BPS will attempt to break Guinness World Record for largest “Cha-Cha Slide” dance


LeAnne Bugay

Bellevue Public Schools will hold its fourth annual Unity Rally on Tuesday, Aug. 27. BPS will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest group do dance the “Cha-Cha Slide”.

Taegan Jacobs, Features Editor

Bellevue Public Schools will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest “Cha-Cha Slide” dance at this year’s Unity Rally on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Girlguiding North West England, a charity that provides activities to young women, holds the current record with 3,231 participants on Oct. 8, 2011 in Blackpool, U.K., according to the Guinness World Records website. In order to beat the record, BPS will need 3,250 or more participants. 

This will be BPS’ fourth annual Unity Rally. According to Bellevue West principal Kevin Rohlfs, he’s been trying to find an activity where BPS could set a new record.

“We’ve done that Unity Rally three years and I was just trying to do something completely different this year to kind of spice it up a little bit,” Rohlfs said. “So I thought this would be a good thing to explore.” 

Rohlfs’ original idea was to beat the dance record for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

“It’s huge,” Rohlfs said. “And the dance is way harder. So then I kind of thought ‘well, what else is out there that we could do?’ and I just kind of started googling some different things and came across the Cha-Cha Slide, which is, to me, a very manageable number at 3,250.”

It can take up to 12 weeks to receive a reply from Guinness after applying to break a world record. Rohlfs applied for the district in February and since getting approved in June, is still answering some of Guinness’ questions. With the approval came a 41 page booklet about regulations needed in order to qualify for the record. 

“When you want to set a world record, there’s a lot of hoops you’ve got to jump through,” Rohlfs said. “There’s been a lot of logistics pieces we’ve had to get in place as we’ve progressed, and I think we’re kind of at the tail of it. We’ve got everything lined up now.”

West will be holding a Cha-Cha Slide dance practice during advisory Friday, Aug. 16 in the gym. If it goes well, another practice will be held Friday, Aug. 23.

“I would like to see 500 people in the gym all doing it together,” Rohlfs said. “And then I’ll get a picture of that and send it to their schools and challenge them to see if they can get a bigger group together. Kind of start getting it hyped up a little bit.”

Everyone is invited to join the dance. To qualify, there needs to be a judicator for every 50 dancers and an official dance expert to oversee the whole dance. There will also need to be people to oversee the counting of tickets, and official timers to run stopwatches. 

The dance has to go on for more than five minutes and no official can be attached to the school district, according to Rohlfs. 

“I hope we’re going to start getting people on the field by six and I’m hoping by seven o’clock we’ve got it done,” Rohlfs said. “It’s just going to come down to how fast we can get people processed, counted, and lined up to do the dance. So, it’ll be fun, it won’t be an all night thing, and we’ll see.”

BPS also could have brought in a Guinness official to present a certificate the night of the event if the district beat the record, but the cost of the certificate is $12,000. Instead, Rohlfs said Guinness has to receive all BPS’ data and photos in order to approve the record, which could take up to six months.

“So I’m hoping by the West-East basketball game that we’ll have an answer back and then we could announce it at the basketball game that night,” Rohlfs said. 

Rohlfs hopes that the Unity Rally will spread the message that BPS has power together.

“Kind of the theme I’ve set for it is, together we can,” Rohlfs said. “And if we can get 3,250 people together to dance a silly dance, there’s really nothing that together we can’t accomplish — for the school district, for the community.”