Arts & Entertainment

Riverside dancers hope to break record with re-creation of Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller'

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Downtown Riverside is in for an early Halloween Saturday night. Hundreds, possibly thousands of dancers will try to set a world record by re-creating the choreography from Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” video.

It’s the scene where a zombified Jackson leads a troupe of the living dead through a routine that’s part “West Side Story” and part “Night of the Living Dead.”

Two teams of choreographers on flatbed trucks will lead dancers through the moves in front of Riverside’s historic downtown courthouse. The current Guinness Book of World record lists 15,000 people as the biggest number to stage a “Thriller” dance re-creation.

Organizers know they can’t top that. But they hope at least to set a Southern California record.

Anyone can sign up to dance as long as they dress as a zombie, in Michael Jackson garb or in an old t-shirt. The re-creation is being sponsored by the California Riverside Ballet.

It's also promotion for Riverside’s annual “Ghost Walk” event in October, and marks Michael Jackson’s birthday. The late entertainer would have turned 52 years old on Sunday.