It is always a pleasure to work with a client who, from the word go, believes in you and that you will deliver to them the team building event that they have imagined for their group. This week, we travelled to the Leicester Marriott, the venue for another one of our fantastic Thriller sessions – our increasingly popular corporate team building dance activity.
Our client’s main aim for the day was for everyone to experience a fun, action packed-session, but one which focused on the clear business messages of teamwork, motivation and collaboration. Our Thriller was perfect for achieving these objectives.
We arrived with the anticipation that, within three hours, every single one of the 120 delegates would be transformed, under the guidance of our Thriller professionals, into pop-performing Zombies! The venue was set and everything was in place for our surprise session.
The look on people’s faces as we started to introduce the session amazed me. Faces revealed a mix of total surprise, apprehension, dread, laughter and fear (particularly when singing and dancing were mentioned).
Within seconds, our talented facilitators had the group up on their feet and moving their chairs to the side of the room in order to create the space to let the session begin.
The main group was split into two groups. One group of 60 delegates headed off into an adjoining room with our expert vocal coach, Francis Goodhand. Francis is fresh from working with David Hasselhoff in preparation for his upcoming event at The O2, and he is soon to start work on a very exciting tour with Kylie Minogue.
So, our participants were all definitely in ‘Goodhand’s! Francis had 45 minutes to take his group through a vocal warm-up and run through the lyrics and harmonies of the famous Thriller track. As well as being great fun, the session had very serious messages – about overcoming fear and succeeding both as individuals and also as a team.
Meanwhile, after a brief but motivating dance warm-up, the other group of 60 delegates were introduced to the Thriller dance routine by our Head Choreographer, Page. Page was assisted by Caramel, another professional dancer, who has just finished working with Peter Andre.
The biggest challenge for our professional dance trainers is to get everyone in the session to lose their inhibitions, and to dance like zombies without it looking comical or awkward. Our participants quickly learned that it’s all about being absorbed in the role. Thriller is absolutely fantastic for taking people out of their comfort zones and transforming them into totally different, and believable, characters.
When I stood back and watched the group, I saw small groups of participants working together, helping and encouraging each other, and giving each other confidence to move into their personal ‘zombie zone’.
Our trainers were always there, every step of the way, demonstrating their own zombie moves to give participants something to work with.
After a short comfort break, the groups were rotated, and another 45-minute session was underway, to give everyone the experience of singing and dancing.
Next was the ‘zombification’ session. Believe me, it’s quite a challenge to get 120 people transformed into zombie costumes, with full face make-up including fake blood, fake scars and wigs – all in 25 minutes! Teamwork was critical at this point, and everyone worked well together to create their unique and ghoulish zombie looks.
Bringing all of the zombies together for their final performances was very exciting. Not only did they all look the part, all those inhibitions that had been there at the beginning of the day were long gone.
A complete vocal run-through of the Thriller song was powerful and unifying, with all 120 people in full voice to create the most amazing sight and sound. Then to everyone’s delight, each group performed the routine for the other group to watch, followed by the finale where all 120 zombies performed the routine as one.
It was an amazing end to an equally amazing day!
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