the birth of a flashmob—my edge of glory

My time at BlogHer ’11 was everything I had hoped and more. It was a magical weekend for a multitude of reasons, but I am beyond exhausted from all the festivities, so I will share them later this week.

There is, however, one highlight I am bursting to write about.

First, some back story.

A few months ago, while driving home from the hip hop dance class I take with some local bloggers, including Theresa from Rock on Mommies, I was crazy hyper with energy and excitement. That class brings me so much joy and I remember thinking, “I wish I could feel this way all the time. How can I bring more dance into my life and to others?”

In an instant, the word flashmob popped into my head. I called Theresa, on my wireless headset of course, and it didn’t take much convincing.

“Let’s do it,” she said.

I vividly remember that conversation as I could feel the implantation of something incredible taking place. We discussed many options of how, when, and where it could possibly happen, and then ultimately came up with the idea to do it at BlogHer.

A series of serendipitous events led to me getting in touch with the BlogHer planning team which gave it the validity it needed to set it in motion; we began putting the word out to our virtual friends, got connected to another group of gals who were wanting to do a flashmob, and it snowballed from there.

We dubbed our covert mission #OperationGlory, kept in touch via a private facebook page, spent countless hours recruiting people via Twitter and Facebook, and ran virtual rehearsals on UStream. There were constant moments of highs and lows for me, and as with anything this big, there were some days I wanted to pull the plug. In fact, Theresa and I had ourselves convinced that only five people would stand up on the actual day, but ultimately we knew that even if it was just the two of us, at least we were doing what we set out to do.

A month later, #OperationGlory was born at 12:15 pm in the lunch area of the BlogHer ’11 conference. Though it is all a bit of a blur, it went something like this:

I looked T in the eye and asked her if she was ready.

She smiled and confirmed.

I texted the A/V tech. “Ready. Loud.”

The music started.

I lost all feeling in my legs from nerves.

The entire pavilion filled with explosive positive energy. People gathered around, began hooting and hollering, and immediately pulled out their flip cams.

All I could do was smile and just pray that my body would remember the steps without my brain because euphoria had taken over. Smiles everywhere. Love in the form of camaraderie and team spirit.

Three minutes later, I crossed off an item on my bucket list.

As with any birth, there were tears of joy, all around the room, from dancers and spectators alike. All of us MobHers, then piled into one big huddle of love, hugging and happy-tearing. It was one of the most joyous moments of my life.

Those three short minutes proved the power of music, dance, teamwork and courage. It takes a lot of hutzpah to get up in the middle of a GIGANTIC pavilion filled with thousands of your peers to do a dance like that, and ALL of the women who participated felt the same rush of joy and adrenaline, just like I did.

We will all share that bond, forever.

Big thanks go to Lori & Elisa for granting us permission to follow through on our scheme, Erin for connecting me with them, and Annie for connecting so well with me when we found out that there were two flashmobs in the works.

Also, I need to thank Jen of Not Just Another Jen, as she was my angel, helping me “make shit happen” on the days and hours leading up to the event.

I give big, huge, gigantic props and much love to every single woman who participated in this dance. As I said above, it can be intimidating and terrifying to do what we just did. Thank you for taking a risk with us!

And lastly, I want to thank Theresa, for her hot dance moves, her bravery, and most of all, her friendship. You’re my girl, T.

More BlogHer recaps to follow. Until then, enjoy this video of #OperationGlory.

 

 

If you happen to be inspired by this flashmob business, Theresa and I are already at work on planning the next one at a wicked awesome place in SoCal, so shoot me an email.

*******

A multitude of thanks go to Silver Dolphin for sponsoring my ticket to BlogHer ’11. Inadvertently, they helped make this happen!
[pinit]

78 Comments

  1. 1

    So proud of you guys and so lovely to finally meet you all in person. <3

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Susan! So great to meet you and thank for making the connection with Erin! You helped propel the whole thing! xo

  2. 2
    Beth says:

    This made me cry !

  3. 3
    Tonya says:

    So proud of you and all involved! In was amazing to watch and brings tears to my eyes again seeing this video.

    Bravo, lady!!

