The World's Oldest Flash Mob surprised both Waiheke Island and Auckland city shoppers on Saturday with three live hip-hop dance performances.
The mob performed at the Ostend Market at 9am, at Matiatia wharf while waiting for the 10am ferry, and again at 11.30am on the corner of Shortland St and Queen St in Auckland.
They are aged 65 to 95 and dance hip-hop style. The 10 men and 40 women are all Waiheke residents and practise every Monday at Morra Hall in Oneroa.
Mob manager Billie Jordan says the group aims to reduce the stigma of ageing through entertainment.
"Ageism is a real issue in our society. A lot of people automatically presume that just because you're a senior citizen you must be old fashioned, feeble, unemployable, not capable of being independent, no longer able to contribute to society, that you can't learn new things like routines and regulations, aren't engaged in technology, and don't like doing any activity that is supposedly outside of your comfort zone.
"Our aim is to address those misperceptions and prejudices in a light-hearted and entertaining way.
Ms Jordan says many members are deaf, and quite a few are partially sighted or use some form of mobility aid.
"None of them have been professional dancers or have any hip-hop dance experience. There are only three entry criteria for joining the mob: Have some level of connection with Waiheke Island, be aged 65 or over, and have a pulse."
Mob members call the live performances RAKs.
"This stands for random acts of kindness," Billie says.
"Unlike other performances where you hang around for applause or expect a payment, our flash mob just disappears into the crowd never to be seen again. They don't wait around for any type of reward for their efforts. It is solely a gift to make people smile and laugh, whether they are there in person or seeing the performance through a computer on YouTube."
- Waiheke Marketplace
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