Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dancing flash mob at KU basketball game provides popular floor show


Before she spotted the sign-up sheet, Lindsey McAlonan didn’t even know what a flash mob was.

If they didn’t before, the 16,300 fans who packed into Allen Fieldhouse for the Kansas-Missouri basketball game Monday have a much better idea of what it is, too.

After the under-8-minute media timeout in the first half, about 150 students — with no warning — began standing up and waving their arms in the air and dancing a synchronized, scripted routine.

They all wore the same red shirt promoting Kansas University’s Buddy System, a student health and safety campaign.

“People were just like, ‘What is going on?’” McAlonan said. “Once they figured it out, everybody just started cheering us on.”

McAlonan, a KU freshman from Victoria, saw the sign-in sheet for people camping in Allen Fieldhouse for basketball seats. She zipped off to YouTube, pulled up some videos and got the general idea of what was being planned.

She added her name to the list and went to a couple of practices last week.

Cathy Jarzemkoski, KU’s spirit squad coordinator, choreographed the dance routine. It was designed to be simple and visual. She was impressed with how quickly everyone seemed to pick it up.

“When we started on Monday, everyone picked it up in like an hour,” she said. “We came back on Thursday and had another rehearsal and they knew it.”

All told, the students practiced for about two and a half hours, McAlonan said.

Frank DeSalvo, associate vice provost for student success, helps oversee the Jayhawk Buddy System. He said the idea came from the campaign’s student advisory board.

The buddy system encourages students to pair up when going out in the hopes that their peers will keep them safe and discourage them from participating in bad behaviors, like excessive drinking.

The best part about the flash mob was the makeup of the group, DeSalvo said. Though organized by student leaders and athletics officials, most of the students who participated weren’t part of either group.

“We had just general students who got to do something really cool” and get on national TV, he said.

McAlonan thought it was cool, too. She hopes flash mobs become a tradition at KU.

“I would definitely do it again,” she said.


Flash mob at the KU vs. MU basketball game


KU Athletics official flash mob video from KU vs. MU


gerald_bostock 9 years, 1 month ago

i drink more when i'm with other people. that's why they're called 'drinking buddies'

JHWK 9 years, 1 month ago

Yep, we had the buddy system, too. We always met at Free State.

JHWK 9 years, 1 month ago

And any flashing we did was not appreciated, nor would it have been good TV.

jayhawkrob 9 years, 1 month ago

ha ya thats what i was thinkin. That flash mob dance was sick though.

gchawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Great job students, you were awesome.

Funhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, they were. The two Jayhawk mascots looked hilarious. It would be fun to replace the flash mob students with the senior citizens.

lincase 9 years, 1 month ago

I will absolutely volunteer for the senior citizen flash mob, if they give us tickets to the game. I will even practice. I loved it.

BewareOfThePhogOnTheWater 9 years, 1 month ago

Don't need tickets. Already have them. But, I would do this anytime. ROCK CHALK

I thought this was awesome.

jayhawker_97 9 years, 1 month ago

kinda tough to hear the music on tv though, i didn't quite get it what's with the move & all. but you all looked really cool on youtube (of course with the music). it's just a matter of time this new tradition will get spotlight.. right on, guys!

Bob Thompson 9 years, 1 month ago

This would be great at every home game... even away games like Colorado... LOL... If they could get the entire student body to do it, it would be spectacular....

Gene Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

News flash! No more Colorado. Colorado is moving to the Pac 10 or 12 or whatever they are going to call it.

doctorWho 9 years, 1 month ago

There's always the non-conference schedule, though that game would probably be in Lawrence if it happened . . .

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 1 month ago

What if the next flash mob is the team leaving the court for a tv timeout. The bench as well as the five just in the game and coaching staff could become a "mini-flash mob" along with Big Jay and Baby Jay. They could represent this KU Buddy System as a huge endorsement, if it passed muster with the AD. Who knows what the music could be? Endless possibilities on that!

JHWK 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure it will clearly be a First At KU moment, as this will start happening all over now.

Another Rock Chalk tradition gone viral! Well done!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

May I state the obvious......the Black-Eyed Peas left Dallas with Black Eyes!!

It's hilarious that a bunch of Jayhawk kids with two hours practice put on a better show than the cast of thousands with the cost of millions Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Best Commercial: The Doritos sprinkles bringing Grandpa back to life. Worst Commercial: Anything with Joan Rivers !!

gatorhawk45 9 years, 1 month ago

I would love to see the Antlers attempt at something half as cool. Great show! Great game!

