Alternate title:  I May Have Created a Monster

Part of my job requires the planning and hosting of a yearly convention/conference.  Each year, the production value of the conference - especially the opening session and awards ceremony - goes up and we somehow manage to do it with the same or less money by getting musicians and artists to donate their time and performances.  This year, a member of the Board came up with this idea to have a flash mob at the conference.  We kind of laughed it off but this was really something the Conference Chair wanted so we eventually acquiesced.  We already had a performing group on the hook to write a song so maybe they could be involved, we thought.  Then somewhere in the planning stages it went something like this via conference call one day:

Co-worker #1: "Meh. I've seen that flash-mob-thing so many times and it never works.  I'd really recommend that you scrap that idea."

Co-worker #3:  "Well, this Board member really wants this to happen."

Co-worker #1:  "Honestly, I'd recommend against. I've seen it tried dozens of times.  No one ever participates and it always falls flat."

Co-worker #2: "Yeah, but this is a room full of musicians.  You can always count on them to join in."

Co-worker #1: "Well, could it be more of a performance and then we somehow let people know they can participate?  That'd be safer."

Co-worker #3: "What we really need is to have a couple of people run up on stage from the audience and start dancing.  Then some people in the audience would start doing the moves too."

Co-worker #4: "It'd be cute if there was a kid doing it too."

Co-worker #2: "Hey. Alice's family sometimes comes to the conference, maybe her older daughter could run up on-stage and lead the room in the choreography."

Me:  *looking up from doodling monsters with dozens of eyes on a notepad* "Huhwhat?"

Co-worker #1:  "But can we count on a little kid not to get stage fright and freeze up there?"

Co-workers #2, #3 and #4:  "Uh... you don't know this kid, do you?"

Me:  "Wait, what??"

And that's how The Dormouse ended up as the star of the show that day, dancing in front of and teaching choreography to a room of an estimated eight-hundred people.

When I got home after the conference call and asked her if she'd like to do it, I already knew the answer.  She barely let me get the question mark on my sentence before she yelled, "YES!" in my ear. 

The adult singers wrote the song and sent me an .mp3 with some suggested choreography, but The Dormouse took her job quite seriously and created her own steps, explaining that they made more sense with the music.  The singers didn't care one way or another so The Dormouse got her way. 

When the lights went out, I had a brief moment of concern that she'd look out over the audience once she got on stage and freeze, but then I remembered that there is not one ounce of vergüenza in that child's entire body.  She got through the whole thing without a moment's hesitation and managed to get herself invited to perform with the singers at the other performances they did during the conference to boot.  It was a great experience for her and I have never seen her more puffed-up or self-assured.


One of the audience members walked up to the stage and gave her a flower as she took her bow.  I kind of wish I'd saved it and pressed it or something, but it got lost somewhere in the hubbub that day.  When I saw this photo from the conference, I realized this shot was better than any flower.


Edited to add: OK - finally have the video rendered and converted to some sort of usable format.  Full disclosure, the sound and lighting here is awful.  It really did sound and look more professional in the room, but video taping isn't our first priority at these things.  My first priority was running around the back of the room like a crazy person to make sure she got onstage at the appropriate time.  Let's just say I'm glad there's not a video of that.