This past Sunday, April 17th, I participated in a flash mob to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”. The event was organized by Carol Johnstone who created Pop Star Booty Camp, which is a 6-week dance routine series with a performance at the end. Dances are inspired by by Pop Stars like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber, just to name a few.
Petite Version of this Post
I had a blast learning the official choreography to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” dance routine. This song is super catchy and it simply makes me happy! When the opportunity to participate in a flash mob to this song came along, my friend Heather and I did not hesitate to sign up!
Look at how cute we are here! (More videos and photos below, including some from Beyoncé’s “Formation” flash mob group.)
Note: I know many of you view this from your phone. For higher resolution, view this on your desktop where you can use the gear button to easily change the format to HD!
Thankful for my sister who took this video of us! Ruth, the instructor, called us her “cuties” so Heather and I did our best to position ourselves in the front corner so we don’t get lost in the mob.
Also, I do not think they should have let me free style. Look at around 1:50 minutes into the video. “Hot Damn” says one of the members in the audience. When they said free style, I let my jazzy self take over. Hot damn, for sure!
I will be honest and say I was never the biggest Justin Bieber fan. It’s not that I don’t like him, I am just not a die-hard Belieber. However, I grew quite fond of him after he released a few songs from his “Purpose” album. And after I heard “Sorry”, I had no shame in admitting how much I love the song!
I’ve actually heard of these flash mobs perhaps last year. Last December, I saw the “Sorry” dance classes starting in January and added myself on the wait list for the first batch. My friend, Heather, was also in love with the song, and similar to me, has a dance background as well. We met at Cal through a dance group and was enrolled in the same Economics class. We have been friends and sisters ever since!
This song and video went viral, so unfortunately, we were not able to make it off the wait list. However, once Heather and I saw registration opened for another 6-week session for “Sorry”, we immediately signed up!
For six weeks, the dance group met for an hour in the Mission to learn the choreography to “Sorry”. Note that Parris Goebel, choreographer for both Request Dance Crew as well as for this amazing dance, has given Pop Star Booty Camp her permission to teach this dancehall-inspired hit.
In a typical dance class, you spread out in lines and stagger yourself in formation. I like how they make us rotate lines so that everyone has a chance to be in the front. If you are not a dancer, do not be shy. Honestly, unless you have the choreography down, no one is looking at you. Students are either checking themselves out in the mirror, or looking towards the instructor as a point of reference. Again, no one is looking at you nor will they judge you based on how you learn and execute the moves. They are more concerned about themselves. My advice for folks who are either new to dance or uncomfortable learning a new style of dance… Dance next to the best dancer in the room and try your best to mimic them. Ask them for help. I know the dance world is competitive, but this is not Julliard. I found the environment at Pop Star Booty Camp very encouraging.
Now, if you are a seasoned dancer like myself, know that Pop Star Booty Camp is for fun. The pace the instructors teach at might be slower than you are accustomed to, but they are catering to all levels. Not to say that learning “Sorry” was easy. Some of the choreography matched the syncopation of the reggae beats. So telling your body to move at the same tempo to match the the trill of the horns… well, those were THE hardest things for us to learn and execute as a group, including myself and Heather. Heather and I like to learn in 8-counts, so learning choreography to the lyrics or beats sometimes proved to be a challenge.
(For those of who you do not dance or are not a fellow band geek, syncopation of the beats refers to accenting or stressing the beat or count that is normally NOT accented. A great example of syncopation in the videos below is when we do floor work and hump our backs to the rhythm of the beat at around 1:30 minutes into the videos.)
New or pro dancer, just know that this is all for fun. I appreciated the last class or two where we cleaned up our moves. The performance was two weeks after our last class. I just wish the performance was soon after that because my muscle memory gets rusty even after a week. Thankfully, we had rehearsal that morning, but I still couldn’t get my body to roll clockwise. Note that most people can body roll one way better than the other. Both Heather and I prefer rolling counter-clockwise versus clockwise, so warning – parts of my body rolls look awkward, but I don’t care. I had fun!
Any dancer knows that a good costume will add to the performance. We did our best to replicate the look the dancers had in the video. A few days prior to the performance, I still had yet to finalize my costume. Aiming for the perfect “ratchet” look, of course I head over to Serramonte Shopping Center in my home town of Daly City because where else would I find this look? (In case you don’t know, a hefty portion of the Daly City population is Filipino and those here tend to have an “urban” or edgy fashion sense.)
But Serramonte was a BIG FAIL! Both Heather and I had trouble sourcing the perfect “ratchet” outfit.
The mall was filled with festival-inspired wear for Coachella. Not a trace of neon at all! Anything sporty related just wasn’t fitted enough for me. I tend to drown in loose fitting shirts. So when I realized my goal was to have a neon look, where did I go? My own closet! I’m known to wear bright colors when I work out, and I found a cute orange long sleeve top from the now defunct Ellie.com. I wanted to look like the one girl in denim shorts with a pink long sleeve. And if it was too hot, which it was, I had a cute racer back that was sporty enough as it it was licensed gear representing the San Francisco Giants. Who knew my own closet would be more ratchet than Serramonte?
Heather and I did end up with the same pair of shades (but in lime green and turquoise, respectively).
Next “Sorry” Dance Class Series
The next batch of “Sorry” classes starts Sunday, May 1st! If you’re interested, it looks like there is still some space. You can sign up here.
More videos and photos to enjoy!
I am very thankful my sister and a few friends came out to support me and Heather as they were able to capture this bucket list moment for us!
(Again, I have photos and a video of “Formation” down below.)
Here is another video of the first performance, which was taken by my friend Sandy. She captures a wider angle here. As you can see, we were on a slight hill. I wish we faced the sun instead where it was relatively flat with the Bay Bridge behind us, but hey, I roll with the punches.
And another one taken by my sister during the second performance.
Flash Mob to Beyoncé’s “Formation”
Since I had a pretty good spot during the second performance, I decided to put my photography skills to the test and take photos. I took quite a few because I’m really loving this one lady’s curls and I wanted to take photos of Ruth, our teacher for “Sorry”. There were also some fabulous men here and I wanted to capture their fabulous spirit!
I’m so happy I participated in this flash mob as it was quite the experience. It’s been a while since I danced “on stage” and I honestly miss it!
Would I participate in another flash mob in the future? FOR SURE!
Heather and I are even thinking about eventually participating in the Britney Spears flash mob to “Slave For You”. (Not now, but perhaps later.) It is more jazzy and sexy, which is very much our style. We saw the group practice after our dress rehearsal on Sunday and let me tell you… The instructor and some of the dancers do Britney better than Britney does Britney!
Looking back at the original video for “Sorry”, I realize I still want to practice this dance as I think I could do better in trying to emulate Justin Bieber’s dancers. I can’t wait for my next dance show! Will keep you posted!