We wonder what it is about teachers whose students come back to see them years after they graduate—until a story like this one pops up.
A video of the event was posted to YouTube then on Twitter and has rapidly gone viral, with more than 32-thousand retweets and more than 101-thousand likes on Twitter alone so far.
In the video, we can faintly hear Michael Jackson's "Thriller" playing, its beat matched seamlessly by the group of students, as well as Hawkins, leading the group.
You can watch the video here:
Birney Dance Team - Thriller youtu.be
The Undisputed Teacher of the Year. https://t.co/2eqLs4yF8P— OJ Spivey 🎙📝🏈🏀⚾️ (@OJ Spivey 🎙📝🏈🏀⚾️)1572230537.0
People have been wildly impressed by the video, readily agreeing with the Twitter caption:
"The Undisputed Teacher of the Year."
@OJPhilly @MidwinCharles Just absolutely WONDERFUL!!!!❤️👍🏽🧟♂️— Kathleen M. Thompson (@Kathleen M. Thompson)1572378764.0
@OJPhilly Slaaaayed🙌🏾— Tiffany T'zelle (@Tiffany T'zelle)1572274989.0
@OJPhilly How cool is that! What a teacher!— TinaRR (@TinaRR)1572271108.0
Some who were unaware Hawkins is the school's dance instructor—so this flash mob relates to her curriculum—failed to understand how it could make her teacher of the year.
@OJPhilly I love love love this! This is a great way to build relationships with your students. Once they're back i… https://t.co/WYyYMHRHue— Shakira Syed (@Shakira Syed)1572282561.0
Whether or not Hawkins was the dance instructor, however, performing to this song is a huge undertaking.
At the time Michael Jackson's full-length "Thriller" video was released, no other music video of its kind had been witnessed, including length, story-style, costume design and most importantly, choreography.
Even now, the stylings and dance combinations are hard to beat, and still difficult to master—and surely this remains true in a middle-school dance class.
@BlinkyMclasher @OJPhilly @rodimusprime Awesome to see kids enjoying it while simultaneously reminding me of my chi… https://t.co/0ciXv5rspq— Kenneth Harris (@Kenneth Harris)1572331200.0
@OJPhilly I recognized the dance without the sound...but I’m an 80s kid and a huge MJ fan from the days when this w… https://t.co/pNOZBBhBv8— Crzycatldy (@Crzycatldy)1572395259.0
For some, this has been a great example of what makes teachers so invaluable and worthy of praise for their hard work.
For others, it was a dance down memory lane, as "Thriller" was an early introduction to Michael Jackson's music for many, and since "Thriller" is a popular showcase around Halloween.
No matter the appeal, Hawkins' successful rendition of "Thriller" is a quality example of implementing complicated and admirable choreography into a K-8 classroom.