Bizarre Norwich flash mob dance pays tribute to Boris Johnson

A bizarre scene greeted people visiting the Chapelfield shopping centre in Norwich today when a group of young dancers donned Boris Johnson masks and performed a surprise routine.

The 10-strong group, made up of dancers from the Miller School of Dance on Ropemakers Row, were part of a synchronised flash mob taking place at 11am yesterday morning across nine UK shopping centres.

Boris Johnson is the high profile Lord Mayor of London and yesterday's has been coined as 'Boris Dancing', a light hearted, irreverent method of grabbing the attention of shoppers.

The routine, set to a specially created hip-hop track, was choreographed by industry expert Julie Kavanagh, who has created flash mob style events for the likes of Nike and Xbox. The event was orchestrated by Capital Shopping Centres - who run 14 shopping centre destinations including Chapelfield – with the aim of entertaining shoppers.

Chapelfield is also the host of one of the London 2012 Live Sites, where the public can watch the Olympics on a big screen at Chapelfield Plain. However, the synchronised event was apparently not designed with the Olympics in mind.

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Sheridan Smith is Chapelfield's Marketing Manager: 'We run a lot of activities to try to get people along to watch stuff on the big screen,' she said.

'We thought it would be a fun dance - a bit of a giggle. Morris dancing is a quintessentially British thing and we wanted to put a modern twist on it and someone said 'Boris Dancing'.

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'He has a lot of funny mannerisms which we thought we could incorporate into the dance. It was a great way to kick off our programme of summer holiday activities.'

Natalie Curston, 27, was one of the dancers. She said: 'Today was great fun; we've done performances before, but never outside a shopping mall in Boris Johnson masks. It was quite nerve-racking.

'You can't see a lot through the mask, but at least it covered the face.'

The event was not blessed with a substantial crowd, but a number of shoppers did stop to watch.

Duncan Alan, 38 from Foxburrow Road, Sprowston, said: 'It's not something you see every day, but it's good to see young, diverse people doing something.

'I've certainly never seen anything like it before.'

The mall is holding a dance teaching event on Saturday, where Richard Miller of the dance school will demonstrate a range of dances.

Do you have a quirky story for the Evening News? Call reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email

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