Thousands across the country participate
by Tori Hamby
At exactly 1:42 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, more than 800 Bradley Middle School students took to the school’s parking lot to join kids across the country in dancing, clapping and moving their way into better physical fitness.
The “flash workout”– sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters – brought together students and faculty to learn a workout routine, choreographed to a reworked, kid-friendly version of hit recording artist Beyoncé’s song “Get Me Bodied.” On May 3, at the exact same second, all participating schools nationwide performed the high-energy routine, all in an effort to raise awareness for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity.
“The kids really got into it,” said Bradley dance teacher Debbie Gresham, who organized the workout at her school. “Students even took the time to learn the moves on their own, outside of school.”
Although any school could participate, the National Association of Broadcasters chose one school in each television market to be an official “Let’s Move!” school for the event. The workout footage from those lucky schools, including Bradley, will be compiled into a YouTube video showcasing the students’ high-energy moves.
Bradley students spent weeks learning the routine – which was posted on the association’s website – during dance and physical education classes and free time after lunch. To participate in the grand performance Tuesday, students needed to show they knew the choreography and wear a Bradley or Let’s Move! T-shirt to school.
Some students, such as eighth-grader Arturo Sosa, taught the workout to themselves by watching the online instructional video at home.
“It looked fun, and everybody was talking about it. So I decided I would give it a try,” Aturo said.
If any students had hesitations that the routine’s dance moves, including the “Dougie”– a dance made popular by the 2010 Cali Swag District single “Teach Me How to Dougie”–might make them look silly, Beyoncé’s involvement assured them they were in cool company.
For eighth-grader Danyell Pryor, Beyoncé and the project’s choreographer, Frank Gatson, who choreographed Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” music video, sealed the deal. Even Principal Laura Rosenbach joined in, although she admitted that catching on to the choreography was a bit difficult. Gersham led faculty members in a “remedial” workout course.
“I made sure to surround myself with some of the strongest dancers,” Rosenbach said. “That way it would at least kind of look like I knew what I was doing. ... They showed everyone how fun it can be to dance and workout.”
Bradley dance team member and eighth-grader Jordan Bishop participated in her first flash-mob performance last year, when Bradley students performed a song and dance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte premiere of a movie called “The Fat Boy Chronicles.”