On St. Patrick’s Day 2011, travelers who were making their way through the Central Railway Station in Sydney, Australia, received a secret, but carefully planned performance by a flash mob of Irish dancers that was caught on video.
After approximately 15 seconds of normal activity within the station, Irish music begins to play over the station’s loudspeaker. Five seconds later, a young man dressed completely in black, begins performing an Irish dance while heading toward the center of the building, with the crowd suddenly drawn to his efforts.
Within seconds, two young women and another young man, dressed in casual clothing, walk up and also begin dancing in choreographed fashion. With more and more people taking a look, some individuals begin taking photographs and video of the performance.
Three more women join in, with all six individuals in alignment. Soon, a row behind the group emerges with even more people, with some moving to the original row. After that is yet another row that now becomes the front group.
Whereas the majority of dancers at the start were older teenagers, many of the ones that follow are mere grade schoolers. However, each of them is able to keep in time with the music. Some of the girls are wearing dresses, with others having a more casual look.
This continues for nearly two minutes, at which point a new song begins as adult men and women now join the group. These individuals are performers from the production of The Riverdance and are led by Julian Erskine. They enter with drums pounding, but once the music begins, the dancing resumes.
Each line of dancers within the group begins to get closer until their shoulders are effectively linked together. While this goes on, the dancing is seen from a variety of perspectives. Some of the video focuses on the bodies of the dancers, while others focus simply on the feet. The latter is due to this particular form of dancing, which keeps arms on the side and unmoving.
That music ends after only a minute, at which point the dancers disperse back into the crowd. The crowd erupts in loud cheers and applause for the effort.
The performance was actually a marketing gimmick by Tourism Ireland in order to get people thinking about visiting the island. The group of dancers that helped choreograph the effort are known as the Sneaky Steppers, while six of the younger dancers are part of the Irish Dance Studios that are located right in Sydney.
Tourism Ireland repeated the performance the following year, but the 2011 video remains a popular online video option, with nearly 11.3 million views since it was posted five year ago.