Flash mob surfaces through performance at local mall

An unsuspecting passerby might have been taken by surprise when 68 dancers flooded parts of downtown Rochester at the Village in a dance flash mob organized by Talmer Bank & Trust on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Abrupt displays of grooving seem to be popping up at events and public places all throughout the Detroit area lately.

Flash mobs have made appearances at places like Tiger Stadium, the downtown Hoedown and Rogue Park in Detroit, as well as the Plymouth Ice Festival.

Talmer Bank & Trust is one of several groups that has found dance to be a relevant and effective way to bring people together.

Lee Davey, manager of Talmer Shelby Township branch, said what inspired him to organize a flash mob was his experience with dance and having seen first-hand its ability to build relationships among people of all backgrounds and age groups.

“One of our core values is community,” Davey said.

The flash mob made their first public performance at the Village of Rochester Hills when they surprised visitors with a choreographed dance routine of the cha-cha.

“Don’t tango with your bank … cha-cha with Talmer!” read the dancers’ shirts.

Darren Pierson, choreographer for the flash mob, likened the particular style of dancing to “working together.”

The participants ranged in age from 25 to 83, and also came from a variety of career backgrounds and life experiences.

The flash mob featured employees from the Talmer Bank & Trust as well as 50 dancers from the Hooked on Country Dancin line dancing studio in Davidson.

“It went a lot smoother than I had imagined … it was a really good mix,” Pierson said.

The collection of performers had to learn to merge two seemingly opposite styles of dance: country line and ballroom.

But they had one thing in common a connection and appreciation for dance.

Members shared the parts of their lives that brought them to this particular form of art, and soon it became about much more than just the cha cha.

Beverly Barra said that combined with a love for dance, her motivation for participating was involvement with substance abuse prevention.

“I like seeing the community come together for positive things,” she said.

Kathy Dula, a dance instructor with Hooked on Country Dancin’ said,“the practice was just as much fun as the flash mob itself…the best part was getting to know people.”

Looking at the positive feedback from participants and spectators, Talmer Bank and Trust might not be finished with dancing just yet.

Although Davey was a little elusive with regard to future mobbing plans, he encouraged community members to talk to him if they are interested.

Dula spoke positively about future performances and wanted to incorporate more people into the group.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said, “you should do it.”