UMaine-Machias Flash Mob Entertains Prospective Students
MACHIAS, Maine – Prospective students visiting the University of Maine at Machias on Friday were surprised when a seemingly normal campus barbecue turned into a flash mob staged just for them. Forty-five prospective students, along with their families, were on campus for the second of UMM’s Spring Preview Days.
More than 50 students, faculty, and staff, including UMM President Cynthia Huggins and Cappy the mascot, participated in the choreographed routine.
“This was the first time something like this has been done on campus,” said Jesse Blackburn, a third-year psychology and community studies major who helped organize the flash mob. “We were able to bring people together from all different backgrounds to take part in this. It was a lot of fun.”
At 12:15 p.m., as the UMM Ukulele Club performed and Dining Services served hamburgers on the mall, music erupted from the sound system and a group of students began a choreographed dance to Eiffel 65’s “Blue.” Over the next four and a half minutes, dozens of students, faculty, and staff joined in as a medley of hits played on.
During the routine, President Huggins flipped through large signs that offered quick facts about the University, including its 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, average class size of 17 students, and the fact that UMM is the first university in the U.S. to see the sun rise. That touch was inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” music video, in which he flips through cue cards with the song’s lyrics written on them.
“The flash mob helped convey the close-knit and friendly atmosphere at UMM,” said Michael Mattison, dean of enrollment management. “I definitely think prospective students and their parents left with a better sense of who we are.”
Students Katie Barvenik, Courtney Ross, and Dominique Croft joined Blackburn in recruiting dancers and choreographing the routine. Groups of dancers practiced throughout the week leading up to the event.
A full-length video of the flash mob, featuring six camera angles, has been posted on the UMM YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/UMaineMachiasPR.