simultaneously around the world

KQED Worldwide Flash Mob


Dancers: Your Chance to Join a Worldwide Flash Mob Has Arrived

photo: Weidong Yang

photo: Weidong Yang



When the clock strikes noon today, stop what you’re doing and bust a move. You won’t be alone; dance lovers will be participating in dance anywhere, a “simultaneous worldwide public art performance” in which dancers around the globe — professional and amateur — drop everything and shake their stuff.

San Francisco artist and dancer Beth Fein organized the first dance anywhere event back in 2005 to demonstrate her theory that practicing one’s dance moves is just as much of an art form as a formal performance. In the ensuing decade, Fein has amended her goals to include building a community around the event as well as getting everybody comfortable with the notion of cutting a rug whenever you want.

To quote ’80s band Men Without Hats, “You can dance if you want to.” But if you’d rather not, there are several events planned for those who prefer to watch and appreciate.

Here in the Bay Area, the types of performances scheduled for today range from choreographed flash mobs to improvised solo pieces. Some will be accompanied with live music, others will be propelled by the soundtracks in the heads of the performers. But one thing is consistent: all the events are free.

The most notable trait of dance anywhere is the wide range of skill sets amongst the performers. Take for example this year, where on one end of the spectrum you have artists such as Bay Area legend Anna Halprin, founder of the influential San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop back in 1955 and choreographer of 150 full-length pieces, performing at the Woodlands Market in Kentfield.

And then there is a group of doulas-in-training at San Francisco General Hospital, who have put out a call for “anyone who wants to join us” to take part in the fun.

A Map of Selected Dance Anywhere Events

Below is a selective map of Friday’s performances of note, curated in part with Fein. Click on the music notes to learn more about the events and to see where else you can join in the fun.


Bay Area Dance Anywhere Events

On Friday, March 28 at noon, artists all across the Bay Area will be spontaneously breaking out in dance as part of Dance Anywhere, a worldwide event promoting such forms of expression. With help from Dance Anywhere’s organizer Beth Fein, KQED has created this map showing where Bay Area residents can see dance performances for free this Friday. Click on the music notes to learn where these performances are happening and more about the artists involved.
Bay Area Dance Anywhere Events
Dancing Doulas at San Francisco General Hospital 

Doula trainees and “anyone else who wants to join us” will be dancing near the H
Anne Bluethenthal at the San Francisco Public Library

Anne Bluethenthal and dancers will be performing two pieces at the main branch o
Deborah Slater Dance Theater at the SFJAZZ Center

Four artists from the Deborah Slater Dance Theater will be performing both insid
Belly Dance artist Rawiyah performs at Lincoln Park

The Belly Dance artists Rawiyah will be performing at Los Altos’ Lincoln Park, “
Nhan Ho Project at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

The Nhan Ho Project will be performing in front of San Jose State’s Dr. Martin L
Blind Tiger Society at Yerba Buena Gardens

The Blind Tiger Society will be performing for an estimated 25 minutes in Jesse
Tanya Chianese performs at Yerba Buena Gardens

Tanya Chianese will be performing near the fountain by the esplanade while being
Beth Fein at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)

Beth Fein, director of Dance Anywhere, will be performing near the Mission St g
Antoine Hunter performs at FuseBox

Antoine Hunter, founder of the Oakland-based Urban Jazz Dance Company, will be p
Epiphany Productions in the alley on Mary St.

Kim Epifano and her company Epiphany Productions will be bringing their form of
Anna Halprin at Woodlands Market

Bay Area dance legend Anna Halprin will be giving a free performance outside of
Dance Generators at USF’s Studio Theater

Several members of the University of San Francisco’s intergenerational dance com