May 10, 2012

Celebrating Heritage in a Very Modern Way

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The month of May honors the Asian-Pacific American heritage, and its committee decided to lend its customs a modern twist by performing a traditional Asian-pacific dance during a flash mob at the base exchange here May 4.

The flash mob took place in the D-M BX food court, with Desert Lightning Team members from many ethnicities participating in the event.

“The idea came when a friend showed me a video of a flash mob being done on a beach in Maui, Hawaii,” said Marie Lankford, 355th Force Support Squadron force development flight chief and the flash mob choreographer. “I thought it would be fun to have an event that no one had ever done before on base.”

The dance involved men and women, with the men wearing leis and the women traditional sarongs.

Members of the mob appeared to be volunteers for the heritage month food tasting. But when the music began to play, they dropped what they were doing and created a formation in front of the guests.

“This was the first time I’d ever done any sort of traditional dance,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Petros, 355th Operational Support Squadron and a member of the flash mob.

To get volunteers for the dance, the committee had to try and get the word out while keeping the flash mob a secret.

“Dancers were recruited through e-mail and word-of-mouth,” Lankford said. “It was very hard to keep it discreet because people were so excited about it.”

The flash mob was the kick-off event for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

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