September 7th, 2009
12:03 PM ET

"Thriller" world record attempt

How exactly does one attempt to break the Guinness Book world record for the most people dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller?" As Sunday night's event at Atlanta, Georgia's Dragon*Con proved, it's no small feat.


Participants were asked to sign up and get a number all throughout the weekend, and were encouraged to attend two rehearsals earlier in the day. Dancer Ben Acosta of Huntsville, Alabama, explained, "They took you through all the steps and broke everything down to bring all of the components of it together."

The atmosphere in the Sheraton hotel ballroom was electric in the minutes leading up to the big moment, with spontaneous applause and chanting breaking out on more than one occasion.

Jackson look-a-likes (including one who took the stage to lead the dance) and dress-a-likes were prevalent, along with a multitude of "zombies," not an unusual sight for the annual convention. Among the participants were someone dressed as an "Alien" from the long-running film franchise of the same name, and another convention regular in a costume based on "Sesame Street's" Cookie Monster.

So did they break the record? Convention staffers told CNN that they were able to sign up 1,118 dancers. However, a large group in Mexico made another attempt to break the record, previously set by 242 College of William & Mary students back in April. Guinness Book officials are expected to sort through all of this in the coming days. Regardless of whether they broke the record, everyone there seemed to have a lot of fun. As Acosta put it, "It was a chance to be part of something extraordinary."

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. london female escorts

    It was certainly interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on this blog soon. BTW, rather good design that blog has, but how about changing it once in a few months?

    Jane Pingtown

    July 6, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. hhanks

    The event's official website has been updated to say 903 dancers participated.

    September 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Now I'm Tired

    Why don't all you bleeding heart MJ fans go find a "We love and worship MJ page" to write YOUR comments on?!? You are all yelling at one person for writing his opinion... telling him to stop reading articles about him etc... THIS article WASN'T about Michael Jackson. I read it because I wanted to read about “Thriller” world record attempt" and I read the comments hoping there would be some from people who were actually there but after filtering through the bs comments and then all the ones defending MJ AND the ones saying how great he is... I discovered, I'm tired of this circus too. Think about it...2 people made "rude" comments... and SOOOOO many of you "fans" JUMPED all over them. You should be ashamed to call yourselves fans. What would MJ think of your hurtful words?! You all talk about the kind of person he was yet NOT ONE OF YOU knew him personally but will go out on a limb to defend him and worse yet by being rude and hurtful yourselves.... way to set an example. So, ignore the "rude" comments and comment ON THE ARTICLE!!! And, YES, I'm an MJ fan...

    September 10, 2009 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. MJ Lover

    @ Tired of Michael Jackson...

    oh nevermind, you're not even worth it.

    We will always love MJ!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. loubna

    Andrew; seriously Dude, get a life. And... oh, when you have accomplished a millionth of what MJ has accomplished in helping others and bringing people together and breaking all sorts of racial barriers and exporting the best in US culture, then perhaps you can spit your little venom. Do some reading.
    MJ, rest in God's peace. Bless.

    September 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    people like ANDREW, who's lives are totally pointless, live to discredit anyone that has done well for themselves. Rather than accomplish anything on their own, they are just going to sit on their mother's couch, and criticize a man that conquered the world. Like it, or not, he was aquitted. Jealousy takes many shapes, but it's just pathetic when it takes the shape of a pimple-faced, couch-riding, basement living loser like Andrew.

    September 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Have to Say It!

    Andrew, it must me lonely out there all alone with your negative thoughts.

    September 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Martin

    @Adam I was a row in front of you and three people to your left wearing the WoW Guild T-Shirt. Loved the costume.

    @everyone else – The issue with Mexico is that they danced to the 3 minute version of the song. Guinness has t record based on the 5 min and 57 sec version of the song, which is what WM did.

    I am not a huge MJ fan, but this is the one song that I always liked, plus the video rocked, and I always wanted to be a part of it when people do it at parties. Now, thanks to taking part in this, I can and that alone rocks.

