performing after the Thriller dance.”