  4. 4
    Katie says:

    UHmmmmm. WOW! I’ve been following all these tweeters at BlogHer all weekend and wishing I wasn’t an Antipodean and feeling all inspired to make sure I get my Blogging bum into gear (and out of Mummy blur) so that I can put forward a good case to hubby for a Blogher in the near future! This just gave me that extra little burst!

    You strutting out into the middle of that huge room with a huge smile on your face made me cry!! I could feel the electricity (and dare I say it) girl power!! YEAH!!!

    • Mary says:

      BlogHer NYC will be the place to be next summer, that is for sure. And, I wish that was me with the long hair who started dancing in the middle, but that was my partner Theresa. Total girl power!

  5. 5

    […] after watching a fantastic flashmob that went down I suddenly decided that I needed to stand up (or perhaps sit down, as it might more […]

  6. 6
    Tracy says:

    Mur, that was awesome… so glad I was able to see the video! I can see how emotional that would be, I am a bit verklempt myself! Congratulations, my brave and talented friend! I have one word for you… SUPERSTARRRRRRRRR!! xoxo

  7. 7

    Did I seriously just have a tear in my eye while watching this?….LAME. Not you Mary. Me. That was so freakin’ cool. Now back to my regularly scheduled boring life. YGG!

  8. 8

    This recap will be my first “blogher11″ post too. OMG it was the highlight of my entire weekend. I still get chills whenever I hear that song! Thank you Mary for all your hard work behind the scenes. You helped make my dream come true and made blogher Fan-Freaking-Tastic!!!

  9. 9
    Jamie says:

    All sorts of awesome! I am really kicking myself for not ditching work on Friday so I could be there! Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this was just some silly dance routine…it’s so much more and it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people for a long time to come. And I’ll be e-mailing you about the next one!

  10. 10
    theresa says:

    OK, I’m sobbing.

  11. 11

    I missed it! So glad to see it recreated here! So fun!

  12. 12
    Mary says:

    I was there for it and it was awesome!! I’ve heard that song a couple of times since and it makes me smile!

  13. 13
    gigi says:

    YAAYYY!!!!

    My first chance to get to watch it all happen!! You guys did an AMAZING job! I’m so bummed I didn’t get to take part due to schedule conflicts.

    Bravo, Mary!!! It was so fabulous to meet you and so glad that we’ll get to connect more in a few weeks :) xoxoxo

  14. 14
    Jen says:

    Being apart of this was amazing. It is something that I will never forget. Behind, the birth of my children and me wedding this was the best time of my life.

    I got goose bumps reading this… just awesome.

    And that first picture of you, says it all. Your joy there is profound.

    Love you, so so much.

  15. 15
    Jennifer says:

    I will never be able to hear that song again without being taken back to that moment. You guys did a great job of keeping #BlogHer11 with us for a long time.

  16. 16
    Janice @ Nosupermama says:

    That was excellent! Gave me goosebumps and put a smile on my face :) Bravo and encore!

  17. 17
    Kathleen says:

    I love this photo of you! Just love it. What wonderful emotion captured. I can still hear the song, ever so faintly playing in the back ground of my mind and am humming along. Until next time.
    Smooches. – K

  18. 18

    It WAS weirdly inspirational, wasn’t it? It was so awesome to be included in this and so incredible to see a bunch of virtual strangers coming together to pull this off. What a rush!

  19. 19

    This brought tears to my eyes! I only wish I could have been there in person!

  20. 20
    April says:

    You. Kick. Ass.
    Seriously, I watched it chills on my arms and tears just pouring! That was totally awesome! I have always wanted to be able to be a part of something like that, to have the coordination to do it. But I took a Jazzercise class and well, we won’t even talk about it.
    Sooooo happy for you !!! What an AWESOME thing to get to do. And what a great song!!!!

  21. 21

    It was so much fun being in the flash mob THANK YOU for creating it!! I’ll be in touch about the SoCal one, Maddie wants to do it too.

  22. 22
    Kameron says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you guys did that! I am even more disappointed that I wasn’t there and couldn’t do it! If you go to BlogHer next year (I already bought my ticket) and plan to do another one, I SOOOO want in!

