FARMINGTON -- In Michael Jackson's music video "Thriller," the dancers were dressed as zombies, but at Knowlton Elementary School on Friday, the dancers sported a variety of costumes as they danced to the song made famous by the King of Pop.
Though most adults know a lot about Jackson, sixth-grader Khaiden Haney said, "I don't know much about him."
So rather than dress as a zombie, Khaiden dressed as a video game character. Other students dressed as Santa, magicians, ball players and even a Whoopie Cushion.
"It was fun that we could really dance in a costume," Khaiden said following the 3 1/2-minute dance he and the other sixth-graders performed.
Khaiden also celebrated his birthday with the dance and Halloween party.
Glow necklaces were all that could be seen as the students began the dance by lying on the floor of the darkened gym where parents and family had gathered.
As the students rose slowly from the floor, the lights went on and they danced to the sound effects heard in the music of "Thriller."
"It was awesome. It was just fun. We did really good on it," said student Adam Porschatis.
Tyler Proctor also liked performing the dance.
"I liked it. It feels kind of classic. You let out all of your energy to be able to dance it," he said.
Tyler had slight costume malfunctions.
"I could feel it on my back," he said of a suspender that came undone. Also, "I put my glasses in my pocket, and they fell out."
Meg Preece said she and all of the other students worked hard to learn the dance.
"We got it down the first day, then we got the music and it really worked out," she said.
Her friend Courtney Poulson agreed that it was a lot of fun to learn and perform "Thriller."
The sixth-grade classes at Knowlton have been performing the dance following the Halloween parade for the past eight years, said sixth-grade teacher Kirstin Reed.
"Our school is an Artworks for Kids School," she said.
As part of that program, arts are increased in the school. When the program began, Kristine Butler taught dance, and as one of the activities, she taught both the students and the teachers the "Thriller" dance.
"The sixth-graders are older and they still want to do it, so the teachers teach it. We practice for a month. The dance is the big finale after the Halloween parade," Reed said.
Parents cheered and applauded as the students danced.
"The kids look forward to it, and they work hard to learn it," Reed said.
"It became a Halloween tradition. It is a good way to do dance and art with a seasonal twist."