How a flashmob in Calgary is raising funds for Yolanda aid

Posted at 01/30/14 12:01 PM

CALGARY - Just when you thought you've seen all kinds of fundraising for typhoon victims in the Philippines, a flashmob right in downtown Calgary proves otherwise.

People walking down a busy street in downtown Calgary were surprised when dozens of people started dancing to Flashdance.

The event was organized to raise funds for the ongoing typhoon relief operations in the Philippines.

Jordan de Barros, one of the organizers, said the event's purpose is simple: use music and dance as a sign of solidarity and support for the victims of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

"Our video of the flashmob will be posted on YouTube and we will have all the embedded links to registered Canadian charities so that people can donate when they are comfortable and what they are comfortable in donating," said de Barros, corporate communications adviser for the Tomorrow Project.

The idea of a music and dance performance to help the typhoon victims was initially questioned by some. But Filipino-Canadian Zoey del Corro explained the importance of dance and music in Filipino culture.

"I got a question from a person and he said, 'Why are you doing a flashmob? People have died, you are going to sing and dance in the street... why?' And I said, 'You've got to understand the Filipino people. Even the way they talk 'Hello, Sir'... it's so musical. And you know when they got down and they were devastated, did they stop dancing the dance of life? They didn't. They got up and that's what it's about," she said.

It was a first for most of the performers to participate in a flashmob. It was made even more memorable because they were dancing for a worthy cause.

"It feels good. There are many ways you can help with the donations. Hopefully, some of them will see the video and they will smile," said Jhernelyn Parinas.

People from all ages and different nationalities participated in the flashmob. They added that they will "keep dancing for other people's lives, take their passion and make things happen".