With the help of Jeanine Mason, the season 5 winner of “So You Think You Can Dance?”, Best Buddies California coordinated simultaneous flash mobs at the famed Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and Ferry Building in San Francisco on Saturday to help build awareness and promote social inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
People of all ages came out to dance and support the organization.
The flash mob was choreographed by Jeanine Mason to Lady Gaga’s Born this Way.
The message of Lady Gaga’s song resonated deeply with those involved, and was designed as a fun, exciting, and adventurous way for supporters and participants to express their many talents, while raising awareness to the issues of those with IDD.
“Best Buddies is dedicated to the power of friendship in promoting social inclusion for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities,” said Patricia Evans, State Director of Best Buddies California. “These young people who came out for the flash mob represent Best Buddies chapters in high schools all over Southern and Northern California. When we heard Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” we thought what better way to get the message out that each of us is different in our own way, and yet we’re all the same. Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and respect.”
Mason became involved with Best Buddies California upon being introduced to a fellow contestant on So You think You Can Dance? with Down Syndrome, an IDD. That friendship helped spur her to travel and perform at various events to help spread awareness of the talents and abilities of those with IDD. Mason was a special guest at the “2011 Buddies California Friendship Walk” in Long Beach, where she led an impromptu dance party for all of the walkers. “Our talents need to be celebrated, and this flash mob is an exciting way to showcase that people with disabilities aren’t afraid to express who they are. I had a great time doing this, and I’m excited to engage the public in such a great organization,” Mason stated.
Although this event came and went in a flash, Best Buddies California is committed to improving the lives of people with IDD one friendship, one job, and one dance at a time!
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