Long before being a Gleek was (kind of) cool
…and even longer before that term was lovingly coined, John Jacobson was moving and shaking up music education.
If you grew up as a music student in American public schools or if you’ve ever danced atop a metal riser in a show choir (or glee club), you’ve probably performed John Jacobson’s music and dances.
He is known throughout the world for his genuine enthusiasm for music and movement. His efforts to share these passions with young people go beyond composing music and making instructional choreography videos. For years, John has been improving the lives of children through his obesity-fighting fitness program, positive message, philanthropic service, and by inspiring youth to discover joy in all of the above.
John has plenty of experience in “mob” choreography both large and ginormous.
In a treat for Ellen DeGeneres on her birthday, he got her whole staff, producers, and crew to break out in a fun, wholesome, choreographed dance that even had Ellen grooving from the sidelines.
He brings the same “Double Dream Hands” flare annually to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when an enormous crowd of young America Sings! vocalists perform and represent the organization he founded.
Is it any wonder, then, that John would embrace the ever-popular flash mob, encouraging individuals of all ages (YOU!) to get involved in this fun and spontaneous form of exercise?
Don’t worry, if you’re feeling a bit intimidated by the whole flash mob process, borrow some of John’s tips below:
Pick appropriate music
– best if its royalty free, or you can get the rights for your video.
Make your choreography large
– so, when done in a big group looks exciting and fun! The best thing about big group choreography is that even a small move can look great when performed by a lot of people. Find the balance between making it challenging enough not to be boring for your more experienced dancers and not too hard to frustrate your novices.
Create your teaching video
– make it sound fun, explain the moves in detail but not so slow it drives you and everyone crazy. They can always slow it down or go back and look at it again. I know it’s goofy, but record your choreographer from behind (not his or her behind) but from a reverse angle so the dancer’s don’t have to mirror them.
Use the space to your advantage
– use everything around you for spacing and blocking, for instance stair cases, balconies, and so on. Just make sure whoseever property it is gives you the go ahead in advance.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse and have fun doing so.
It’s dance ….not life or death!
John Jacobson, a YouTube Sensation with millions of views under his belt, is on a mission to make dancing accessible to everyone (not everyone is the Zumba type!)
With a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, John has written and composed many musicals and choral works that have been performed by millions of children worldwide, as well as countless educational videos that have been incorporated into music teaching curriculums.
Learn more about John at www.johnjacobson.com.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.