Posted March 16, 2014 by Editorial Staff in 2014

[Video] PRINCE inspires pre-concert flash mob outside Oakland’s Fox Theater

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[Update: It was good while it lasted. Apparently Controversy Music has made a claim regarding the music played in the video. Video was courtesy of Sarah Bacon]


Photo courtesy of Tanya Leake

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) students, led by dance instructor and choreographer Tanya Leake, in collaboration with #YesWeCode participated in what was billed as “The Biggest Prince Flash Mob ever.” Student dancers, parents and the community joined together and danced to a mix of Prince’s classic track “Delirious” and “Ain’t Gonna Miss U When U’re Gone” by Prince & 3rdEyeGirl featuring Oakland’s own Ledisi. The flash mob was held yesterday afternoon in front of the Fox Theater, site of the evening’s Prince concert, a sold out and highly sought after ticket.

The flash mob was the brainchild of Dereca Blackmon, a major league Prince fan, whose two daughters have attended OSA. On Wednesday she contacted her good friend and fellow Stanford alum Leake, founder of The Sensual Movement. Leake had less than 24 hours to choreograph both numbers, and then with Blackmon’s help pulled together dancers from OSA to learn the choreography at 7:00am Friday morning.


Photo Credit: MsMaia Alexander

It all came together Saturday (Dereca’s birthday) at 4:00pm when nearly 200 people joined the OSA dancers at the Fox to pull it off, a great coming together of Oakland’s diverse community. Oh, and a big Happy Birthday to Dereca! Kudos to the Oakland police explained Leake, who kept the crowd safe and traffic moving slowly, as passersby were treated to an unexpected and entertaining dose of the uniqueness that defines Oakland.

Said Blackmon, “…Prince gave an amazing show as always, he and 3rdEyeGirl were super funky and clearly loving Oakland. He promised he would be back sooner than we think, “with friends.” Oh, yeah, he did ask who went to the flash mob. Then he clutched his heart and said, “Thank you.”"

Hella luv Oakland.

Related: Black Male Achievement: Startup Weekend Oakland

About #YesWeCode

The #YesWeCode initiative targets low-opportunity youth and provides them with the necessary resources and tools to become world-class computer programmers. By learning this highly valuable and relevant 21st century skill, these young people are shifting the trajectory of their futures and transforming their relationships with their communities and their country. #YesWeCode is recruiting hundreds of grassroots training programs and teaming up with major technology partners, celebrities and political leaders to promote the goal of training 100,000 low-opportunity youth to become high-level computer programmers.


About Oakland School for the Arts

Oakland School for the Arts balances an immersive arts program with a comprehensive academic curriculum, providing students unique opportunities for learning, innovation, expression and personal growth. OSA’s arts and academic programs build discipline and confidence, effectively preparing creative youth to achieve their potential both in and outside of the arts.