And Step Two Three Four
October 30, 2012 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I've recently seen people doing synchronized movement (dance?) on the UC Berkeley campus. What's going on?

I've seen this two or three times in the past year, outdoors, usually near Zellerbach Auditorium:

There are 10-30 people doing synchronized movements - I'm not sure if there's music but I assume so. The people are in rows, facing one direction, all executing similar moves together.

The most recent time, it seemed like one person or a few people in the front row might be leading the movements, with the others following; after a few moments, the front row would break off, possibly running to the back.

It looked like dance. It looked like fun.

Is this a Thing? What is it? Is it organized? Is there a schedule? Can anyone join in? Does it happen anywhere else?
posted by kristi to Society & Culture (13 answers total)
Could it be t'ai chi? Looks like this.

I totally got antsy about the fact that I forgot the apostrophe and was all, "my kingdom for an edit button!". Except: edit button!!
posted by AmandaA at 9:13 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds like t'ai chi?
posted by scody at 9:14 AM on October 30, 2012

Could also be qigong/falun gong.
posted by LionIndex at 9:18 AM on October 30, 2012

Sounds a lot like a Taoist Tai Chi group -- if the moves are kind of slow and graceful. Talk to someone who looks like they're leading during a break. They welcome new people.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:19 AM on October 30, 2012

Could they be stepping?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:24 AM on October 30, 2012

A lot of various dance/tai chi/taiko groups practice out in front of zellerbach and sproul. They're either student groups practicing for a performance, or student groups just plain practicing. You'll probably have to ask one of them for specifics.
posted by yasaman at 9:31 AM on October 30, 2012

Sorry, I should clarify - definitely not t'ai chi. It's much faster and livelier.

Stepping seems like a distinct possibility, though.
posted by kristi at 9:33 AM on October 30, 2012

Could also be group Gangnam Style practice.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:40 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Check out student groups/fliers. A few years back there was definitely a hip-hop club/group that sounds pretty similar to what you saw - a few people up front choreographing the dance moves for a large-ish group all set to recent (at the time) hip hop. I always assumed they were a student dance for fun type group, as it happened regularly (saw them on the way back from the RSF 1-2x a week), and everybody was college aged-ish. I always assumed it was like the Swing group that occasionally danced on Sproul plaza partially as advertisement for the group. (Do they still do that?)

I wouldn't be shy about approaching them on a break to get more info if you were interested, it sounds large enough that its not a small troup practicing for a performance.
posted by McSwaggers at 10:10 AM on October 30, 2012

I've seen the exact same thing next to Zellerbach! It does indeed look like a lot of fun. The style of I've seen them doing looks more street/hip hop. I'd assumed it was some sort of student club that probably performs a few times a year, but I don't have any actual info.
posted by soleiluna at 10:11 AM on October 30, 2012

seconding yasaman. Just ask them.

There are roughly one million student dance groups at UC Berkeley. Many (most?) of them practice outside.

I walked or rode past a different group almost every day as I commuted across campus. If you are part of the campus community, just ask them what they are doing, and how you join. At the least, they will tell you the name of what they are doing and you can find out more from there. Most people who do dance are nice and like to share.
posted by rockindata at 10:23 AM on October 30, 2012

posted by The corpse in the library at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2012

Here are some random people Zumbaing. I've never seen it look like that, but I only see the seniors class at my Y.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:53 PM on October 30, 2012

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