World Dance for Humanity Thriller and More

Halloween is over, but I still have one more Halloween event to cover!

World Dance for Humanity raises money for direct aid in Rwanda, Ukraine and other places in need. They do it in a way that is fun and that engages our community through joyful dance. Everyone is welcome to participate!

Their premiere event each year is a huge performance of “Thriller” in the Courthouse Sunken Gardens in the lead up to Halloween. This is part of a global event called Thrill The World, celebrated simultaneously all over the planet.

This year, it was celebrated on Saturday October 28 at 10:00AM GMT and at 10:00PM GMT. The latter time translated to 3:00PM in Santa Barbara on Saturday October 28. Here are my photos and here are my videos.

In the hour leading up to the big Thriller performance, World Dance for Humanity gathered for several other performances.

Here I merged parts of two of their performances to “Lime in the Coconut”.

Here they performed to “Superstition”, “Monster Mash” and “Skeleton Sam”.

Here they performed to another Michael Jackson song, “Bad”.

And the group gathered in a large prayer circle for this performance.

All leading up to the big “Thriller” performance at exactly 3:00PM local time.

Yoshiko is one of the stars behind the scenes at Solstice who helps with the massive sewing project to create Pali’s grand finale inflatable art. Here she posed for me.

This woman in her beautiful outfit was just in attendance with her family, but she jumped in and performed a bit and posed!

Joan Melendez is another star of Solstice, doing makeup for many years. It is rare to see her not in makeup and it was ironic that this was one of those rare occasions! She posed with her daughter Kim (L) and Juanita Nina Johnson (with red boa) and another performer in basic black.

Janet Reineck is the tireless ringleader and choreographer and organizer of World Dance for Humanity. She posed with Monica Gallo Pessino (R), who I have swing danced with many times.

My dear friend Vandana Khare used to own the kite store on State Street and she also invited me to the wonderful Garba dance that I recently covered. She is a “Thriller” regular.

Whitney used to come on my hikes and to swing dancing and used to be a “Thriller” regular. Now she brings her daughter to watch.

Here are a few more people who kindly posed for me:

And performer Rebecca Fritz posed with her husband Paul Fritz and me.

And here was a group shot of many of the performers on the Courthouse steps:

And here was a wider view, showing how many were involved!

For more information about World Dance for Humanity, to dance with them or to donate, please visit their Web page here:

And here is their Facebook page:

If you missed it this year, mark your calendar for next year for the Saturday before Halloween!

Robert Bernstein


Written by sbrobert

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