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Pedestrians unwittingly start spontaneous 100-person dance party on NYC street

The dance party would kick off every time someone directly stood on the decal, with those in the vicinity joining in.

Pedestrians unwittingly start spontaneous 100-person dance party on NYC street
Improv Everyhwere/Ari Scott

After spending a year cooped up indoors on account of the pandemic, people are slowly stepping out. Even as the crowds make their way back into the streets, there is a lot of apprehension and anxiety with the effects of the pandemic still lingering. A street performance group decided to inject a bit of life into the streets of New York with an unexpected dance party. They chose the Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan as their location and placed a note in the middle of the street reading, "stand here for dance party,” according to Good News Network. The decal was designed to look like the social distancing circles. Many were intrigued by the decal but limited to just taking photos of it with many ignoring it after mistaking it for a social distancing circle.

Improv Everywhere

Whenever someone directly stood on the decal, they were instantly greeted by a person playing music from a vintage 1980s boombox, followed by a 100-person crew starting a dance party to the shock and surprise of the person standing in the decal and those in the vicinity. Those standing on the decal almost always joined in on the fun and busted out a few dance moves themselves. Many at the Grand Army Plaza joined in to show off their dance moves as well, transforming the energy of the place and bringing people together. It was definitely the kind of energy that the streets and the people have missed. The dance party was organized by Improv Everywhere, a New York City-based comedy collective that stages unexpected performances in public places. The improv group aims to surprise and delight random strangers through positive pranks.

Improv Everywhere

This was their first post-pandemic project, for which they joined hands with a professional b-boy dance crew — the Dynamic Rockers, and the Museum of the City of New York, which opened a new music-themed exhibit — New York, New Music: 1980-1986. Improv Everywhere recruited 100 undercover dancers and they blended into the crowd in the sidewalks and benches, joining the dance party at various junctures, encouraging strangers to join in as well. All those who were recruited by Improv Everywhere were fully vaccinated.

Improv Everywhere

"This summer things are finally starting to turn a corner in New York, with very high vaccination rates and very low COVID rates. When we had an opportunity to do a music-themed project with the Museum of the City of New York, we knew it was time to do something big again," read a statement on their website. The improv group reached out to their regular participants and everyone was up for it, and for many, it was their first large public gathering in a long time.

Improv Everywhere


Improv Everywhere

The video was posted on YouTube and Facebook where it went viral and generated positive comments. Many said it was just the kind of vibes that the streets of New York missed since the start of the pandemic. "It's great to see this. After everything we have all gone through the last year and a half, it's good to have old-fashioned joy back in our lives," commented Caswell on Facebook. Aimee wrote, "I love the faces of everyone who takes the risk and stands on the summoning circle. The first lady especially - her expression of excited anticipation is perfect!" Steve Paul commented, "With all the division we have in the U.S., I actually get emotional seeing how Improv Everywhere instantly unites people."

You can watch the video here:


You can follow Improv Everywhere on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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