On Friday October 10, 2014 there were three considerably big things happening in downtown SF.
President Obama was visiting.
B1A4 surprise flash mob.
First two items most people knew about. But that last item was only known by very few people.
Mnet commissioned SF Flash Mob Crew to put together a surprise flash mob for B1A4. Who’s B1A4? They’re a super popular K-Pop band and they are beloved around the world. SF Flash Mob Crew has done some pretty amazing flash mobs (including the really popular Bennie + Tim flash mob proposal in the Castro). Seriously, if SF Flash Mob Crew puts out a call for dancers, just do it. It’s not like normal flash mobs where you learn a few steps and you’re done. You will learn a considerable amount of choreography and you will LOOK GOOD. They put alot of time and creative energy to make some pretty amazing flash mobs. I’ve done three now with this crew and can attest, it’s not only fun but it’s one of the best experiences you can go through as a dancer.
Jylian Cortez and Amber Divina (our teacher) put out a call to anyone who would be interested to work on this flash mob. Around 15 dancers came together and said yes. Some of us are really awesome dancers. Some of us are beginners. But it didn’t matter. We could tell it was going to be a really brilliant experience based on how excited Amber was. In the first few rehearsals, we only knew that this was a KPOP flash mob but Amber didn’t say who this was for specifically. Then midway through rehearsals Amber finally said it was a surprise flash mob for B1A4. That’s when we really freaked out.
It’s one thing to do a surprise flashmob for a guy proposing marriage to his loved one. The stress level for the dancer is not that horrible because honestly the guy proposing has much more to worry and freak out about. But this was different. This was like saying “You’re going to dance for Janet Jackson. And oh you’re going to do Janet Jackson’s actual dance choreography in front of her. Oh and it’s a surprise that we’re filming on camera. So don’t screw up.” This was FAR MORE intimidating than previous flash mobs. But again, I felt were going to be ok because Amber was leading us and if you’ve ever danced with Amber you know you’re in good hands. He’s a brilliant dancer and a really patient and generous teacher.
We practiced over 20+ hours learning the choreography to these three B1A4 songs.
At first glance, these routines look easy. They’re not. B1A4 clearly have rehearsed and practiced ALOT to make it look simple and easy. I’ve only danced for 5-6 years. This took ALOT of time to figure out how to do this and look like it was no problem.
That tie part in “Lonely”…..not easy. It’s surprisingly difficult to get a bunch of people to throw a tie up in the air at the same time.
That tap tap part of “What’s Happening”….really hard. Getting this all synced up while on your knees is REALLY HARD.
But learning all of these moves with my flash mob crew was such a great experience. Everyone was so supportive and generous with their time and energy. There were people (like Saori) who drove 100 miles total to get to several rehearsals at 9:30pm at night.
There were alot of aching knees and sore muscles. But it didn’t matter. Listening to B1A4’s music for two weeks straight non stop makes you really happy. And you can do anything when you’re happy (like Taylor).
Plus when you’re dancing with people like JT, how can you not be happy?
So finally flash mob performance day comes. And there’s a flurry of FB messages amongst our group about costume changes and do you have safety pins and how bad is traffic. We were all nervous and freaking out.
Yi-da Wu worked LATE into the night and minutes before the flashmob to make these gorgeous banners for the band.
The plan was to meet at the SF Ferry Building and just hang out. Look like normal tourists.
No problem. Madison knows how to do that.
We waited probably an hour and finally B1A4 walks by. All of us are really freaking out.
Leanne, Janus, Jin and I are trying to act normal around them but it’s kind of hard.
Hey @baroganatanatda! This is before we surprised #B1A4 with our flashmob!
B1A4 then walked over to the steps, sat down, and sang for a few minutes. Most of my dancer friends were just dying because normally they would just walk closer to their favorite band and take pictures. But instead we had to be far away and look disinterested. When B1A4 were done singing, that’s when we surprised them.
There were three things that made this flash mob awesome.
1) B1A4 were genuinely surprised. You can tell by how they were screaming at the beginning.
2) B1A4 danced with us. That was a fantastic surprise for us. What made it even more cute was when they realized we learned three of their dances they were genuinely excited. You could see in their faces that they were shocked that we all had ties for “Lonely.”
3) B1A4 were nice. All of them hugged every one of us. Some of us even twice.
Group picture with flash mob dancers. ThankU for the suprise!!! ThankU #sanfrancisco . ThankU @mnetamerica . 🙏🙏🙏 #baro #BAROGANATANATDA #b1a4 #b1a4roadtrip #mnetamerica View on Instagram
Yes I know. The one time I get to take a picture with a K-Pop band I close my eyes. Amateur hour I know.
Mnet posted the final episode of B1A4’s visit to San Francisco and they feature our entire flash mob which is pretty cool. What I liked even more about it was to hear how the band members were genuinely surprised and touched by what we had done.
You can watch the episode here.
I want to thank my fellow dancers. It was a pleasure dancing, sweating, and bruising my knees with you. You all were wonderful and I had the best time hanging out with all of you.
Super big thanks to Jylian. Though she didn’t dance with us she was integral in making sure we all knew the who, what, when, where and how of this entire flash mob.
And of course super awesome big fantastic thanks to Amber. Thank you for pushing us to be as awesome as you always are.