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Zombie Flash Mobs Ready to Rise Up in Santa Ynez Valley

Learn Thriller Dance at Gates of Neverland on Oct. 15

Genevieve Feiner and fellow World Dance for Humanity members perform Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Genevieve Feiner and fellow World Dance for Humanity members perform Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller in the Santa Ynez Valley. (World Dance for Humanity)

Santa Ynez Valley residents, it’s time to unleash your inner zombie — or enjoy the spooky spectacle from the sidelines — as World Dance for Humanity brings its annual Thriller performance to the Valley, Oct. 29 and 31.

The public is invited to learn the dance at a free practice, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the gates of Neverland, 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road. No dance experience is needed and all ages are welcome to join in. The World Dancers will guide participants through a simplified version of the Thriller routine.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, starting at noon, Thriller will be performed in the Santa Ynez Valley's town squares and wineries, culminating in a Michael Jackson tribute at the most magical of all venues — the gates of Neverland at 4 p.m.

Following that will be a funk soul-dance party and Thriller performance to live music at Cold Spring Tavern, 5995 Stagecoach Road, at 5:30 p.m.

This year, the dancing zombies will also take Thriller to the Solvang Haunted House and Street Fair on Halloween, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

Dancers and spectators are all invited to come to main Thriller event, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, when hundreds of dancers will perform Thriller at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens as part of the worldwide event, Thrill the World.

World Dance for Humanity’s production of Thriller has a purpose beyond a spooktacular community dance party. All donations generated from the event support children’s education, here at home and halfway around the world.

This year, the group is raising funds to send 150 Rwandan children to school, and provide scholarships for children at 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.

For practice times and the flash mob schedule, visit

— Janet Reineck for World Dance for Humanity.

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