Learn ‘Thriller’ dance at Redmond Senior Center

A large performance of Michael Jackson’s iconic dance is set for Oct. 27.

For the 10th year, local “Redmond Zombies” dance instructors will teach the iconic “Thriller” dance to bring the community together and raise money for charity.

The dance classes, which begin next week, are taught by Teresa Osborn and Brenda Frost. They lead up “Thrill the World,” a worldwide simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that will be performed in over 150 cities throughout 30 countries by participants dressed as zombies.

Join Redmond’s horde of zombies from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 27 at Redmond Town Center, where they will perform in front of thousands of spectators in what has become a local Halloween tradition.

In the last nine years, the event has raised more than $60,000 for nonprofit organizations, such as Second Story Repertory, The 1st Tee and Team Survivor Northwest, which is the beneficiary of this year’s campaign, according to a press release from Redmond Town Center.

Jessica Morgan said she signed up her twin eight-year-old girls a few years ago for the “Thrill the World” dance workshops, and that it ended up being a fantastic experience for the entire family and an event they look forward to every year.

Performing “instilled confidence, a sense of teamwork, and the feeling of accomplishment” in her kids, Morgan stated in the press release. The experience motivated them both to join the local dance company Issaquah Dance Theater, and now one is in their Performing Group and competes locally in dance competitions.

Osborn, an event producer and professional dancer, “makes learning the dance and the art of performing fun and accessible for kids and adults,” Morgan stated.

Osborn established Redmond Zombies with her husband, Paul, in 2009. When not turning the otherwise sane residents of the Eastside into “Thriller” dancing undead Zombies, Osborn teaches Zumba, Swing, Salsa and Ballroom at the Redmond Parks and Recreation Department.

Martha Daman from the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning stated that as a founding member of the choice middle school in the Lake Washington School District, she has “always been a promoter of dance and movement as a way to stay healthy and active.”

“I began dancing at age three and have always found a way to keep movement and dancing in my life. After the unfortunate death of Michael Jackson and I heard about the ‘Thrill the World’ event, I wanted to give my students an opportunity to participate,” she stated. “Not only is this event a great time getting together with our large community and performing a dance that is a favorite of so many, but the proceeds that come from the participants always goes to wonderful causes.”

All money raised from the local Redmond event will go to Team Survivor Northwest (TSNW). Every dollar raised benefits women cancer survivors participating in TSNW fitness and health education programs.

“Thrill the World” is a great opportunity for students to see how performance art can be used to bring awareness and funding to causes they feel strongly about, Daman stated, but it’s also a purely fun event. Her students “love Halloween, and performing the Thriller choreography makes Halloween really ‘come alive,’” she noted.

“This experience is fantastic because it wraps many aspects of performance education into one concrete project from learning the dance to designing their costumes and, in the end doing the performance,” she stated.

The “Thriller” dance workshops are held from 1-2:30 p.m. for four weeks starting Sept. 29, and are geared toward children (ages 8 and up), youth and adults. Attend one or more workshops; the entire dance is taught every week. Classes are held at Redmond Senior Center, 8703 160th Ave. NE. To register, call 425-556-2314. There is a $5 pre-registration cost, which increases to $7 at the door.

Can’t make Saturdays in Redmond? Private workshops are great for schools and large groups. Contact Osborn at 425-861-6729 for availability and prices. More information about the day of the event can be found on the website at www.thrilltheworld.org/redmond.

Spectators gather for Redmond’s traditional “Thrill the World” event. Photo courtesy of Jessica Morgan/Redmond Town Center

Spectators gather for Redmond’s traditional “Thrill the World” event. Photo courtesy of Jessica Morgan/Redmond Town Center