Unlikely combination of zombies and dance ‘thrills’ Calgarians

Halloween season is off to a thrilling start this year in Calgary, thanks to a monstrous zombie flash-mob storming South Centre Mall! Thrill the World Calgary (TTW) came alive for its sixth consecutive year on October 24, prompting over 200 participants decked out in deadly threads and daring disguises to bust out their most frightful footwork.

Thrill the World began in Toronto in 2006 with dance instructor, Ines Markeljevic. By the time of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, the event had grown from its original 62 zombies to capture the flailing limbs and wild imaginations of an astonishing 22,923 participants, in 264 cities, from 33 countries across the globe – the current Guinness World Record holders for the “Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance.” Indeed, the classic song and dance has thrilled audiences for decades, and this event gives them a perfect platform by which to share their love of all things MJ, as well as an enthusiasm for latex prosthetics and fake blood.

TTW Calgary’s director and coordinator, TJ Madigan, cites his adoration for the King of Pop as one of his most prominent sources of inspiration for bringing a branch of this global event to our city for citizens to enjoy. However, though he appreciates the affair as a celebration of the iconic dance, and Jackson himself, Madigan says that the significance of the gathering stems more from its humanitarian aspects than anything.

TTW aims to bring communities together through dance, while promoting health and wellness with their funky form of family fitness. These methods are key, says Madigan, in building and maintaining a sense of community within our growing city.Although next year’s venue has yet to be announced, Madigan encourages those with the soul for getting down to resurrect the groove now and start learning the dance right away. The event is completely free – though a donation to the food bank is appreciated – and open to all ages. Those wishing to help organize or participate in the flash-mob can find more information at thrillcalgary.com.

jdeardoff@cjournal.ca, mritchie@cjournal.ca

The editor responsible for this article is Kate Holowaty, kholowaty@cjournal.ca