Teacher and her students expertly performing the 'Thriller' dance is pure Gen X bliss

When Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video debuted in 1983, the VCR—which most kids today couldn't pick out of a lineup—had only been around for about seven years and cost far more than today's far superior Blu-ray players. If you wanted to rewatch something, you had to record it when it came on TV—complete with commercials. And if you wanted to learn the dance moves from the most epic music video ever made up to that point, you had to keep rewinding and playing the tape over and over again.

Gen X remembers. Especially when we see high schoolers reenacting the same dance we spent hours trying to perfect and are immediately transported back to our shag-carpeted living rooms with our tube television sets.

Jennifer Hawkins, who teaches dance to kindergarteners through eighth graders at Birney School in Southfield, Michigan, taught a group of students the "Thriller" dance and they performed it perfection in their school hallway. The video was filmed in 2019 and had several waves of virality, this time after being shared by Rex Chapman on Twitter.


Birney Dance Team - Thriller www.youtube.com

The nostalgia this video brings to the people who remember the 1983 video phenomenon and reenacting it as kids (and notably, also remember the era before Michael Jackson fell from grace with the Neverland controversy) is palpable. The choreography of Jackson and the late Micheal Peters has held up remarkably well through the years—despite being nearly four decades old, the moves look fresh coming from these youngsters. And the clear dedication and talent of their teacher makes it even better.

Even if you aren't part of the Gen X generation for whom this video brings back a flood of 1980s memories, the sheer joy of it still impresses. That's the power of dance, the power of art, and the power of a great teacher.

Thank you and your students, Ms. Hawkins, for sharing that power for us all to enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

Screenshots via @castrowas95/Twitter

In the Pacific Northwest, orca sightings are a fairly common occurrence. Still, tourists and locals alike marvel when a pod of "sea pandas" swim by, whipping out their phones to capture some of nature's most beautiful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

While orcas aren't a threat to humans, there's a reason they're called "killer whales." To their prey, which includes just about everything that swims except humans, they are terrifying apex predators who hunt in packs and will even coordinate to attack whales several times their own size.

So if you're a human alone on a little platform boat, and a sea lion that a group of orcas was eyeing for lunch jumps onto your boat, you might feel a little wary. Especially when those orcas don't just swim on by, but surround you head-on.

Watch exactly that scenario play out (language warning, if you've got wee ones you don't want f-bombed):

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