Flash Dance for the Planet… What a Feeling!

I used to think Flashdance was a cheesy movie from the 1980s. Now I know better. It’s like a flash mob, only with dancing. Much more fun, upbeat, and positive. And that’s the kind of thing we need a whole lot more of when it comes to climate crisis communication. Check out what the Australian Youth Climate Coalition pulled off in Sydney last Monday.


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About Mark S. Meisner

Executive Director of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA). I also research, teach, write about, and speak on environmental and sustainability communication, media, culture, and policy. Facts are usually facts, but opinions and sense of humour are always my own.
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4 Responses to Flash Dance for the Planet… What a Feeling!

  1. Mark Meisner says:

    Caron, thanks for your comment. My guess is that because this was part of the PowerShift summit, there was probably a lot of that sort of thing going around at the actual venue. It doesn’t show anything specific in the video, true, and that is an oversight I guess. Given the message at the end of the video, “No New Coal; Renewable Energy Now,” another possibility is that these folks want to promote big steps over small actions like changing bulbs. – Mark

  2. Caron Chess says:

    Yes. Positive for a change. Yes. (Research showing that guilt does not work for most mortals…being Jewish…well. works very well for me.)

    BUT would it have been possible to suggest one action for audience to take? Just one. Easy. feasible. That observers might take.

    If research suggests that reading about climate change is enough to make people feel like they have “done something.” (On vacation, please don’t ask for cite. I would check out http://cbsm.org
    My favorite on-line source for data of this type. Good reading for students.)

    What does seeing a flash dance do? Yes gets attention. Yes better upbeat than guilt. But one suggestion might lead to some small change. Switch off the light? Or change the bulb? Easy to put in dance. Intermittently so not too didactic. Funny and fun.

  3. Jen Schneider says:

    Great post–thank you! Just a few reactions:

    1) The guy in the globe suit looks a little like Perez Hilton!
    2) Having the polar bear breakdance makes him even more charismatic. 🙂
    3) I think there is a paper waiting to be written about the use of dance to raise awareness about climate change, world peace, etc.–a lot of these funky flash-dance actions have taken place lately and gone viral. I’m tempted to make connections with the will.i.am Barack Obama video. Are these activists tapping into something new? Is this spectacle, or something else? If it is, it’s not the same old kind, right? Are they going for a different depth of feeling?

    Anyway, great blog, and thanks for posting!

    • Mark Meisner says:

      Thanks Jen. I think it is still spectacle and somewhat of a pseudo event designed to get attention. But instead of direct mainstream media coverage it gets “viral legs” (pun may or may not be intended). What I like is the positive and somewhat celebratory approach. – Mark

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