11,967 Line Dancers in Singapore
Set New Guinness World Record
|by Bill Bader|
|UPDATE Feb. 20, 2003. It's OFFICIAL. A letter from Guinness World Records has just been received by the head of NTUC Income Cooperative in Singapore, the main sponsor of the world record attempt. Guinness now recognizes the Singapore event as the world's largest group participation of country line dancing.|
The line dancers of Singapore showed up en force on May 1,
2002 at the huge Expo Center, and with this choreographer leading the crowd
from the stage. It was an awesome sight. That word "awesome" is
overused nowadays, but it could not be more appropriate here. Imagine 6
or maybe 8 football fields worth of dancers quite closely packed. There were
sections with school kids who learned to line dance in their P.E. classes.
And many seniors were present. Just about every instructor brought almost
all their students. Now imagine looking out on that crowd and counting a
dance that you choreographed. The dance they chose to use was
Swing (linked here as a script and below as a video). In Tamworth I
could not see everyone when we set the record. Here I could see all
12,000 to 15,000 dancers moving together to the music and with the huge video
screens alternating between those of us on the stage and those thousands on the
main floor. Now imagine line dancing being front page news in your
country... The following morning, on the front page of Singapore's major
newspaper, the Singapore Straits Times, we were given a big photo spread
and very nice article -- except I am not British just because I live in British
The Guinness World Record of
the World's Largest Line Dance official number was 11,967. Ticket sales, however,
showed that there were actually 15,000 dancers in the building. Not all
the dancers knew the auditors did their count PRIOR to the announced time of the
event, so they were eating or chatting elsewhere, etc. (Imagine how hard it is to keep 15,000 people in place for 30 minutes - ain't gonna happen!) But whatever the official numbers
were, it was certainly successful as a fundraiser for charity... at $2 a head, a
whopping $30,000 was raised for the Heart Fund!
I am so honoured that my dance
Swing was chosen for this event, especially after the Australians were kind
enough to use my
Scootin' Boogie for their string of records and Doris Volz recently
reminded me that Cowgirls Twist
was used to set the record prior to that. I am a thrice-blessed man! The record
prior to Singapore's was in the mid-6,000 range, set in Tamworth, Australia.
This is the first time in 5 years that any group has managed to better the
amazing Aussies who broke their own record year after year.
As part of
the full day's line dance entertainment which included the genuinely BRITISH
band The Glenn Miller Experience, I had a one hour workshop where I taught two
of my dances: Little
Squirt for the many beginners who bravely stayed around for a while, and
then I asked "Do you want another easy dance, or do you want me to teach
something more challenging?" Thousands of responses of "More Challenging!"
prompted me to teach my latest dance,
Possibly 6,000 (maybe 8,000?) dancers mastered both dances in only an hour!
That says so much about the progress of line dancing around the world!
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PHOTOS OF THE EVENT
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