Have you ever wanted to learn the Thriller dance from Michael Jackson’s iconic and so-creepy-it-gave-me-nightmares-as-a-kid music video? Do you love Halloween and dressing up? What about community events and charity fundraisers? Do you like those? How about setting world records? If you’re interested in any of these things, it might be time for you to Thrill the World.
What Is It?
Thrill the World is an international dance event fundraiser and it is maybe the most fun ever. Every year participants learn a standardized version of the Thriller dance, dress up as zombies, and perform the dance simultaneously in hundreds of groups all over the world.
Each group chooses a charity to raise money for and every year we try to break the world record for Largest Simultaneous Dance with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
How We Got Started
I first learned about the dance while lying face down on a chiropractic table. My doctor was telling me about what she’d done that weekend. When I heard she’d preformed Thriller with her book club and about 300 other people locally and thousands around the world, I wanted more information.
I’m a terrible dancer who has always dreamed of performing Thriller and she reassured me that most of the participants were not amazing dancers and that it would be easy to learn. I decided to give it a try… if my 12-year-old ballerina daughter would join me. And she did!
Who Should Do it?
When we went to our first practice, we were surprised by the wide range of ages, races, and ability levels. Of course, the range here will depend on your location and who is organizing the event. But, from what I’ve seen, many of the locations are very inclusive.
Our dancers range in age from 8-years-old (like my youngest daughter last year) to senior citizens of all ages. There are women and men, stay-at-home moms, computer engineers, and professional dancers.
If you love to dance, this event is for you.
How To Prepare
You can learn the dance online. There is a great series of YouTube tutorials that guide you through each section of the dance, at various speeds, and with spoken instructions. We used these our second year, when we already had a good feel for the dance.
Many areas have classes or group practice sessions. Search online for a group in your area and reach out to ask if the zombies get together pre-Thrill to practice and learn together. I find it MUCH easier to learn with an instructor and a group of new friends to encourage me.
Many of the groups have not registered on the official site yet, so if you don’t see your location listed, just keyword search “thrill the world” and “name of your city” on google.
For some people, the best part of Thrill the World is the ZOMBIE COSTUME! I’m not a huge fan of gore so I basically put up with the zombie stuff in order to dance Michael Jackson moves with my people. (I know! Total sacrilege!)
For costuming, your best resource is your local Good Will or Value Village. Finding used clothes and then roughing them up and coating them with dirt and fake blood is really all it takes.
It’s also fun to plan a theme with your friends. We’ve been Sleepy Pajama zombies, Princess Zombies, and most recently Old Taylor Swift Zombies – because she’s dead.
I’ve seen HAZMAT Zombies, Mermaid Zombies, Surfer Zombies, 80s Zombies, and pretty much any other theme you can think of.
Have fun and be creative!
We are longtime members of the Redmond Zombies and it’s a blast every year. Local businesses get involved, offering discounts for dancers and special themed meals and treats. Are you planning to Thrill the World this year? I’d love to hear about it!