    I had fun, and even if, for any reason we were to not get the record, I will still be happy as we did a good job, and it was a blast!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ella a.

    this is wicked awesome. all the MJ support... I love it! and I love you more, Michael!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MJ

    THE GREATEST that EVER stepped on-stage....

    Michael Jackson.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mai

    let us all respect each other's opinion about Michael Jackson. He's one of the greates artist and i grew up listening to his songs. He had his troubles, like everyone. Let him rest in peace however, let us not forget his legacy in the music industry.

    September 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hattiewoodard

    A Bigger AMEN @Tired of Michael Jackson!!! I'm glad the fans are confronting unbelievers, speaking out, and standing up for Michael Jackson's contributions and accomplishments. I believe Michael is smiling at your courageous behaviors and undying belief in him. Your out-poring love is exemplified in your comments, I thank all of you for saying what some of us can't say. It HURTS (crying), so we simply don't respond.
    . Michael showed and gave us his LOVE everytime he performed. I pray that we can return that LOVE by completing the vision Michael started. Creating a place where terminal children believe there's hope. Creating a place for all who believe in Michael's vision. Let's Come Together, Save the Children, and Heal the Land by continuing his LEGACY. We Are The World. We Can Make This A Better Place. WILL YOU BE THERE? HELP SAVE NEVER NEVER LAND !!! (more info coming)

    September 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Adam

    I was at the thriller dance.and if any of you where lucky to see me. I was the one dressed as Cookie Monster aka Cookie monster Jackson

    September 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. janette

    Great!!! love Michael if you dont then read something else!!
    We LOVE Michael!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Las vegas and everywhere.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  16. Steve

    I think it was awesome they did this tribute.....I would like to have attended as I am a fan of Superheros and comics but unfortunately my budget would not allow it,,,,but good for these folks for remembering an american icon......For those of you that are tired of Michael Jackson news,,,simply turn the chanel or don't read the article.....not everyone is into Sports but considering the barage of new about Sports, I'm sure folks that are not into it simply tune out.....the accusers had their day in court and Michael was found not guilty and both accusers wanted to settle for money, and speaking as a parent justice would have been the first thing on my mind, not money....he was found innocent and very few starts leave 20 percent of their earning to charity....Rest in Peace Michael and let folks like this remember a good contribution he gave the world and let them enjoy a fun event.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  17. DillyRat

    A BIG Amen @ Tired of Michael Jackson!!!
    @Justin...It was 1,500 plus CPDRC inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines who did the tribute to MJ...heheh it was really cool. Maybe it didn't count because it was a "tribute"...

    September 8, 2009 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  18. Emmy Lalonde

    PEOPLE in the World would never forget Michael Jackson and will always very much to love to Michael Jackson even though after he's died, because Michael is unique one, a symbol of united for people around the world, on his will to help and to give on his sharing of love, his kindness without any of interest for himself, without any border of races nor any boundary, while he is staying humble and forgiveness. Michael was amazing human being, an example tribute on mankind, that never other people did before and no of other person would ever do the same like he did, anymore, as Michael was Michael that's all,
    Michael is someone very exception to us that we loved very2 deeply.
    Million words would never enough to discribe who Michael Jackson
    was, on the meaning to us in his life and even more after his passed.
    Michael Joseph Jackson was someone very special to us, who had charism, beauty outside his body and inside his heart, elegentary of an artist, when he dance, singing with his very well meanings lyrics
    for us, an uncomparable person we lost the most that noone equaly.
    Michael is everythings to us that we cruely sad and empty without him.


    September 8, 2009 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  19. Daniela

    Hey "Tired of Michael Jackson" – one simple thing to do: Don't read somthing anymore about.

    Or read something serious for explaining his condition, for example ever heard about "Lupus"? Skindisease destroying your face in the worst case, furthermore destroys your viscera. You are sensitive against sun light. No comment about child molestation, it was anyhow anchorless.... Money making tool for the parents of the boy. But it destroyed MJ, he was punished for his love for children. He was never allowed being one and now he is "Gone too soon". Let him rest in peace.... and let his children grow up without always hearing these things about their father.

