This past Saturday we held the 3rd Birmingham Dance Walk in the streets of downtown. The impending rain moved the start time up an hour to 1 p.m., but we still had a wonderful turnout.
I always get nervous before these events, even when they don’t require a lot of preparation like this one. I had music from the previous dance walk that we didn’t use so decided to stress less and go with the flow. I had the music, I had the jambox, and all I needed (wanted) were the people. We had a special surprise guest coming and I wanted a good turnout for her.
I arrived a few minutes early so decided to stop by Urban Standard for water before people arrived. I never made it inside because Mary Jean was headed my way about the same time. After her came Erika, Rachel, Javacia, Amy, and Edward. More and more people started walking up as we milled around…waiting for the music man to appear with the speakers. Soon came Pierce, the music man, with Elaine, Andrea, Bobby, Matt, Olive, Katie, Paula, Bailey, Tanya, Heather, Drew, Jasmine, the other Drew, Jennifer, Shira, Ginger, Nathan, Emily, Clark, Larry, Lauren, and lots of others. We soon had a call from our special guest that she would meet us up the street so off we went. Birmingham’s 3rd Dance Walk was underway!
We rounded the corner at 23rd Street South and danced in place for a while, waiting for our special guest. Soon after we stopped to “break it down”, she appeared.
Madge, the Magic City Dragon, was coming over the hill toward us. The squeals from the dance walkers were audible for blocks. Many had never seen Madge before nor knew that we had a new dragon in town. Madge is the brain child of Carrie Hill and was created with the help of local artists and friends. She is a 31 foot long dragon that takes about 11 people to handle and maneuver. There were walkers on the outside directing and guiding her and a boatload of people inside her pushing and pulling her along.
Madge joined us for the entire dance walk which lasted about 4 city blocks down, around the block and back up 4 blocks – all the while stopping traffic and garnering honks from passing cars and trucks. There were close to 60 dance walkers – we picked up some along the way – and quite a few talented photographers capturing the Dance Walk and Madge. The dance walk lasted about 20 minutes total and we danced to Queen, Unk, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Metro Station, Pink, Snap, Justin Timberlake, Vanilla Ice (I had to), Will Smith, and finished off with the full length “Praise You” by Fat Boy Slim. After all, we HAD come a long, long way together. I think some people underestimate the workout you get from dance walking – I came out panting and sweating.
This was the most successful Dance Walk to date and it was in large part due to our guest of honor, Madge, and word of mouth from our wonderful friends and fans. So many people helped make it possible or better including Daniel, Emily, Pierce, Elaine, Jeanne, and our talented photographers Larry, Clark, Tanya, Rachel, Sarah, Emily, and Madge herself along with video from Jennifer. Those behind Madge were Carrie, Daniel, Justin, Wade, Billie, Bruce, Mandy, Kelly, Wesley, Drew, Kelsey and a few others. What an amazing crew and a wonderful addition to our Dance Walk. I hope she’ll consider joining us again – she was a huge hit!
Extra special thanks to Javacia for letting us make it a See Jane Move event, and to Edward for this awesome article on al.com and to Emily at Magic City Post for always being our biggest fan and writing a wonderful recap which you can read here.
For more information on the next Birmingham Dance Walk, keep an eye on bamdancewalk.com and be sure to ‘like’ our Facebook page here. For pictures from our Dance Walks you can check out the bhamdancewalk Flickr stream here. Hashtag on Twitter: #BhamDanceWalk