Dancers sing praises of community’s strength
The rain paused, the sky cleared, and they danced to spread a message of strength.
More than 250 people from dance studios in Boston and beyond gathered at Boylston Plaza Sunday afternoon for a flash mob to introduce a new song commemorating the strength of a city torn by the bombings at the Marathon last year.
The peppy beat of the music filled the spring air and the words of hope echoed across Boylston Street as dancers twisted, turned, and threw their arms up: “One step at a time/ stronger every day/ Love, love is the finish line/ Are we on our way.”
“The idea is, instead of dwelling in the pain and the misfortune of the bombings, we wanted to do something fun and uplifting,” said Eytan Nicholson, one of three partners from the FAM, the jingle-writing group formed out of Berklee College of Music that became popular for “So Good” — known as “The Boston Song.”
“ ‘The Boston Song’ was sort of like a city anthem that everyone sort of chants together,” Nicholson said. “This one is called ‘Beat as One’ and it’s all about when something really difficult happens, as a community, that’s where we find our strength and essentially everyone’s hearts beat as one and that’s where we come together.”
Lena Andrade, who runs the South End dance studio the Z Spot, said she held four practices last week and people turned out “in the masses.”
“The excitement has been fantastic,” she said. “It’s a very heartwarming experience because the message behind the song, bringing community together, has been really empowering.”
Ariana Incorvati, 16-year-old cocaptain of Next Step Dance Company in Waltham, said none of the dancers had participated in a flash mob before.
“We’re really proud to be a part of this and we’re proud of where we’re from,” she said. “I feel a connection with all these people I don’t even know — we’re all helping each other — and it’s all through dance and it’s special.”
City Councilor Tito Jackson of Boston, who also showed off his moves, was impressed by what the organizers have done for the community.
“I’ve watched them really embrace Boston, and they are exactly what we want to see of young people who come here to go to school. They’ve really made the city their own and they have just as much pride as someone like me who’s been here all their life,” he said.
“I think the spirit is about unity, solidarity, and a city coming together as one, not only from the Boston Marathon, but also from issues — shootings and gangs — that people have had in the neighborhoods.”
It’s a message Nicholson is spreading through music.
“We’re trying to show that even though the city went through a lot of trouble last year, it inspired a lot of really positive people to come together and all the people here today are exactly the kind of people who believe nothing’s going to hold us back from being one city and one community.”