It was a sight which brought a town centre to a sudden halt...
A street dance performance with a difference hit Blackpool as a crowd of people took over St John’s Square to take part in a ‘flashmob’.
And even a music malfunction could not stop the group of dedicated dancers braving the cold to entertain shoppers out and about in the resort yesterday.
Despite having no tunes to dance along to thanks to a malfunctioning stereo, dozens of performers appeared in the square suddenly lined up to take part in the ‘flashmob’ dance outside the Winter Gardens.
Crowds of people watched and took photos – some even joining in themselves – as the dancers, in town for the International Fitness Showcase over the weekend, took over.
A flashmob is described as a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act, then quickly disperse.
Dance teacher Nikkie Riozzi, who organised the event, said they weren’t going to let the lack of music stop them putting on a show.
The Leeds-based teacher, who runs the Get Funk’d dance school, said: “We were trying to let the people of Blackpool see how much fun we’re having at the fitness showcase. I think people don’t realise how many people are here, that come here from all over the world. So we thought, let’s take it outside. It was a bit cold but everyone had a lot of fun.
“I think it went well – there was a lot of people watching. We even had a few people who saw us joining in.”
After a few minutes of dancing to no music, the crowds quickly dispersed, leaving shoppers to go about their business.
The dancers all headed back inside the Winter Gardens, where more than 6,000 people showed up over the course of the three-day fitness event, which organisers say is the biggest of its kind in Europe.
In its 10th year under current directors Ceri Hannan and Steve Watson, the International Fitness Showcase has been in Blackpool for more than 20 years.
The event sees a host of different exercise classes take place and a catalogue of stalls are set up selling fitness related equipment.
Event manager Sophie Watson said: “It has been amazing this year. It’s probably been the best atmosphere we have had so far.”
Presenter liaison Pam Allsop said: “I love the buzz of it, it’s just amazing. I have seen 1,000 people on a single dance floor here.
“And it’s a good boost for Blackpool, for the B&Bs and other traders.
“I think for us there is so much in the fitness world that goes on down south so it is great that this puts the north in the picture.
“And I think people that aren’t from anywhere round here love it because this is such an idiosyncratic building – a lot of them won’t have seen anything like the Winter Gardens before.”