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Dress Like a Zombie, Move Like Michael Jackson at Thrill the World Event

Learn 'Thriller' from World Dance for Humanity; practices start Sept. 23

Santa Barbara’s Thrill the World performance is at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 in Courthouse Sunken Garden.
Santa Barbara’s Thrill the World performance is at 3 p.m. Oct. 28 in Courthouse Sunken Garden. (World Dance for Humanity)

Prepare to unleash your inner zombie and rise up alongside hundreds of other undead dancers from Santa Barbara’s Courthouse Sunken Garden in the annual Thrill the World performance, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Hosted by World Dance for Humanity, Santa Barbara dancers will be performing simultaneously with groups all over the world as part of a global event.

Practices to learn a simplified version of Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” dance begin Sept. 23.

Practices will be held Saturdays, 10-10:45 a.m. and Tuesdays, 8:15-9 p.m. at Santa Barbara Dance Center, 127 W. Canon Perdido St. Also, Thursdays 6-7 p.m. at Alameda Park, corner of Garden and Micheltorena streets near Kids World playground.

No dance experience is needed, and all ages and abilities are welcome to participate.

This is the seventh year World Dance for Humanity is hosting the event, which will include flashmobs all over town leading up to Halloween.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, World Dance takes Thriller to the Santa Ynez Valley, with flashmobs in the town squares and wineries, culminating in a Michael Jackson tribute at the gates of Neverland, and a funk soul dance party at Cold Spring Tavern.

World Dance for Humanity requests a $40 donation to cover all practice sessions, participation in the Sunken Garden main event and the flashmobs. Kids participate for free.

For World Dance, the production of Thriller has a purpose beyond a thrilling community dance party. All funds raised from the event help people in need.

This year’s goal is to raise $35,000 for the group’s Rwanda Education Fund to help make it possible for 150 young people from impoverished families throughout Rwanda to attend school. Those children otherwise would have no chance to get an education.

Also, a portion of the funds will provide membership scholarships for the Westside Boys and Girls Club, so some of the most disadvantaged children in Santa Barbara can take part in the after-school program where World Dancers volunteer.

Prospective Thriller dancers can help by getting sponsored to dance by friends and family. Every penny raised will go to World Dance’s beneficiaries, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Sponsors can give cash or a check (made out to WD4H), which can be brought to dance practice or to the Sunken Garden on Oct. 28. Donations also can be made through PayPal.

Businesses and community groups are invited to be Thriller event sponsors and enjoy six weeks of community-wide visibility through Thriller outreach, and a spotlight at the Sunken Garden. Sponsor levels include:

Ghoul - $100 (for a shout-out at the courthouse and acknowledgement on WD4H website).

Vampire - $250 (the above plus sponsor’s logo in all Thriller fliers and publicity).

Werewolf -$500 (the above plus sponsor’s logo on sponsor banner at Sunken Garden).

Zombie - $1,000 (the above plus sponsor’s own information booth at Sunken Garden).

All event sponsors also receive special seating at the Sunken Garden and a Thriller flashmob for their Halloween event.

To learn more or to become a sponsor, visit http://worlddanceforhumanity.org/thriller-2017/.

World Dance for Humanity is a 501(c)3 nonprofit; donations are tax-deductible.

— Janet Reineck for World Dance for Humanity.


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