Homecoming to kick off with Young Ambassadors’ flash mob

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Tanner DeWaal, president of the Young Ambassadors, leads a dance rehearsal in the Richards Building. Group members and other participants are preparing for the club’s flash mob. (Ari Davis)

The BYU Young Ambassadors plan to kick off Homecoming Week with a bang as they perform a dance flash mob at The Shops at Riverwoods on Friday, Oct. 10.

The flash mob, which BYU Alumni Association specifically requested the Young Ambassadors perform, will be a choreographed rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

“That’s obviously a song that pretty much everyone knows, no matter where you go. We sang that song in China, and that was one of the songs in the show that the Chinese people freaked out over. We wanted to do something that everyone would be excited about,” said Tanner DeWaal, current president of BYU Young Ambassadors.

The club welcomes anyone who wants to participate in the dance flash mob. The occasion calls for vibrantly dressed dancers and supposed unsuspecting bystanders, both of which are equally important to the event’s success. “If they want to dance, we are hoping that they are able to remember some basic steps,” DeWaal said.

Open rehearsals for the flash mob dance will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 12 to 1 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m. Organizers encourage all participants to wear comfortable clothes they can dance in.

The flash mob video will serve as a tribute to two key events happening this year: The Harris Fine Arts Center’s 50th anniversary and the Young Ambassadors’ 45th anniversary.

The name ‘Young Ambassadors’ may lead some to think that it is a club for political science students, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This musical theater group uses song and dance to perform its international diplomacy. The group has shows all over the world, from right here in Provo, to far-flung performances in China and Thailand.

Monica Hawkes, a current Young Ambassadors member, discussed why she decided to join. “It gives me a chance to serve a ‘second mission,’ in a way. Not only do I get to do what I love with music, but I get to reach out and let people know about the gospel through music. Not many things penetrate to the heart like the way music does,” she said.

DeWaal explained the group provides much more than shows. As a part of their service-oriented mission, Young Ambassadors holds workshops for high school and middle school students, teaching singing and dancing techniques and even holding stake firesides. Performance and fireside schedules are available on the BYU Young Ambassadors’ Facebook page.

“The performance is not for us; it’s not about putting ourselves on a pedestal or showing off,” DeWaal said. “It’s about the people in the audience and bringing a story and a message to them that can inspire them to change.”

 

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