Faculty Flash Mob Welcomes New Students
Victoria Bresnahan – News Editor
The faculty flash mob danced their way up to Hilton C. Buley library patio last week and surprised students at the New Student Barbeque with their choreographed routine.
For its’ second annual year, the flash mob consisted of over 30 faculty and staff members, as well as student workers. Choreographed by Angela Ruggerio, assistant director of Academic & Career Advising, and Dyan Robinson, assistant director of First Year Experience, dancers had been practicing since mid-July.
“We really want freshmen—they feel overwhelmed; it is their first time at college—to see that we are all here to help them, and we are approachable, we are fun,” said Ruggerio. “So [it’s] a sense of community and [to] show them what our community is all about.”
Flash mob participants—most of which have no prior dancing experience—were welcome to attend any of the 16 practices held throughout the summer. In addition, Ruggerio posted YouTube videos of the dance for faculty and staff to practice to on their own.
“We are really open and flexible because sometimes people don’t even make it to practices,” said Ruggerio. “But we try to have some idea, some structure.”
Ruggerio said Shabooya, the dance and song led by new student orientation ambassadors each year, inspired them to create their own dance routine. Coordinated moves is added to the choreograph to give it “excitement,” she said.
“It’s really for us—faculty and staff, all different unions because we have clerical, we’ve got faculty, we’ve got staff, we’ve got students,” said Ruggerio, “for once everyone to get together and collaborate and work on something together.”
Former jazz and tap dancer Bianca Flowers, Wellness center graduate intern, said being a part of the flash mob was a quick way to exercise and take a break from work. Flowers attended at least one practice every week and said she downloaded the dance music to “get the muscle memory going.”
“Being able to dance along with the people I work with on a day to day is like a really cool dynamic,” said Flowers, who also participated in the flash mob last year. “So it was kind of a no brainer for me.”
Flowers said new students begin to look past the blue name tag that some faculty and staff wear and view them as more relatable after watching them dance.
“They are like, ‘Oh my gosh I am happy to be a part of this community where faculty and staff do that,’” said Flowers.
Associate Bursar, Esteban Garcia, said since he works on the financial aspects of the university, he saw the flash mob as a way to meet staff from different offices and interact with students.
With no prior experience, Esteban said he has “two left feet” when it comes to dancing. Although, like Flowers, he had attended at least one practice a week.
“It’s definitely once you do it for the first time the nervousness goes away,” said Garcia.
Photo Credit: Victoria Bresnahan