Michael Leiker 9 years, 1 month ago

I really enjoy what the students have done with the, "You let the whole team down" chant after somebody fouls out. I crack up every time.

RockChalk26 9 years, 1 month ago

I am the same way. I went to the K-State game last year where I heard it for the first time. Every time I hear it I can't help but laugh.

BewareOfThePhogOnTheWater 9 years, 1 month ago

And, the Game Day chant of "You let the whole state down" cracked me up, too. If you weren't there or didn't see it, there were a couple of KSUcks fans there, and when they were showing replays one of the Big XII prediction came up showing KSU and covered them being picked to win the conference. Everyone started chanting "You let the whole State down." It was hilarious!

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 1 month ago

Both Jayhawk mascots getting involved with the Flash Mob just crack me up!!!

Very funny!

JHWK 9 years, 1 month ago

Totally legitimized it and made for even better TV!


Andy Tweedy 9 years, 1 month ago

I saw this on the tv and thought "huh?" But I liked it, more than anything because it was different. Kind of like the first time I saw the Cameron Crazies jumping up and down uncontrollably. Nice job!

farawayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

I loved it!!! I really hope it will become a new KU tradition for home games. It was great, very clever.

DaNeille Dani Davis 9 years, 1 month ago

Way cool! I saw part of it during the game on TV and wondered what it was! Over 75,000 hits on youtube already! KU is always a head above the rest! No better place in the world than Allen Fieldhouse and KU! We have the best fans in the world. Way to go fans and the 2 and a half hour practice! You looked awesome and now all those "other" schools will be jealous. They will never top us! Rock Chalk!

shelleysue 9 years, 1 month ago

I loved it. Would like to see it spread to eventually include 5 or 6 sections. Awesome!

JayCeph 9 years, 1 month ago

To be honest, I believe Northern Iowa (yes, THAT Northern Iowa) had a dancing student flash mob at one of their games recently (about a month ago?).

Still, gotta love the attention KU is getting for this. Makes me smile every time I see it.


kcglowboy 9 years, 1 month ago

Bravo to EVERYONE involved in the faux flash mob. Organizers, choreographer, and students. What a hoot, and what a great addition to The Phog energy and mystique.

Ditto for "You let the whole team down." I've been a sucker for the tradition, passion and energy of AFH, even in the pre Larry Brown days when the fieldhouse was half full for some games. With that said, one of the greatest things about AFH and its fans is that MOST of our energy is spent cheering FOR our team rather than AGAINST opponents. Sure, we occasionally have moments of borderline bad taste. But you can't really appreciate what a great place AFH is (and how great KU fans are) until you go to games in other arenas, where fans waste so much time booing opponents and refs (NU) and screaming vulgar chants (CU), they seem to forget their own team.

The flash mob, the outpouring of support for T-Rob, fans sticking around until the end of a blowout to support the walk-ons, the sea of blue, camping out, and the general lack of vulgarities are just a few of the things that make me proud to be a lifetime Jayhawk.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 1 month ago

This was far, far better than that "Peanut Butter, Jelly" song that they did at whichever game we played in Texas a few games back.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 1 month ago

It was the Baylor game on January 17th.

JHAWKNPHX 9 years, 1 month ago

We should call them the Crimson Crazzies!!

JHWK 9 years, 1 month ago

Noooooooooooo! We will not use a name that may - in any way - resemble the Cameron Crazies.

No way.

No malicious intent, JHAWKNPHX, but just keepin' us grounded.

Our students are very creative, as we can see, and I'm sure they will label it something much more hip than we could. But we can try....

Maybe The Rock Chalk Mob or Phogging Mobbers or Funky Phoggers or..... your turn....

packywacky88 9 years, 1 month ago

I was at the game Monday and the flash mob was grrrrrrreat. What is up with the "home of the Chiefs" line at the end of the national athem? Didn't make much sense in AFH and a little disrespectful. There was a noticeable reduction in recorded music and increased B-ball band tunes. That is a nice change. We have the best B-ball band in college.

OreadFog 9 years, 1 month ago

I Have been a KU fan for most of my life. I was finally able to see a game at AFH on Monday and it was incredible. My expectations were so sky high because of all your post's, but it didn't disappoint. This was just one of many things that you experience at a KU game that makes it better than any other venue in the country. RCJH

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