I never thought that flashmob organizer would be a skill I could add to my resume.
(Like I use a resume.)
And while I always thought it would be fun to do something like that, I didn’t imagine that the opportunity would so conveniently present itself. So recently, when asked if I wanted to be part of putting together a flashmob to celebrate the impending parenthood of our Crossfit coaches, I answered the way that I answer when any sort of adventure is put in front of me. YES. I didn’t actually think about what I was getting myself into. #storyofmylife
The entire experience can be summed up by paraphrasing a quote from Debbie Allen in Fame:
“You want a flashmob? … Well, flashmobs cost. And right here is where you start paying. With sweat.”
Here are my tips should you decide you want to organize a flashmob of your very own:
1. Know your space. How much room are you going to have? What potential obstacles will you need to take into account? How are you entering? We were lucky in that we knew the Crossfit shop intimately and we were in cahoots with the woman running operations for the gym. This meant that we already had a sense of what would work and we had access to a key should we need it. If you’re doing a flashmob outdoors or in a strange space, much more research needs to go into this part of planning.
2. Know your song. This is huge because every beat and lyric becomes a potential cue. We picked a song that had good beats and fit the theme of our baby shower. But in retrospect, I would suggest picking a song with a little more variation in lyrics than our song. Push It, while catchy, doesn’t feature a wealth of different lyrics. There’s a lot of repeating push its and not a whole lot more. We made it work but I could see it being easier if you have a song with a bit more to it.
3. Know your moves. We didn’t want to scare anyone off with the thought of difficult dance moves so we kept our moves to Crossfit-specific moves. Then, to really drill down, we tried to incorporate as many push-related exercises as possible, hence the rowing, the push-press and push-ups. And since we knew the space & the gear so well, it wasn’t hard to get folks set up on the pull-up rig or to have them arrange the rowers a certain way. We just explained the routines as a workout (4 pull-ups, 4 burpees & lots of pelvic thrusts).
4. Know your date. Once you pick when the performance is going to take place, you need to work backward from that. We gave our folks a few weeks to learn the routine and knew that we were going to need a rehearsal as well. There was a window where our coach was going to be out of town so we put that time to good use. With planning & choreography, we gave ourselves six weeks to put everything together.
5. Organize, plan & then organize some more. So many details and notes. Stay organized, use technology to your advantage and try to keep the emails to a minimum. After we worked out the flashmob routines, we filmed them, edited them with instructions and then sent them out to everyone. Additionally, we utilized google docs and forms to keep the main group of collaborators up to speed. This flashmob was a great exercise in project management. And the fact that we were keeping ours a surprise added a whole other layer of intensity to everything.
6. Practice. With four different groups doing different routines with different gear, a rehearsal was mandatory for us. Fortunately, we were able to meet when our coach was out of town, letting us use the space with the music and the equipment. I’m not sure we would have been able to pull it off without this rehearsal. With just one hour of group practice, we had it down pat.
7. Have fun! When it gets down to it, this isn’t rocket science. But there’s definitely something to be said in those minutes before you storm in for the big show. It took me back to my time waiting in the theatre’s wings, waiting for my cue to come out on stage. Everyone was joined together in a common cause and the excitement was pallable. People has a good time, our coach was surprised & no one was injured in the process. Plus, there was LOTS of bacon at the party after the flashmob.
Let me know if you have any questions! If you want to see how our flashmob turned out, check it: