The living dead of Cookeville Swing dance the night away

Prostrate on the floor, members of the Cookeville Swing Society dug their fingers into the beige carpet and regained footing. Then, feigning weak legs or slumped shoulders, they hobbled toward the audience and began to dance.Performing the dance routine from “Thriller”, Michael Jackson’s 1983 single, the CSS sashayed across the floor it at its seventh annual Halloween Dance of the Dead at music and arts venue First and Cedar last Friday. Although the CSS is open to anyone to join, Tech students make up a majority of its membership.

“Performing ‘Thriller’ is an all-time favorite with members,” said Heather Adkins, CSS president.

Adkins, a junior history major at Tech, also added that the CSS did not learn the routine as a result of Jackson’s unexpected death in June, although performing his work is indeed a “tribute” to him. Instead, the CSS originally learned and performed the routine in previous years to compete for the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people performing the dance at the same time. In more recent years, the feat has become a traditional segment at CSS Halloween parties rather than for competition.

The dance is a modified, shorter adaptation of the version made famous by Jackson. The original dance appeared in a 14-minute music video that received the Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in 1985.

For information about joining or receiving dance lessons from the CSS, contact Heather Adkins at adkins.heather@gmail.com.