When Portsmouth High School Valedictorian Colin Yost ended his wise graduation speech by awkwardly dancing, people in the audience didn’t know what to think. But then, gradually, his fellow students joined, and what was a one-man dance party turned into a flash mob.
The entire high school class, all 230 of them, performed a choreographed and well-rehearsed dance to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” at their graduation on June 12. Once the flash mob began, and everyone realized what was going on, proud families laughed and clapped as the students showed off their moves, WMUR reported.
“We just wanted to do something that had a lot of energy and brought us all together as a class,” fellow graduate Georgina Head told the station.
And it was all possible because, as Yost said, his classmates aren’t divided into cliques. Though tentative and nervous at first, as the students practiced, the “energy was just building and everyone was feeling how great it was to work together and send this positive message,” he told MTV News.
Colin said he always wanted to be part of a flash mob and one day while driving around, he heard “Shake It Off” come on the radio and got inspired. So he pitched his idea to Head and Brooke Matthews, ABC News reported. One friend did the stage managing and handled the music, while the other took care of the choreography.
They put together a private instructional video so everyone at graduation could learn the steps, got school administrators on board, and were allowed to use five graduation rehearsals to get the flash mob coordination just right.
“I also realized the song’s message aligned with the message of my speech to ’embrace your inner nerdiness’ and be proud of who you are.”
According to the Huffington Post, the young man’s speech was very inspiring. Colin told his classmates that “being a nerd doesn’t mean you have glasses, braces and a pocket protector; it means that you have the focus and ambition to strive for perfection in all of your passions … So, class of 2015, I challenge you to embrace your inner nerdiness.”
And he concluded by saying “all you have to do it shake it off.”
Colin said his initial dance moves that cued the flash mob were meant to be awkward. “My parents and a lot of other parents didn’t know, so at the end of my speech half were laughing and some were like, ‘oh gosh, what is he doing?’ ”
The video has gone viral and the class of 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has an amazing memory of their graduation that few can match.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]