SHOPPERS had a surprise on Saturday when 170 drama students broke out into a flash mob in Worthing town centre.
The young performers from Steyning Ariel Drama Academy descended on the town centre to promote the company’s new Worthing academy, due to open in February.
The spontaneous flash mob was kept as a surprise, so shoppers were not expecting the large-scale dance witnessed in Montague Place on Saturday.
Students aged five to 19 were involved, from both the Steyning and Burgess Hill academies, along with Steyning principal Hannah Summers and other academy tutors.
Miss Hayley Brown, dance tutor at Steyning and principal at the new Worthing Ariel Drama Academy, said there had been an amazing response from the crowd.
“The plan was a spontaneous flash mob to try to promote the academy and raise money for the Angus Rowland ForgetMeNot Fund,” she explained.
“The Steyning students have been totally committed. They have had only four weeks to rehearse and they have done it with so much dedication and passion.”
Two performances were given, at 2pm and 3pm, to raise awareness of the new academy and collect money for leukaemia and lymphoma research.
Peter Heppell, 17, who teaches at the Steyning academy, went to school with Angus Rowland in Burgess Hill. Angus had acute myeloid leukaemia and died in 2011 aged 14.
Peter, who lives in Burgess Hill, said: “He went to St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill and he was really into his music.
“Everyone was really pleased with how it went. Everyone really enjoyed it and there was quite a good crowd.”
Worthing Ariel Drama Academy will open at Worthing College on February 22 and free trials are available.
It takes the total number of Ariel drama academies to five, including Crawley and East Grinstead.
The company was formed in 1991 and has gone on to stage modern musicals, concerts and plays in professional theatres.
Ariel director Nicci Hopson said: “It was fantastic to see the students perform with such energy and enthusiasm. People’s faces lit up and they were very generous.”