Largest umbrella dance: Pitt students shatter world record (VIDEO) PITTSBURGH, PA, USA -- 3,524 members of the University of Pittsburgh's incoming freshman class celebrated Gene Kelly's centenary by participating in a choreographed umbrella dance on the lawn of the Petersen Events Center,
setting the new world record for the Largest umbrella dance,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: More than 3,000 members of the University of Pittsburgh's incoming freshman class celebrate Gene Kelly's centenary by participating in a choreographed umbrella dance in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record on the lawn of the Petersen Events Center. Photo: Michael Henninger (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the largest umbrella dance was achieved by 1,461 participants.
Guinness World Records also recognized the Largest Mambo dance record, set by 3,868 people who danced to Pérez Prado's Mambo No. 5 for five minutes at Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain.
As part of its own 225th anniversary observance, the University of Pittsburgh yesterday celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Aug. 23, 1912, birth in Pittsburgh of Pitt alumnus and special Academy Award-honored dancer, director, choreographer, actor, and singer Gene Kelly (1912-1996) by setting a new World Record for the Largest umbrella dance.
A total of 3,524 incoming Pitt freshmen students held umbrellas aloft during a six-minute choreographed dance on the lawn adjacent to Pitt’s Petersen Events Center.
The custom-made umbrellas they held were imprinted with Pitt’s 225th-anniversary logo and the words “Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Gene Kelly.”
The dance event honoring Kelly, one of Pitt’s most renowned alumni, was designed to remind spectators and participants alike of Kelly’s iconic dance sequence from the classic 1952 film musical Singin’ in the Rain, in which he dances up and down a rain-drenched street twirling an umbrella and splashing in puddles.
This sequence is considered by many to be the most memorable dance performance on film.
Gene Kelly is credited with bringing an energetically athletic, authentically American dancing style to Hollywood musicals, and for changing the look of dance on film through his revolutionary innovations with the camera, choreography, and animation.
Kelly received the Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Pitt in 1933. While at Pitt, he became involved with the University’s Cap and Gown Club, serving as its director from 1934 to 1938, and taught dance at his family’s dance studio in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood; he would also choreograph musicals at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Nixon Theater.