Kelowna’s Thrill the World event brings together 120 dancers

Men, women and children lurched and shimmied their way around Stuart Park this weekend to the sound of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Men, women and children lurched and shimmied their way around Stuart Park this weekend to the sound of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

It was for the Thrill the World event, a ghoulishly good dance party that lasted only five minutes and included 120-plus local participants who appeared to have well surpassed their best before dates.

“It’s great. Everyone from little kids to grandmothers are here and some schools sent their kids,” said Mike Guzzi, a zombiefied representative of Studio 9 School of the Arts, the organization behind this year’s contribution to the worldwide dance party.

“When I heard nobody [here] was doing it, I thought we should get involved, so we did,” said Guzzi. “The studio organized it, but anybody was welcome.”

It was a labour of love, said Guzzi, noting that there’s something delightful and disarming about dressing up like a zombie and traveling through the city.

There’s the costume element, and the simple fact that there’s a lot of fun to be had in a community to come forward in dance.

For Lou Gramdell, Mareen Jolley and Robyn Giffen the appeal of Thrill the World was the dancing.

“We line-dance every Thursday at the OK Corral and this is just another version of a line dance,” said Gramdell.

Thrill the World is considered the “biggest Halloween event on the planet” as it’s not just Kelowna residents taking part.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller is played and participants dance the same moves at the same time all around the world.

Some of the more unexpected locations include Malaysia,Turkey, Russia, Romania, Japan, Columbia, Tasmania and Rwanda.

Besides scaring as many humans as possible, most local events include a fundraiser of their choice.

So far, close to $300,000 has been raised for charities. .

Thrill the World was started by Ines Markelle, who studied dance at York University in Toronto. Markelle started the project in 2006 hoping to set a Guinness World Record for Largest Thriller Dance. She achieved this with 62 people.

In 2007, 1,722 people in 52 cities on five continents participated in Thrill the World, setting two world records—Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance with the World Records Academy and the Record Holders’ Republic.

For more go to www.thrilltheworld.com.