    September 8, 2009 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  20. Pleasure

    "Tired of Michael Jackson" – Really?

    Well skip all articles and threads about the man! Use some self control instead of acting like a victim!!!

    You are out numbered in the opinion the Michael Jackson was a great singer, song writer, dancer, entertainer, music industry innovator in video and audio.
    Go hang on a Cobain thread and leave MJ and his fans alone!!!

    September 8, 2009 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  21. Raaid

    Michael Jackson is the greatest entertainer and singer of all times, a true genius, excellent dancer and a good humantarian. He was like a little innocent angel. We and the coming generations will always remember him for his self-less and dedicated personality for poor and needy. May Allah bless him with eternal bliss and a place in heaven, Insha-Allah.
    Michael Jackson's biggest fan yet....

    September 8, 2009 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  22. costech

    what a wonderful tribute. congratulations to the organisers.

    September 8, 2009 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  23. kerry

    I was one of the lucky people participating at this event at Dragon*Con this past Sunday. Yes, other cities and countries have tried to pass the current record of 242 held by College of William and Mary. The difficulty in achieving that goal is due largely to the very precise rules and records that must be kept in order to meet the standards set by the people at Guinness. It's my understanding that the dance done by Mexico went for around the 2 minute mark. The version we did at D*C was over 6 minutes long. The people that organized our event had absolutely every detail, (paperwork, signature verification, choreography) thoroughly scrutinized. Whether we break the record or not, it was amazing to be a part of something like this.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  24. Eric

    Comparing Kurt Cobain to Michael Jackson is like comparing an ant hill to Mount Everest. Most people in the world don't know who Kurt Cobain is, everyyone, for better or for worse, knew Michael.

    September 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Linda Joyce

    Dear tired of Michael Jackson – read something else

    September 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Also tired of Michael Jackson

    @ Andrew.
    You are Awesome.

    September 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  27. pamela Kelley

    ONE more word and I will have the last word for all the people that condemn and think that they are better than thou. GOD is the ONLY one that who makes this decison, Micheal was a child of GOD an I believe he is in his KINGDOM.

    Yes, he was toubled yet a blessed SOUL. RIP my brother, he is in a better place now w/ no more condemnation of the HUMAN beasts that saw him as freak.

    GOD bless you 4-ever. I know you are w/ the " KING of KING's!!!

    Luv you Micheal and I will always be looking up to sky for your Precious star..twinkling for all mankind and your family.


    September 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  28. pamela Kelley

    OOOOOO..kkkkkkkk Mr. "tired of Micheal Jackson" I have a word for you. Obviously you are not a compassionate person and did not grow up in the era of his famed, sad life . You are apparently a pretinous better than thou kind of person without scupples for those who followed the history of this beautiful, broken souled man.

    May you seek peace for all that have died or you will be condemned as an OLD miserable person in this life for your dishonor to the human race. I would to say more explicitely w/ words of my choice as to bring you down a couple of rungs and hope you will see "THE LIGHT" hope and non comdemnation of others.

    You sound like a petilant sad person who takes everyones inventory but not of yourself. Listen to the song "MAN IN THE MIRROR".

    September 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  29. AA

    To Tired of Michael Jackson,

    If you're so tired of hearing about him, stay off the boards, simple as that. There is absolutely no need to leave disparaging and untrue comments about him if you could care less.

    People need to stop judging his appearance, his trials, and all the media whoopla and move on and see the big picture. Michael did great things and influenced many peoples lives - the Thriller world attempt is just a small part of all of that. And how and why would you even compare him to Kurt Cobain? Not to knock on Cobain because I have mad respect for the man, but Cobain did what he was supposed to do in his short time on earth, and we still remember him for that. However, Michael has done much more than any other artist our world has seen, and you just cannot compare it, man. I do believe the media is partially responsible for what led to his demise, and now after his death, they major need to chill out and finally pay some respect, but I'm still appreciative of little things like this where I can remember Michael and share my thoughts with other supporters. Really, son, no one is going to forget about him any time soon, so don't hope for it.

