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Global Thriller Consciousness

In the US, the holiday in honor of all things scary, Halloween, is Friday. Most people dress up in costumes and go to parties or take their children around the neighborhood trick or treating. But a Canadian woman named Ines Markeljevic organized a world-wide simultaneous performance of the zombie dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video that took place last Saturday.

Markeljevic’s goal was to have 200,000 people participate in Thrill the World. She may have over estimated a little–the final number was 4,177 people. But that was still enough to break the world record. Interestingly, the record was previously held by a prison in the Philippines which got 1,500 inmates to do the dance all at once. Crime rates within the prison plummeted as a result.

In an interview with the LA Times, Markeljevic jokes that the prison was feeling the “same global ‘Thriller’ consciousness.” It must have been an interesting feeling for the people involved to know that all over the world, other people were doing the same dance at the exact same time. And then they got to watch the videos later.

The idea that you can break a world record in 77 cities at once is a very cool use of the Internet and another global tool: pop culture. I love watching people all over the world interact daily on English, baby! but at present, it’s hard for them to dance together. But if doing the “Thriller” dance can bring peace to a prison, surely it can only do good for the world. And since this year the only non-English speaking country to Thrill the World was Germany, it seems a common language helps foster common moves, so we’ll continue to do our part.


The Cebu, Philippines, Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center does “Thriller.” How do you think they picked the guy to play the girl?

The Berlin chapter of Thrill the World dances last weekend. To see all the videos, click here.

Part Ines Markeljevic’s tutorial on the step.

The Cebu, Philippines, Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center doing Soulja Boy. Why don’t American prisons do this?

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One Response to “Global Thriller Consciousness”

  1. Papadakis Says:

    Great video ! Thank you. We are all one family!

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