In the season of graduations, some things are fairly predictable: the valedictorians and salutatorians will give moving speeches, tassels will move from right to left and hats will be tossed signaling the end of 13 years of required schooling.
Other things—like having a flash mob break out following the senior speaker’s speech—well, not so predictable.
Two seniors managed to pull off a senior prank in the form of a flash mob that went off without a hitch at the school's June 2 graduation.
Nearly two dozen students, including one surprise addition, formed two lines following senior speaker Brian Webner’s speech, and a flash mob broke out to Carly Rae Jepsen's hit song, Call Me Maybe.
“We didn’t have a senior prank this year,” Webner said. “I think a few people were banking on me at the end of the year but we didn’t have anything.”
Until graduation day.
In addition to the valedictorian, salutatorian and class president's speeches, the school's graduation includes a senior speaker and Webner and Zach Scott, the son of Superintendent Bob Scott were selected as the senior speakers.
“We talked about the last 12 years of school and all that,” Webner said. “We were going back and forth.”
As ALHS principal Dr. Joanie Walker approached the podium at the end of the boys’ speech, Webner asked her to hold on for one moment. He apologized to the seated senior class about the lack of a senior prank and asked if anyone had a "any last-minute shenanigans they want to pull.”
Planted near the back was Webner’s partner in crime, Alex Youngvirt.
“I have an idea,” Youngvirt said, getting out of his seat and heading toward the front of the class as the music started.
For the next 3 and a half minutes, students, relatives and the administration enjoyed a choreographed dance and an impromptu break dance by Caleb Rojek.
“He just decided to run up and dance; he wasn’t part of it,” Webner said, but he and Youngvirt played along.
A last minute prank
Webner said the prank came together during graduation rehearsals.
“Someone had posted on the Class of 2012 Facebook page we should have a flash mob,” Webner said. “Some people thought it was stupid, some people were worried we would get into trouble.”
At baccalaureate, a classmate approached Webner—considered by no one to be bashful—about orchestrating a flashmob.
“There was a bunch of texting and we got about 15 people together to practice a dance,” Webner said.
At graduation practice, more kids asked to participate and the group held a one-hour practice session that evening.
The dance—inspired in part by the wildly popular video of Harvard baseball team’s impromptu bus number to Call Me Maybe—was kept fairly simple. No one, not even Webner’s parents, Christine and David, knew about the plans.
Well, almost no one.
“Someone said Dr. Walker needed some sort of head’s up,” Webner said. “So we told her we had something planned—she didn’t know exactly what—she just wanted us to make sure it wasn’t inappropriate."
The flash mob, which was posted on youtube a few days ago, shows the dance went off without a hitch.
“Plenty of kids afterward, including Zach Scott, said they wished they took part in it,” Webner said. “I’ve been going to a bunch of gradueation parties and a people have been talking to me about it.”
Webner said he was more nervous about giving the senior speech than about the flash mob.
“I’m not really a nervous kind of guy,” he said.
Parent Steven Russell, father of Michael Russell, who graduated with the class, shot the video that is making the rounds on the Internet.
While Michael Russell didn't participate in the dance, he and Danny Robinson encouraged Rojak to break dance.
Steven Russell said he had taped the speeches and suspected something was going to happen.
"We did have a clue right before that something was planned and knowing Brian, it was likely going to be during or shortly after his speech with Zach Scott," Russell said.