  23. 23

    […] This post was Twitted by OstephaniaO […]

  24. 24
    Sarah Maizes says:

    LOVED reading this and LINKED it up to MY story on MommyLiteOnline.com! :)))))

  25. 25

    I was there for it and it was seriously one of the best few minutes of BlogHer. So totally awesome. (Did you know the whole floor shook, though? Freaky!!)

    This is now on my life list. Have to do one – it’s just too amazing.

  26. 26

    So amazing to watch.
    I felt the power.
    Love that pic and what you accomplished!

    XOXO

  27. 27

    baby girl, you guys were AMAZEBALLS. I am so glad I could be a small part of it. Love you to pieces and I can’t wait to see you again – SOON! xo

  28. 28

    Being a part of this was so amazing!!! I am SO GLAD that I did it!!

    I LOVE that picture of you….that is exactly how I picture you. I miss you so much already and can’t wait to see you and hang out with you again.

    Love you so my dear!
    xoxoxo

  29. 29

    Being a part of this was a true life and BlogHer highlight. Thank you for being so amazing and lovely.

    I love you in a totally normal, non-stalkerish way. Promise.
    xoxo

  30. 30
    SurferWife says:

    Quit making me cry already, Mary!

    Instead, sign me up for the next one.

    #ProfessionalMobHers

  31. 31
    Marta says:

    That looked so amazing. I would love to be a part of an experience like that.

  32. 32

    Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in this extraordinary experience. I will join you girls anytime to shake our thangs together. Happy to have been of help. Thanks for the tears, joy and laughter. My heart is full. BIG HUGS of congratulations. WHAT A SUCCESS!!!

  33. 33

    So awesome! It brought tears to my eyes too. You go girls!

  34. 34
    Frelle says:

    It was amazing and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it with you! *HUG*

  35. 35
    Elaine says:

    That flash mob was so awesome!! I loved watching your girls and I was smiling the WHOLE time. Great job! Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at the conference. Maybe next time! :)

  36. 36
    Lori says:

    Amazing! Crying with a big dumb smile on my face the entire time. Totally inspired by you guys.

  37. 37

    I loved it SO much. The highlight of my day.
    It was my first live flashmob and I definitely want to take part in one ASAP!

  38. 38
    Chelsea says:

    I will forever be grateful to you for including me! XOXO

  39. 39
    Azlb says:

    Love love love that is all

  40. 40

    You tell that husband of yours that he freakin’ rocks. Mostly I thank you and Theresa for making it happen.

  41. 41
    Jill K says:

    This was seriously my favorite part of BlogHer this year. Thank you for letting me be a part of it! Now I want to plan a flashmob for a place in Utah. I’m thinking Halloween time and…you know…some MJ.

  42. 42
    Ellen-TCMom says:

    That is so awesome you did this wish I had been there to see it I left just before to make a meeting :( so glad you got video to share you guys looked awesome!

  43. 43
    cathy says:

    Thank you for the most empowering moment of my life dancing with such incredible women! Really the highlight of BlogHer for me!

  44. 44
    Lisa says:

    And I’m crying again. Mary and Theresa, I think you knew it would be fun and memorable, but did you know then that it would bond so many women? It will be my first post too, when I get a chance. I’ve started one but being emotional about it and exhausted AND missed by my children makes it hard to write. Love you and what you did for so many of us.

  45. 45

    […] About a month or so ago, after a dance class that I take with a few of the local bloggers, Mary from Mama Mary Show called me… Well, you can read that part of the story over on  Mary’s site. […]

  46. 46
    Laura says:

    You girls did such a great job making it all happen!!!! I’m really glad I was able to pry myself out of my chair and participate, even if I had massive panic attacks! So much fun!

  47. 47
    Laura Frontiero says:

    I watched it on the internet a few hours after it happened and it brought me to tears! I know you worked so hard on this, congratulations!!

  48. 48
    T. says:

    You Ladies are fabulous!

  49. 49

    What a wonderful surprise that was! Thanks for the lunch time show!

