This Saturday, World Dance Santa Barbara will host its third annual Santa Barbara Thriller event, encouraging community members of all ages to participate in the State Street branch of a worldwide flash mob performance of Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit “Thriller.”

According to World Dance instructor and coordinator Janet Reineck, the event is held as a part of Thrill the World, an organization that conducts the worldwide performance of “Thriller” to promote global unity. Roughly 300 participants are currently involved in the organization’s Santa Barbara chapter, marking a 200-person increase from the event’s first local performance in 2010.

Dancers are currently taking paid classes throughout this week and will meet at Marshall’s retail store and perform in zombie-themed costumes and makeup at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds from the event — which organizers hope to reach $10,000 — will go toward funding local dance sponsorships. Additional donations and sign-up fees will be directed to the nonprofit organization Tiyatien Health, a maternal health project intended to expand healthcare facilities in the Konobo district of Liberia.

Reineck, who is also a member of the Los Angeles-based Aman International Dance touring company, said World Dance fuses ethnic dancing with humanitarian objectives.

“I spent the first half of my life dancing and the second half doing humanitarian aid,” Reineck said. “A few years ago, I realized I could put the two together and get people dancing and in shape, at the same time raising funds for these extremely needy communities.”

Final dance lessons will be held tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday and are also available online at

“It is a fun and unique way to raise money for a cause,” Afzalnia said.

Final dance lessons will be held tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday and online at