Word is spreading, and Dragon*Con-goers are not happy: the Guinness World Record for the largest “Thriller” dance went to Mexico, where 13,597 danced to the Michael Jackson song on Aug. 29.
Dragon*Con dancers hoped to break the record on Sept. 6, when they gathered 903 dancers here in Atlanta. Organizers say they followed Guinness rules meticulously — selecting the correct version of the song, collecting participants’ info and recording the dance. They’ve praised the Mexico dance, but still say it didn’t follow the Guinness rules and shouldn’t be considered for the record. They’re working through a lawyer to make their case to Guinness, suggesting perhaps two separate records.
The previous record was held by 242 students at William & Mary, but Jackson’s death in June and his birthday in August spurred more to dance.
“While we may be discouraged for just a moment by Guinness’ ruling, we remain happy and positive,” one organizer, Lauren Leasure, wrote in an e-mail to me. “The most important thing here was not to beat a world record, but to have a blast. The real challenge was not to beat the world record, but to pull together 903 people, teach complicated choreography, and execute the dance in less than three hours. THAT was the real challenge and we were very successful in doing so!”
I wrote about the Dragon*Con “Thriller” dance earlier, but you can see the differences in the dances yourself.
Here’s the “Thriller” dance video from Mexico:
And the (newly edited) Dragon*Con “Thriller” video: