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Southwest Orange Wednesday, May 20, 2020 1 month ago

Quarantine flash mob brings the party to Keene's Pointe

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For one afternoon, Keene’s Pointe was a scene of dance and celebration as resident Julie Sadlier organized a quarantine flash mob.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

Keene’s Pointe is normally a quiet neighborhood, where often, the only sounds heard are trees rustling in the breeze or the shoes of joggers hitting the pavement.

But this day is a little different.

It’s Sunday, May 3, and the sounds of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” blasts from a speaker in the back of Julie Sadlier’s golf cart, as she and Sage Croft ride around with a specific mission: Get people dancing and put together a light-hearted quarantine flash mob video.

Just about every driveway they passed saw families put on their best moves, while Croft jumped in and out of the golf cart to video them. Even folks who were just out and about wanted in on the fun.

 

“Everyone wanted to participate as soon as we said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this,’” Sadlier said. “I think it was a sense of community — coming together for something fun. We’re all out, and you can’t really hang out, but it was a way to pull everyone together, and I think everyone wanted to be a part of that.” 

During a time when everyone has been stuck inside because of the coronavirus pandemic, anything to bring the community together in a safe way is more than welcome, said Jennifer Tinn, whose family lives in Keene’s Pointe and participated in the flash mob.

After being given a notice of what was going down, the Tinn family went into it without a single plan in place of what kind of dance moves they wanted to show off, Tinn said.

“It required no preparation — especially with a JT song, you can’t help but to move,” Tinn said. “I think as all the families went around the park we kind of shared, ‘Oh, here’s what I want to do,’ so that we would not look like we were all doing the same thing.”

 

LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE

About a month ago, Sadlier came across a video challenge online from a neighborhood in Utah. Then, during a conversation with some friends where ideas for community events were discussed, the reality of a flash mob hit.

“It was like, ‘We’re missing our dancing, should we try to do a Zoom dance party?” Sadlier said. “And then I said, ‘That’s it! Why don’t we just get in our driveways and coordinate and try and do a video?’ We have a huge neighborhood; we could definitely do it.”

Sadlier then got in touch with Croft, whose passion and talent for video are well known throughout the community. It’s also why he will be going to film school at Chapman University in California in the fall — one of the top film schools in the country.

“Dancing is a universal art form — people have been doing it since the beginning of time,” Croft said. “(People) have always done it to celebrate and to mourn, and we felt like it was kind of a good way to get everyone involved to express themselves in a positive manner during this really, very strange time.”

With Sadlier’s plan in place, an announcement was sent out to the community so they had some time to get ready. Then, the fun happened.

“Everyone wanted to participate as soon as we said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this.’ I think it was a sense of community — coming together for something fun.”

— Julie Sadlier

Originally, Sadlier and Croft only expected to be out for about 30 minutes. Instead, by the time they were done, about two to three hours had passed by as the two went from one end of the neighborhood to the other.

“As we were shooting, families were texting other families and moms were texting moms about what they were doing, and people were getting excited and kept asking us to drive all over the neighborhood to come by their house so their kids and family could dance together,” Croft said. “It just kept growing and growing, because people were just so excited for the opportunity to get together and dance and have fun.”

When all was said and done, Sadlier and Croft had seen 25 families get involved with the flash mob. All that was left was to edit the video and put it online.

After spending three to four hours editing, Croft pushed the video out only a few days after they recorded it. The final product ended up being better than either initially anticipated.

“My expectation of this was quite different than the end product,” Croft said. “Coming in as a director who expects order and planning and logistics, I expected this to go so horribly wrong, but I promised myself that I was going to have fun no matter what happened. I couldn’t have imagined how great it was going to come out.”

Despite the video having been out for weeks now, Sadlier said she still hears a lot of positive feedback from members in the community. It’s hearing those positive words that help make this fun little video more than worth the time put into it, she said.

“I’m still getting likes and comments, and I posted it two weeks ago,” Sadlier said. “I think it was a good way to demonstrate community coming together … it was a way to just take some time and come together when you can’t really be together.”

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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