    And I say this to all the people out there who like to hate on Michael... go find something else to do with your time, man. Go and make the world a better place - somehow. Don't be knocking on a late great because you're simply tired of hearing about him.

    September 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Thrilled

    @ Tired of Michael Jackson, Remember that Kurt Cobain left us Courtney Love and that's worse than any thing Michael did. The fact of the matter is Michael's contributions to music and charity will live on FOREVER whether you want to accept or not. He will never be forgotten.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  31. cnn

    @ Tired of Michael Jackson, I can't believe that you could compare Kurt Cobain to the genius of Michael Jackson. His music (Michael) is international and help shaped the world. I would say that he is the most popular person to walk the earth since Jesus Christ. Kurt Cobain is not know internationally and barely by people in the US. Kurt had only 1 hit and that was " Teen Spirit ". Michael Jackson help shape popular culture.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  32. marcia

    PS "tired of michael jackson" kurt cobain committed suicide, MJ didn't . that might answer your question,

    September 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |


    September 7, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  34. marcia

    directed towards tired of michael jackson: put your blame on the media-because like you said they are the ones dragging it out. With that said, he may have had his problems, but everyone does. And there has been no proof showing MJ touching any kids. Let the man RIP.

    September 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  35. CMR

    Kurt Cobain DID get that kind of attention.... and Michael sold a lot more records

    September 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Kelly

    The thing that kills me is when people go out of their way to say how much they are "TIRED" of hearing about Michael Jackson.......well if your tired then why are you reading an article about him????

    September 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Lindsey

    haha one of my friends was there and helped try to break the record!! she was sooo excited and practiced before she left for ATL!!!


    September 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Phyllis

    Michael Jackson, will for sure always be remembered by me, He was/is the World's best Entertainer of all times, and definitely The King of Pop, what a great loss he is, this is too sad, and unfortunate, he donated always to worthy causes, RIP dear Michael.

    September 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Tired of Michael Jackson

    I'm so tired of the Michael Jackson bull.... The guy was overly famous, hadn't put out a good song in at least 15+ years, was accused multiple times for crimes against minors, had major issues with his personality and his appearance (plastic surgery anyone?) and obviously had major issues with being an adult in general... and we treat him like a god!

    I just hope his kids can grow up to live some kind of normal lives after what their father, family, fans, and the media have put them all through over the past few years.

    One thing I wonder, why didn't Kurt Cobain get this kind of attention? He was a drug addict, had been in and out of jail, REVOLUTIONIZED rock in general... He did more for music than MJ could have done in a dozen lifetimes.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I can definitely understand being a fan, and being upset because he died... but the way the media is STILL hanging onto EVERY FLIPPING STORY is just sick. Let it go, let the family rest in peace, and forget about the man already.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  40. AA

    None of them, Andrew.

    Rest in perfect peace, Michael.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Piper

    Man, it didn't take long for people to start trying to break our WM record.

    September 7, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Justin

    What about that video I saw of those prisoners in china or something that all did the dance in their courtyard. There was a lot of them I would have to say probably more than the 242 they say was set by the college. Maybe it does not count though not sure.

    September 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Maria

    Dont need any smart comments about, he was a great man!!! Michael forever!!

    September 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Katherine

    Hey Andrew –

    Get a life.

    September 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  45. carol kesling

    @ andrew, cheap shot !!!!!!!!!!!! you obviously were not there when the verdict came in-- INNOCENT ........

    September 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Andrew

    How many of them were little boys...

    September 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Lea Derr

    Michael Jackson lives forever in everyone's heart. We are all "thrillers." Hopefully every year the record will be broken. Michael brings the whole world together. RIP Michael.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |

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