Get to Know: Conroe Brooks, Flash Mob Maverick
1 year ago
The dance craze that's all about spontaneity has infiltrated the masses
You’ve probably seen that funny AT&T commercial where the guy tears off his trench coat and breaks out into choreography in the middle of a train station. Unfortunately, he ruined the flash mob that was about to go down but Conroe Brooks, co-founder of Flash Mob America makes sure that doesn’t happen in real life.
The 35-year-old choreographer has produced flash mobs for Kimora Lee Simmons, Janet Jackson and Rachel Ray. Loop 21 caught up with Brooks to find out the science behind creating the perfect flash mob and what celebrity gave him his proudest moment.
Loop 21: Why do you think society has become so taken with flash mobs?
Conroe Brooks: People are really moved by seeing all these different cultures and colors and races come together to do one thing. We ultimately feel separate from the world; and it’s this way for people to come together and bring joy to people.
People are so interested in dancing outrageously in public for four minutes. Do you think American is suppressed creatively?
People join us because it does give them something to do that is new and exciting. Most people are not performers. We get a lot of older people who say, “I haven’t danced in years and this has given me a chance to get out and dance again.” And that’s the thing, we’re giving people a chance to get out and dance again.
How did you get involved with producing flash mobs?
Well, I’m an actor along with [Flash Mob America co-founder] Staci Lawrence. When Michael Jackson died, I was really moved and struck by that. In fact, I was like I have to do something to feel better. I have to celebrate him. So, we did a flash mob in Los Angeles just for fun to celebrate him and his music. We got over 100 people and I thought I was going to be done. [Laughs.] Then suddenly, we got a call from Janet Jackson’s record label. They wanted to do one for Janet Jackson. And of course, we said yes and she showed up so it became a huge event. It went international. We haven’t stopped working since. We haven’t stopped getting calls since that flash mob.
How was it to surprise Janet Jackson?
Well, [the record label] found us through Facebook and said, “We want to talk to you about doing a flash mob for one of our artists.” So we set up a call and they talked to us about what we did, how we did it, and our background. So, when we asked who is it and they said Janet Jackson, I think we both nearly passed out. [Laughs]. It was just like, “Whaaat?” Obviously, we acted really cool but we were silently screaming. We ended up having 300 people and we did performed three times.
Do you remember how she looked when she found out the flash mob was for her?