Nearly 170 aspiring doctors and their elated families flooded Covel Commons on Friday, March 16, for UCLA's Match Day - when medical students nationwide learn which residency program has accepted them for advanced training in their chosen specialty.
This year, four students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA decided to try something new to defuse the tension. With the administration's blessing, a flash mob of 50 people disrupted the Match Day ceremony by spontaneously joining a dance choreographed to Chris Brown's pulsating "3xYeah."
Caught by surprise as the students started to dance, everyone stood up, and hundreds of cameras and cell phones captured the spectacle with thunderous approval.
The loudest cheers were saved for the end, when senior associate dean Dr. Neil Parker and student-affairs director Meredith Szumski stepped to the front of the flash mob and exhibited their enthusiastic dance moves.
Medical students Justin Hayase, Mitra Nejad, Alyssa Scott and Lissa Yu secretly planned the performance since January. Yu thought up the idea, Scott recruited the student-affairs staff, and Nejad reached out to classmates.
A competitive hip-hop dancer, Hayase created the choreography and posted private videos on YouTube to teach the routine to classmates and student-affairs staff. About a third of the fourth-year class took part in the high-energy dance, which climaxed in the UCLA eight-clap and cheers.