Thrill the World Portland 2016 is a benefit for SMYRC & Sankofa Collective.

Dancing Zombies Take Over the World; Portland Hosts 10th Annual Thriller dance & fundraiser 

It is a Saturday in late fall – Portlanders are smearing on makeup in ghoulish styles, ripping their clothes, and smudging themselves with dirt. Once it’s obvious they’ve recently risen from the grave, they converge on a covered court at Irving Park in Northeast Portland and drop to the asphalt. At precisely three pm, music ascends from speakers, and together, the zombie-dancers rise and break into a tightly choreographed dance…

This scene will emerge on October 29th, 2016, as Thrill the World, a worldwide project that coordinates local dancers to perform the zombie-dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, for the tenth year in a row.

Proceeds from Thrill the World Portland benefit the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC), a local organization that provides services and a drop-in center for queer youth, as well as Sankofa Collective, serving the needs of local queer and trans Black and African people.

Dancers will need to learn the dance ahead of time. Practices are held throughout the month of October, at a number of locations in Portland. Our team of five instructors each have years of experience teaching the full Thriller dance in public settings.

In our first nine years, Thrill the World Portland has had more than 1200 participants, and we’ve raised over four thousand dollars for local organizations serving queer and trans people.

For more information on SMYRC, visit their webpage. To learn more about Sankofa, this article in PQ Monthly gives some history.


Alan Silver, Thrill the World Portland organizer


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s