SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Office workers and passersby in downtown Springfield may have been a little surprised to hear the rhythms of African music or sounds from India coming from Court Square Wednesday afternoon.
It was all part of a “flash mob” organized by the group First Generation. Young people gathered in the square to dance a seven-minute piece, which included moves influenced by hip-hop, Bollywood, and contemporary African dance.
Members of the First Generation Youth Ensemble have been teaching the dance to Springfield elementary and high school students, as well as members of some community organizations in the city.
Participants told 22News that the flash mob was about more than just the dance itself.
“Honestly, we wanted to get one person to represent 10 of our youth that are incarcerated right now,” Chiino Rios of Springfield said. “With all the violence that’s going on in our community right now, I think that it’s important for our youth, us young people, to stand out and let people know we’re trying to make a difference, we’re trying to make a change, and we’re still going to be united no matter what.”
“Seeing this shows that Springfield is not just a place where there’s just danger. Springfield is full of art,” Christopher Johnson of Springfield said. “As we stand here today and look at what we’ve done, this shows that Springfield has passion, has the spirit towards arts.”
Dozens of city residents, from children to adults, participated in Wednesday’s flash mob.