FlashDance5 & The ‘Deep Agenda: Thoughts on A Year of FlashDancing!

If you have any good pix, please mail ’em, mine are lame as usual

Well, it has been a year since I started my little experiment with flash mob dancing & this past Saturday we celebrated in true FlashDance style with our 5th flash mob dance party! I guess it is no longer an experiment. FlashDance is BIG fun & I’m pretty damn happy about it. Thank you all so much!

After a year, I’ve come to realize that FD ties together a few threads of my life in unexpected ways and has become a much cooler thing for me personally than I ever imagined – call it the secret ‘Deep Agenda behind FlashDance 🙂
(Yes, I’m full enough of myself to have an agenda & I think everyone else should have one too!)

click here to watch a movie

Uh-oh soapbox alert! This is your last chance to skip ahead to the FD5 summary without hearing me philosophize….. Ok…. you’ve been warned 🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot about FD since the interview in SFist & realizing more and more that as much fun as it is just by being a kick-ass dance party, it means a lot more to me than that on numerous levels:

The first thing that comes to mind is that I lead a very very fortunate life and FD has become an expression of two cool parts of that fact: it is both a good example of the types of things that make my life so fun and yet simultaneously, it is an small opportunity for me to give a little of that fun back to the world that has been so good to me. I like that.

The other deeper thing about FD is that it also represents part of my greater political and social sense of what is needed in the world, and is a one of a a few ways I’m trying to accomplish those goals 🙂 Hah! The ‘Deep Agenda! I know, I know: “geez ‘Deep its just a hundred people dancing on a street corner – get over yourself” – ok that’s valid – but my point is this: I believe in human density and the urban spaces that that implies. Cities can be catalyzing, and are righteous & we need to make them work.

First off there are really cool things that can only happen when you get people living together in large diverse groups (art, culture, and thought all get a kick in the pants in urban centers) and just as importantly our civilization will only work ecologically if we all start living in dense urban centers* It’s not that I think that urban living is perfect – god knows it isn’t – its just that it can be a wonderful thing if we do it right, and we HAVE to do it right if we want any of the natural world to survive.

And that brings us back to Flashdance – an expression of urbanity at its finest in my not-so-humble-opinion. Yeah it is a small thing, but it is a nice small thing. And thus for me I love it because it ties together so much of what I care about (the environment, this City, people, dancing) into one “random act of kindness” package that is very much me.

So thanks to all you Flashdancers for making me so happy. This isn’t what I set out to do, I was just trying for the kick-ass dance party part, but I’m fascinated to see what it has become. Let’s hope it keeps working!


* to all my fellow enviros who talk about living out in the country by yourself? Talk to the hand! What happens when everyone on the planet wants to do that? What makes you get to & no one else?

FD5 Summary:
So Powell & Market was a GREAT location – we added in a different cross section of people (shoppers, tourists, bridge & tunnelers, & some homeless folks) which is always fun! There was a girl celebrating her 16th brirthday with a weekend in SF with her Mom & best friends – we sang her Happy Birthday (rock on Jocelyn!) & a guy celebrating his 40th (I think) – (many more Kokoe!)

A few Random thoughts:

7 thoughts on “FlashDance5 & The ‘Deep Agenda: Thoughts on A Year of FlashDancing!

  1. For me, Flashdance is also about taking back public space — about really recognizing that it is public and we are responsible for constructing that which makes it special, beautiful, and ours, rather than just businesses’.

    I’m sorry to have missed FD5. I was in NYC. I would have brought another 5 with me, and that would have brought you a wee bit closer to the 120.

    In considering the numbers, what about the effect of seasons? I imagine people are much more used to getting out during warm summer nights. Just a thought…

    Keep organizing! 20th and Shotwell in the house.

  2. Hi,
    I just learned of flash dance in SF. I missed it. I think it’s T E R R I F I C!!!!!! I hope you do more. I think it is really powerful to do it by a BART station….easy access. What about downtown Berkeley Station?? I love to dance but get all uptight about formal invites, eeeuuuccckkk! I love the spontaniety (sic)of your FD’s. I hope I get the info for the next one timely!!

  3. Whoah! This is sooo cool!
    I thought Flash Mobs were pretty cool, but you have taken it to a much deeper level! (couldn’t resist :-p)

    I want to do this! THIS is the kind of thing that makes me want to live in a dense urban environment! Tough, I doubt this would be as successful in many parts of the world; San Francisco seems like the perfect place for this. Can you get a portable video projector on your bike? Also there are speakers that are totally reflective, small but they use ultrasonics to create sound in the air… I think the trademark holder is “Hypersonic” or something – might be a good solution for your portable needs.

  4. Thank you deeply for sponsoring these events. How fun — and how necessary to have this kind of play time!

  5. Thank you for doing your thing at the Outside lands 2011!!! I had a blast!!! If you have any pictures, videos, or links to that magical night, PLEASE notify me. Thanks again for that wonderful night in Frisco!!!

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