Staff flash mob highlights 2015 Versus assembly


Heidie Sause gets down while leading the staff flash mob. Anya DeCarlo photo.

When career coordinator Heidi Sause was signed up to compete in the dance competition for the recent Versus Assembly, she knew her performance would have to be something spectacular to beat the talented student dancers.

“She had a mission to beat Avery [Mitchell],” said Eric Levine, Sause’s dance partner for the assembly.

Levine was referring to senior Avery Mitchell, who along with fellow senior Kindell MacIntosh, brought the house down as juniors during last year’s competition with a stylish hip-hop performance to “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama. Although the dancers did not take home the prize last year, their seasoned experience and ability to excite the crowd definitely made Upperclassmen the favorite to win this year.

First up in the competition and representing the Underclassmen were sophomores Cooper Hull and Akira Peterson. The sophomores let the audience know the Underclassmen were for real this year with what Peterson called “a pretty spicy, hip-hop” piece to “DJ Turn It Up” by Yellow Claw. The two cheerleaders choreographed the moves themselves with the help of sophomore Kylie Haney and delivered the flawless performance after only an hour of practice.

Following the Underclassmen were Mitchell and McIntosh, who sported untidy, backwards overalls. With Kris-Kross’s “Jump” hyping them, the duo delivered an explosive, rhythmic routine. Mitchell took the performance to a new level when he went into the crowd and showcased his finishing moves in front of the Mom Squad judging panel. “She [MacIntosh] did all the choreographing. I was her puppet,” said Mitchell.

To take their dance to even a higher level, Sause installed the perfect plan to win it all: a full-on staff flash mob.

So when Sause and Levine bounded out to center stage to the sound of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars as the final act, it seemed to the audience like a regular, everyday routine. But when the chorus dropped and masses of the staff poured out from their section to join in, the routine turned into a classic Cleveland memory.

The dance number stunned and wowed the students. The crowd went bananas as they saw their favorite teachers getting down and going for it. The staff’s talents did enough to also wow the Mom Squad as the staff took first place in the competition for the second year in a row.

The success was the result of the choreography composed by Sause, who had heard about the idea of the flash mob from teachers Camille Adana and Vanessa Hughes. This enabled Sause, using her cheer coaching experience, and Levine, with his love to get down, to teach the moves to their co-workers at staff meetings and with the use of instructional videos created by the duo.

“It’s not easy to get out there in front of the entire student body and make a fool of yourself, and that’s essentially what we asked the staff to do. And just to see everybody out there going for it, I just keep marveling at how epic that was…It was a pretty unifying experience,” said Sause.

While everyone did enjoy the competition, there was controversy on all sides surrounding the judges’ decision and even some cries that the teachers cheated.

“I really enjoyed how they [the staff] all came together. I haven’t seen anything like that in Cleveland for a while…But I thought we shoulda had it. The mom squad is the mom squad. I don’t think they’re used to this generation’s music,” said Mitchell.

“I thought it was pretty cool, but I still think we should’ve won ‘cause they didn’t follow the rules. There was only supposed to be two people and they all went out!” said Peterson.

However, if you ask the staff, there is no doubt the right winner was crowned and the accusations of cheating are preposterous. “There was nothing in the rules on that,” said Vice Principal Kevin Taylor.

But when it comes down to it, cheating or no cheating, generational bias of the Mom Squad or no generational bias, the staff just won the dance competition for the second year in a row. A win is a win.

Mission complete, Ms. Sause.