Monday, July 29, 2013

William And Mary's (Momentary) Thriller Record

Guinness Confirms 'Thriller' Record
(By Mike Crump, The Flat Hat, May 2009)
The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed Friday morning that the College of William and Mary’s April 19 attempt for the largest “Thriller” dance was successful.  The event, led by Kevin Dua ’09, took place in the Sunken Garden and attracted a participatory crowd of 242 students, faculty and local residents. Only 148 dancers were needed to break the record for the largest number of people dancing simultaneously to Michael Jackson’s 1984 single.  “I’m very surprised everything went so smoothly and that the end result was this record for the College,” Dua said.

He said he was proud the group was able to break the world record, however he downplayed his own role in the event.  “Its something everyone was a part of,” he said. “It was a collective effort that day.”  Guinness’s online record file currently reads: “The largest thriller dance was achieved by Kevin Dua (USA) and 241 other participants in an event at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA on 19 April 2009.”



Did Mexico Beat It? Fans Go For 'Thriller' Record
(By Istra Pacheco, The Associated Press, August 30, 2009)

They say they beat it. Thousands of Mexicans claimed they broke the record for most people dancing to "Thriller" simultaneously in one place on Saturday, which would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday.  "We did it!" organizer Javier Hildago shouted to thousands of people wearing black fedoras, white gloves, aviator shades and ghoulish face paint, breathless after trying to recreate the groundbreaking 1983 video.  Did they? The Guinness Book of World Records will decide in a week.

The current record was set in May by a group of 242 College of William & Mary students who performed the routine in Williamsburg, Virginia, according to Guinness.  Hildago claimed 12,937 people danced Saturday in front of Mexico City's Monument of the Revolution, led by a Michael Jackson impersonator wearing a red-and-gold sequined jacket. But Guinness must certify whether all those people really performed the entire, intricate routine. The impersonator, who goes by the name Hector Jackson, and most of those in front of a huge crowd of onlookers certainly looked pretty good.  "More people responded than we even imagined!" Hector Jackson said. "Mexico gave the best tribute in the world to Michael Jackson."

Some of those who took part were born more than two decades after "Thriller" was released.  Guillermo Rodriguez, 2, wore a wig of dreadlocks, a black fedora and a white glove as he practiced the moves minutes before the event, holding up a cell phone that blared a recording of the song into his ear.  His father, Guillermo Rodriguez Sr., is not a huge fan himself. But he said his son has become mesmerized by the Jackson videos that Mexican television have often played since the pop icon died June 25.  "Michael Jack!" the toddler screeched, pointing a chubby, un-gloved finger at a Jackson T-shirt held up by a nearby hawker.


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