By: Alexia Mitchell, Golda Fulmer, and Clea Thomas
On October 29, Tustin High held its 94th Homecoming Assembly, and everyone was hit with a spooky surprise. Those participating tried to keep their secret of the upcoming performance of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, released in 1982. It is not uncommon for the dance to be performed in front of large audiences, however, no one expected such a spontaneous act to be executed by our student body.
Before performing the Thriller dance, students from ASB and dance underwent a long and rigorous process of learning the routine in order to successfully pull off the flashmob. As one of the groups associated with the flashmob, the dance team started learning the choreography in late September. The school’s cheer team and ASB also participated in the reenactment of Michael Jackson’s universal ghouly dance. “I felt pretty confident. I could feel that it was going to be a fun dance to perform in front of the school,” Sergio Cuamani, Junior and Co-Captain of the All-Male Dance Team, confessed after asked about the hard work he put into the MJ flash mob.
“I thought it was fun. At first a bit awkward, but once you actually get into it you can enjoy it. I like when multiple groups in our school collaborate to create one performance. I think it makes it more exciting and special. I liked that ASB, dance, and cheer were able to come together to open the assembly,” Ashley Sabillon, Senior and Varsity Cheer Captain, revealed about the routine. The learning of “Thriller” allowed those who participated in the routine to get their scare on and to give the rest of the school a shock that would leave jaws dropped and skin crawling.
As the 29th of October drew closer, it was time to start setting the stage for the flash mob in the Sports Pavilion. Large groups of people from all sorts of on-campus programs filled the gym: Cheer, Dance Team, ASB, Water Polo and Basketball all anticipating the zombified performance. “I enjoyed performing because it was fun and it combined a lot of the programs around Tustin High and made it into one big performance,” Eric McCarry, Senior ASB member and All-Male Dance Team member, commented about “Thriller.” During lunch practices in the gym, everyone included in “Thriller” brought a truly terrifying vibe to the rehearsals, giving the atmosphere a haunting haze.
Finally, the day of the Homecoming Assembly arrived. The assembly proceeded as normal: Nick Jacobson and Molica Ong got the crowd pumped up for the assembly. Little did the school know what was awaiting them.
After the usual performance of the National Anthem from band, an unusual thing happened. Suddenly, zombies appeared, lifeless, in the dead center of the gym floor. A combination of eeriness and silence fell upon the whole auditorium as the students and staff witnessed the zombies coming to life. By the time the music picked up, the students were sitting in awe and amazement of the zombie flash mob that took place right before their eyes. At the end of the performance, the whole gym was full of cheers and excitement. The students and staff sat astounded by the flash mob that really succeeded in putting the “thrill” in “Tiller Thriller”.
Following the performance, the overall consensus called the thrilling dance mesmerizing. The reviews proved it was a spooky sight to see. “I thought it was really cool… the way [everyone] came down from the bleachers – I thought that was awesome – and how more [people] kept coming,” stated Shanni De La Cruz, Sophomore. Staff and students of all grades enjoyed this hauntingly exceptional production of Jackson’s famous dance. The end result was a truly spine chilling spectacle.