Denver Flash Mob Offers Organized Chaos

Latest Trend Spurred by Internet

Denver Flash Mob
••• A flash mob performs the "Time Warp" dance in front of Coors Field on Saturday. Photo © Nina Snyder, licensed to About.com

DENVER -- Up to 80 people gathered outside Coors Field on Saturday and showed off some dance moves to "Time Warp" from the soundtrack to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Clad in Colorado Rockies T-shirts, the participants blended in with the crowd until bursting into a seemingly spontaneous dance.

The dancers were not moved to exuberance by the upcoming baseball game, but were instead part of an organized "flash mob." The organizers of the event disseminated instructions and dance videos beforehand, and participants gathered covertly before the event at Union Station as part of a group called Denver Flash Mob.

According to the group's website, the term "flash mob" was coined in 2003 and refers to "a group of people who organize on the Internet and then quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse."

Denver Flash Mob co-founder Eric Rosenberg, 26, said flash mobs are "an interesting cultural phenomena that started in New York... They are fun for the sake of fun. A lot of people get caught up in their busy lives and forget to have fun."

Rosenberg joined forces with co-founder Rick Gold in 2010, and the duo's first flash mob was a dance at Cherry Creek Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Since then, the flash mob team has expanded to include Andrew Corliss, who serves as the marketing and communications coordinator for the organization.

"It's a great way to keep people active, get out of the house and have some fun," said Corliss, 22, who also said his family wasn't quite sure about his career path.

"My mom doesn't think this is a real job yet."

Information on the flash mobs is spread by word-of-mouth and a website, as well as social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Video clips of the flash mobs are also posted on YouTube afterwards for participants to enjoy their surreptitious fame.

The Internet helped two flash mob participants join the fray for the "Time Warp" flash mob.

Arvada realtor Kendra Lanterman, 28, said she had always wanted to do a flash mob. "I just Googled it because it was on my bucket list," said Lanterman. "I thought it would be super fun."

Lanterman was joined by her friend, Carolyn Romako, 25, who took time out from her studies at the Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder to join the flash mob. Romako said practicing the "Time Warp" dance was not too difficult. "I did about half an hour today, but I've been going to Rocky Horror for the past 10 years, so I know it pretty well," Romako said.

Denver Flash Mob is also seeking corporate sponsors, but Rosenberg said he does not want to lose the free-spirited "mentality of people doing flash mobs." Red Star World Wear sponsored a flash mob this year, and handed out free pairs of sunglasses to the participants. "Everyone who participated got sunglasses, so everyone involved got a benefit," Rosenberg said.

For more information on Denver Flash Mob, visit their website, follow them on Twitter @DenverFlashMobb, or like their Facebook page.

 Nina Snyder is the author of "Good Day, Broncos," a children's e-book, and "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book. Visit her website at ninasnyder.com.