Swedish Gym Flashmob; Eiffel Tower as Backdrop

Why yes. That is a large group of people doing Swedish Gym exercises to the Eurythmics in front of the Eiffel Tower.

And yes. I was a part.

Saturday March 17 was not only St. Patrick’s Day. It also saw a flashmob at Trocadero sponsored by the enthusiastic gym suedoise association.

I am fond of flashmobs. A gathering organized simply to do something silly? Pourquoi poi? Random, fun, free – it fits my criteria.

(My favorite flashmobs from New York: a public pillow fight downtown and a Macy’s takeover where a crowd of us all streamed into the carpet department and surrounded and discussed the merits of a particular “love rug” for our pretend commune. Witnesses were, of course, baffled).

I was surprised to learn of the flashmob here. Random and silly aren’t the first words I’d ascribe to Parisians, but I was happy to widen my perspective.

The flashmob actually wasn’t completely random, though. It was organized in partnership with the La Ligue Contre le Cancer and L’ALIAM. So good causes related to health. Like a good flashmob, however, it still appeared random.

A video of the choreography we would be performing – to MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” no less – had been put online so we arrived ready for some Hammer Time. We were given bright orange T-shirts. As it was freezing, I put the T-shirt over my puffy coat, as did many people. Tres, tres stylish, let me tell you.

And then we went for it.

After a few rounds, I stepped back to film, because I like to watch randomness as much as participate in it. The group had now moved onto general Swedish Gym exercises (of which I am now a pro, despite my awkward beginnings). A French woman asked me, but what are you all doing?

Oh, Madame, welcome to a flashmob. I tried to explain the connection to the good causes, but I was kind of at a loss. I was just there to dance to MC Hammer with the Eiffel Tower as backdrop.

Mission accomplished.

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23 Responses to “Swedish Gym Flashmob; Eiffel Tower as Backdrop”


  1. 1 Kristin Bair O'Keeffe March 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Can’t express how much I love this! Very, very cool, Sion. Thanks for sharing your joyful spirit!

  2. 3 Laura Doherty March 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    This totally just made my day!

  3. 5 milsters March 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    That is just PLAIN AWESOME!!! How did you find out about this flashmob? I mean, if I wanted to participate in another one (and hopefully for a good cause too – but I’m flexible with this – lol), what should I do?

    Milsters / Little Pieces of Light

    • 6 paris (im)perfect March 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      I just knew about this through my Swedish Gym class. I have no idea if there is some way to know if other things like this will be happening. I don’t really think there are *that* many flashmob opportunities in Paris, but maybe we should start the trend! ; )

  4. 7 Tanya in Transition March 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    LOVE THIS! I’ve never been part of a flash mob but what better way to just let it all hang out and have fun? It’s like random acts of kindness and it’s so good for the spirit!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. 9 Franck March 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    A US cop could believe in the strangest revolt among prisonners of the prison history.

  6. 10 Amy Kortuem March 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Leave it to a French person to ask why… :-)

    What a wonderful thing to be a part of on St. Patrick’s Day! Mobs are good. I had my own little mob of fans when I played Irish harp at a local Wine Cafe – turned-Irish Pub that night. And I even danced…an Irish reel. Then I had hot whiskey and put my coughing self to bed.

    NOT as cool as dancing in front of the E.T., but you know, we Minnesota girls have to take what we can get!

  7. 12 Dienna March 20, 2012 at 4:16 am

    And they’re exercising to a Eurythmics song too…awesome. That looks fun!

  8. 14 Jennifer Flueckiger March 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Eurythmics, MC Hammer . . . the only things missing were a little Barry Manilow, Abba and a pink feather boa :) Wait, scratch the pink feather boa and replace it with a green one for St Paddy’s day. Long live swedish gym!

  9. 16 Patrick Ross March 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I love anything that cannot, at a purely rational level, be explained. And I love The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

  10. 18 Kevin Najoir March 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Hey!! this was obviously not the Flashmob but the Warmup…where’s the video of the flashmob LOL??

    • 19 paris (im)perfect March 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      I was *in* the flashmob, so I didn’t film the whole thing, obviously. Also, I count anything coordinated where a whole bunch of people do something silly together as a flashmob. I still think doing Swedish gym exercises to “Sweet Dreams” counts ; )

  11. 20 Thebestinparis March 24, 2012 at 12:50 am

    So cool ! Have you done the one at the Grand Palais with Blanca Li for the ‘journée de la Danse’ ? That was so much fun !

  12. 22 rheajill March 24, 2012 at 3:44 am

    That looks so AWESOME! Wish I could have been there!


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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