Return of the zombies: Dancers needed for Thriller in the Streets

October 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, People

By Melissa Wagoner 

What says Halloween more than a flash-mob of zombies jerkily dancing to Michael Jackson’s classic song from 1982, Thriller?

“It’s so cool,” Marta Hazekamp – owner of Revolutionary Dance and Movement Company in Silverton – said of the annual performance which will be making a comeback this Halloween.

“So many people were so excited to see it return,” she continued, estimating the last performance as 2014, when it became difficult to recruit dancers for the community-powered show. 

“If Halloween fell on a weeknight, we got progressively less people,” she recalled.

This year, Hazekamp hopes things will be different. “We’ll piggyback it on the Goblin Walk,” she said. Which means the performance will be held at 6:30 p.m. on High Street in Silverton, significantly earlier than in previous years. 

“It might not be dark,” Hazekamp admitted. “But it will probably be twilight.”

She’s recruiting dancers to attend any one of five Friday workshops at 118 Brown St. – held on Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at a cost $15 per person. Hazekamp is hoping to amass a full 50-person ensemble. 

“I’ll take anybody aged eight and up if they’re not afraid of Halloween,” she laughed, describing the costuming – created by the participants themselves – as zombies in various states of decay. 

“You can go crazy or not,” she said. Her favorite performance involved an entire cheer squad and the high school football team decorated as though run over by a school bus. “It’s fun because I have a theatrical background. It’s kind of like, how dead do you want to be?”  

Costume and makeup tips will be provided along with dance instruction, which Hazekamp said just about anyone can learn. 

“A lot of people think, I can’t dance like that,” Hazekamp said. “But it’s zombies. You can play it up.”

In fact, the commitment required of participants overall is relatively low. It’s more about having a good time and putting on a fun show than anything else.

“People can still trick-or-treat and be in it,” she observed. “It’s only a few minutes long and you’ll already be in costume.”

With 23 dancers already signed up, Hazekamp is looking forward to what she hopes will be the long-term return of a Halloween classic for years to come.

“Silverton just has these little gems,” Hazekamp said. “That’s one big reason why I was like, let’s bring it back. I really encourage people to come out and give it a try. And if you’re not in the position to be in it – come out and cheer us on.”

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