A not-so-secret flash mob of residents from Twin Towers, a senior living community in College Hill, will take over Fountain Square on May 16 thanks to a collaboration with Pones, Inc.

Pones is a dance company that, according to its website, provides artistic opportunities for community growth by creating engaging new ways for audiences to experience dance. Often, this includes site-specific performances that immerse the dancers and audience members in the experience.

An immersive experience for the residents of Twin Towers is exactly what Tina Spicer, Twin Towers events and program specialist, had in mind when she reached out to Pones Executive Director Kim Popa. Spicer arranged for Pones dancers to teach interested Twin Towers residents choreography to a song — Popa skipped “Singing in the Rain,” a song they’d know, for something new, Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancin’” —and learn it for the Fountain Square performance. The flash mob will celebrate Older Americans Month.

“The very first class … we asked people about their first dance memory or just a dance memory,” said Popa. “One woman said, ‘Actually I have a lot of experience as a dancer. I was a USO hostess.’ And another woman remembered seeing Yul Brenner live on stage here in Cincinnati. I was kind of blown away by the scope.”

The flash mob will feature Popa and her Pones, Inc. dancers, participating residents of Twin Towers, and assorted staff members, including Spicer. If you’re not familiar with flash mobs, they are a brief, energetic burst of choreographed motion (typically dance) designed to catch the audience off guard, delight them in the process, and leave everyone inspired to continue to move in the wake of the performance.

“They already have such amazing stories of dancing in their lives, so I think it just helps them to bring out those memories, kind of relive them in a way, but also realizing that at this point in their lives they can continue to create those memories,” said Pones dancer Ian Forsgreen.

The idea that everyone has a dance story, and story in general, is what Spicer is intent on. The shared experience of dance, courtesy of Pones, acts as an equalizer and highlights the relevance of everyone’s story.

“A lot of them used to walk to work and walk through downtown, (so) it’s full circle and it’s bringing them back. The intention is to bring the residents back home to their community and show that they can still walk around downtown Cincinnati, and still feel welcomed in Cincinnati,” said Spicer. 

“That’s why we’re doing it on Fountain Square,” she added. “We want people to look down and say, ‘Look at all those seniors. We’re all going to be those seniors. We will always have options and the connection with Cincinnati. There’s always something new and different going on. We don’t want to miss the opportunities to experience them.”

Join the residents of Twin Towers at Fountain Square on from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 16 for a special flash mob celebration in honor of Older Americans Month.