Check out the Sun's slideshow of the BreakFree flashmob last Friday.
Everyone on Cornell's campus knows the story by now. A blonde, outrageously dressed Asian man sat on a dilapidated, folding chair on Ho Plaza and rotated his head slowly to thunderous applause. He stood up theatrically just as the first “Oppa Gangnam Style!” was heard, threw the chair aside (thankfully not hitting anyone) and started dancing. Soon, upward of a hundred Cornellians were dancing and doing the invisible-horsey move as well. And at that moment, the insanely viral “Gangnam Style” had officially hit Ivy League grounds. And the biggest flash mob in Cornell history was underway.
Minutes after the flash mob happened, media coverage took off. The fabulous Mandy Guo posted the first picture, which went on to receive more than 6,500 likes in total on Facebook. Additionally, her photo became the Cornell University Facebook page cover photo and one of the main photos on the Cornell University home page. A similar photo showcasing the front of the flash mob was also published on the September 17 issue of our very own Cornell Sun.
The dozen or so videos of the flash mob have accumulated over 750,000 views on YouTube in total. A video of the flash mob appeared on a post by the Undergraduate Admissions Office’s about “Student Life.” Another one appeared in “The 10 Best ‘Gangnam Style’ Parodies” by Billboard (yes, THE Billboard). Still other videos have made it onto Renren (China’s equivalent to Facebook) and various Korean media pages.
I think it is appropriate now to mention that I am that blonde, outrageously dressed Asian man. That was me in the gray blazer, the lemon-colored dress shirt, the red bowtie, the red sunglasses and the oxfords. I felt it was necessary for me to chronicle the magnitude of this monster of a flash mob before I begin my account of the whole thing.
First of all, it’s interesting to think that the night before the flash mob, I couldn’t fall asleep. I was in my double in Carl Becker House, mulling over how many people would actually show up, praying that it wouldn’t rain and seizing up with anticipation and dread every time I thought about the imminent event.
But now that the flash mob is over, I am extremely humbled by its success and the subsequent extra attention on me. It’s almost unreal to think about the people who have congratulated me on the TCAT bus, on the slope, in the library, in the dining halls, and apparently in GOVT1817 by Prof. Katzenstein.
Most importantly, I would like to stress that this Cornell “Gangnam Style” flash mob event was a group effort. As a matter of fact, I feel guilty that my face is plastered all over when credit should be given where credit is really due: To all those involved. If there is one main emotion that I felt and still feel in this aftermath, it’s gratitude towards the participants. I sincerely appreciate, acknowledge, and thank you all.
And my actual experience during the flash mob? Well, I couldn’t really see the turnout because I was in the front. The only things I really saw were many, many recording phones. The whole event itself is a blur to me. But I do remember one thing very clearly.
I remember this moment when I stared into space, right after I threw the chair in the beginning. It was a split-second of frozen adrenaline, of high hopes and of more than three weeks of preparation and sweat coming together. And I remember at that split-second, I couldn’t be more ready to “Gangnam Style.”
I would like to thank Mandy Guo for the picture, the Pi Delta Psi fraternity for their speakers, everyone who danced, everyone who watched, and last but not least, my beloved BreakFree Hip Hop Dance Crew.