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Daily Pilot

Zombies flash mob at Mariners Elementary

As part of the school's annual Boo Best Halloween event, about 100 students danced to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller.'

By Britney Barnes

8:15 PM PDT, October 26, 2012

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Among the kids dressed as everything from cats and angels to Buzz Lightyear and Rapunzel at Mariners Elementary School Thursday night, zombies lurked, waiting to show themselves.

When the sun finally set and the moon shined brightly in the sky, the zombies made their move and made it a thriller, thriller night.

Parents and peers were surprised by a fourth-grade flash mob to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" during the Newport Beach school's annual Boo Fest. The more than 100 students moved, shook and waved their hands in claws to recreate the King of Pop's iconic dance from the song's music video.

"I was so impressed," said parent Julie Hamilton, whose daughter Ava Carlen danced. "I thought it was a great dance and a great song."

The flash mob was the brainchild of parents Cathy Badum and Sandy McCormick, who own CS Dance Factory, a Newport Beach dance company that serves all ages and specializes in Zumba classes.

The two have been volunteering to teach students Zumba during physical education classes for the last two years and decided to do something special for Halloween.

"Our goal is to teach the kids that fitness is fun," Badum said. "It's good for them to know that no matter their shape or size they can do it and have fun."

The kids practiced for a month to prepare for the flash mob. Learning the choreography was difficult at first, but soon it became fun, Ava said.

At the Boo Fest, families checked out a display of decorated pumpkins, did spooky crafts, played carnival games and tried to win a tasty treat at a cake walk. There was a constant line for the magic show, bounce slide, haunted house and the TK Burgers food truck.

When the blaring music suddenly stopped, the fourth-graders dropped to the ground while a crowd gathered around the blacktop to see what was going on. Parents got out their cameras and cell phones to capture the moment.

"I really liked it, and it was really fun," fourth-grader Timothy Badum said after the performance. "I rocked out with my friend Nate."

britney.barnes@latimes.com

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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Check out the video of the flash mob at http://www.csdancefactory.com.