    -Brittany

  50. 50

    […] Mob The first day of the conference, the Mama Mary show and Rock on Mommies staged a fabulous flash mob. I have only seen these on TV but they look like so […]

  51. 51

    Like I told Theresa tonight. Where have you been all my life? I have now watched the Bridesmaid tribute 3x. The last time with my DH. I just wanted him to get a glimpse of who I have a new girl crush on lately. When I showed him your Mama Drama video as a follow up. He gave me the nod of approval. “she’s good people”. Smooches Kat from in the OC

  52. 52

    I was so bummed I missed being a part of it, especially after learning the dance. But, I was so HAPPY I could do it with you ladies at Sparklecorn!! You guys did an awesome job organizing it all!!

  53. 53

    This is just sooooooooo cool. I was looking over the great highlights of Blogher and seriously this is it!

    I might be PMS’ing, but this brought tears to my eyes – so empowering that a group of women did their your own flashmob.

  54. 54

    […] of it (Search Blogher Flash Mob) but I am going to share the “official’” one from Mary of MamaMaryShow.  Mary organized the Flash Mob with Teresa of RockOnMommies! By the way Teresa was the […]

  55. 55
    mariana salerno says:

    I literally have tears in my eyes watching that, soooo amazing. These ladies have balls, so inspiring!!!
    Keep the coming!!

  56. 56
    Michelle says:

    So much fun! Being in a flash mob is something I definitely want to do someday. Great work getting this all put together.

  57. 57

    I am so sad I missed it. :( Watching the video was fantastic. So excited for you!

  58. 58
    Christina says:

    I just got the chills AGAIN.

  59. 59
    Eileen says:

    I loved witnessing this -you all did a GREAT job!

  60. 60
    Paula says:

    I was so upset when I found out there was a flashmob and I missed it! I want to be in one soooo badly. Keep me in mind for next year. I already have my ticket

  61. 61
    Mrs B says:

    Just found you through SITS and read this, and it’s given me goose bumps. Well done to you all – AWESOME!!! x

  62. 62
    Mel says:

    Ok, I totally missed this! That is awesome!!! If you do this again, I’m all in!:)

  63. 63
    Laura says:

    I would be SO excited to be included in the next one you do!!! I live in SoCal. I have watched this SEVERAL times and when I hear the song on the radio I get feel happy just thinking about the Flash Mob!! I love dancing & performing, though I haven’t done either since my wedding. A dancing Flash Mob is on my Bucket List.

    Thank you!!

    Laura

  64. 64
    Laura says:

    I realized when I said my last dance was my wedding that that probably sounded REALLY lame. Therefore, I thought I’d provide the link to our video so you can see it wasn’t your standard 1st dance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIdoNNWvLSI

    Laura (from the post above (#63)

    • Mary says:

      OMG you rocked it! And was that part of the USC marching band??? Holy Heck! 2001 was the year for weddings! That’s the year my husband and I got married too, just a few months earlier.

      • Laura says:

        Thanks!

        As you know from the BlogHer Flash Mob, it’s a lot of work, but SO worth it because it’s so much fun!!

        Congrats on your 10th anni! it WAS the year of the wedding – i know several couples celebrating their 10th this year also!!

  65. 65

    […] not overly emotional like you would think, but just that it is SO cool!  Fellow San Diego Blogger Mary Burt-Goodwin along with her friend Theresa coordinated and pulled this off without anyone knowing!  I have to […]

  66. 66

    […] Mary from Mama Mary Show called me… Well, you can read that part of the story over on  Mary’s site.When I first mentioned to my husband that I was not only planning on performing a flashmob at […]

  67. 67

    i just wanted to give you a big virtual big thank you hug. it was so amazing to be there and watch this, i felt this experience bonded all of us there at lunch that day, dancers and watchers. you guys did awesome :)

    my daughter and i had just sat down to eat when she told me FLASH MOB and we stood on our chairs to see!

  68. 68

    […] kindred spirits and members of the Dead Dads Club. That and the fact that I can’t listen to Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory without thinking of […]

  69. 69

    […] of it (Search Blogher Flash Mob) but I am going to share the “official’” one from Mary of MamaMaryShow.  Mary organized the Flash Mob with Teresa of RockOnMommies! By the way Teresa was the […]

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