The music started in H&M court at the Palisades Mall and about 500 people started dancing. On Feb. 14, they joined women in 203 other countries who also organized flash mob dances in support of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls, and the ONE BILLION RISING campaign.
This past Thursday was the largest day of mass action ever to stop violence against women and girls, to express their outrage, and to strike, dance and RISE to support an end to violence against women once and for all, according to the 1 Billion Rising website.
The "Rockland Rising" flash mob dance was choreographed by Myrna Packer to Tena Clark's "Break the Chain" and organized by Center For Safety & Change, formerly Rockland Family Shelter. They anticipated 200 people, but ended up with about 500, said Kiera Pollock, the center's Deputy Executive Director of Programs and Clinical Services.
In celebration of the 15th Anniversary of Eve Ensler’s “One Billion Rising” movement, Rockland “rose up” in solidarity with national and global organizations to demand an end to violence against women.
“It’s very important to stand together on behalf of women for the strength and safety of women,” said Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, who was right in the middle of the flash mob dancing away. “The violence against women is unacceptable and we will not allow it to continue.”
Rachel Grob said that she loved the idea behind a flash mob and how it was a spontaneous gathering of so many people and strangers who danced united behind one cause.
“It was great that people walking by joined in,” she added.
“It was an unbelievable event and very exciting to see hundreds of women turn out and dance for this important cause, which was about stopping one billion women from being abused, wherever they are across the world,” said Rockland Legislative Chair Harriet Cornell. “The sad story is that there is such hardships for so many people … everybody is leaving here feeling very committed that they will do their part and talk to their clergy members and family members so that everyone gets involved to stomp out violence against women.”
“If anyone doubts if there is violence against women, they should just ask a woman they know if they feel safe walking through a parking lot,” said Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart. “The answer is going to be ‘no’ and everyone should rally together to make that answer ‘yes.’”
Locals from all over Rockland and even farther away came to participate.
"I think it's amazing that they're doing this nationally," said Florence Manoff. "It's a great cause. It's wonderful to be a part of it."
"People are not afraid to talk about it (violence against women). It's no longer a secret," said Isabel Simon.
"Seeing the size of the crowd and enthusiasm was great," said Michele Armenante. "A friend in Australia (participated in a flash mob over there too). It feels cool that it's global and the energy is fabulous."
Also at the event was a book sale with all proceeds of that day going to the Center For Safety & Change, "Goddess on Earth: Portraits of the Divine Feminine" by Lisa Levart.
“February 14, 2013 will change the world not because it is a day of magic, although there are indeed mystical elements surrounding this campaign. It will change the world because the preparation for it and organizing for it has already created an energetic wind or wave igniting existing efforts to end violence against women and create new ones,” said V-Day Founder and award winning playwright Eve Ensler.
Did you participate? How did it go? If you got photos or videos from the dance, share them and add them to this article.