UPPER WEST SIDE — Local high schoolers are hoping to cause a stir this weekend in Verdi Square when they break into dance as part of a planned flash mob.
Students, parents and teachers from the Urban Assembly for Green Careers, on West 84th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, will commandeer the square — one of the busiest spots on the Upper West Side and which leads into the 72nd Street 1/2/3 line subway station. They will perform a choreographed dance to Afrojack's "Can't Stop Me Now" Saturday at 2 p.m.
The event is part of a movement of simultaneous flash mobs across the country to celebrate National Dance Week, which runs from April 26 through May 5, and is aimed at bringing greater recognition to dance as an art form.
The week has been run by a nonprofit of the same name since 1981.
Lori Baird, the dance teacher at the high school, said about 50 people from the school community will participate, arriving from different locations and slowly joining in the dance, while other students watch in support.
"We’re going to try to fake people out a little bit. It’s going to be like, 'What’s going on?'" she said.
When Baird taught at the Middle School for the Arts in Crown Heights last year, she led her school in the first annual national flash mob orchestrated by the foundation — but the group wasn't able to get a permit and had to do it in front of the school. This year, she aimed higher, securing a permit from the Parks Department to perform in Verdi Square, a high-traffic area.
"It’s about getting kids active. I want kids to be excited, and a flash mob is something that is exciting," she said.
The students learned the choreography provided by the foundation, and Baird and the students each made some additions.
After the students start the mob, they'll try to get unsuspecting Upper West Siders to join in.
"The ultimate goal is to get young and old people to learn parts of it," Baird said. "We’re going to break it down and see if we can get up and exercise a little bit."