MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Welcome back to "Metro Connection." I'm Rebecca Sheir and this week we're taking a break from our usual thematic approach to the program and bringing you a show we're calling Wild Cards. Earlier in the hour we swung by a few cafeterias to see what local schools are feeding kids who can't afford lunch money. And in just a bit we'll visit an artifact that now lives at one of the Smithsonian Museums, but once lived long and prospered among strange new worlds on national television. But first, let's talk world records, as in the Guinness World Records.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
You may not know it, but the D.C. area shows up in that book an awful lot. The world record for the largest cupcake, for instance -- weighing in at more than 2,500 pounds -- was achieved by our very own Georgetown Cupcake. The record for the largest group to simultaneously make sandwiches was nabbed by The Corporate Executive Board Company of Arlington. Five hundred staffers made 1,000 turkey-and-cheese sandwiches in under five minutes. And the record for the largest game of Red Light/Green Light goes to the city of Manassas, where 775 people once took part in the children's game.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
But a local indie-rock band is gearing up to give Washington another honor in Guinness's hallowed halls, the record for the most back-up dancers.
MR. MICHAEL MOON
Five-hundred and forty-seven is what we're trying to beat.
I think that's doable.
It's very doable. Yeah, we're going to beat it.
Michael Moon is one half of Wheelie, a D.C.-based band that, as Michael puts it, has been helping Washingtonians loosen up and have fun for three years now.
We're just trying to bring even more fun and bring our message of self acceptance, and that Wheelie loves you, and we want you to love yourself, and loosening the tie, you know, on the collars of all the D.C. folk.
And in this case, loosening the belt on the pants.
The belt on the pants. Getting rid of the pants all together.
Okay. Just to back up a bit, you know how I said Wheelie is trying to break the record for the most back-up dancers? Well, that wasn't their original plan.
We were going to originally break the world record for the most people dancing in their tighty-whiteys.
Yes, you heard him right. Dancing in their tighty-whiteys. See, Wheelie's new single is called "The Underwear Song." And as Michael says, it aligns beautifully with Wheelie's message of self-acceptance and having no choice but to love yourself.
It begins with, we, we're all standing here. We're all standing here in our underwear. Every day we all just stand here. Every day we all have got to look in the mirror.
And there's a line in there that I really like, that says, we either love ourselves, or we love ourselves. And there is only this.
So, with this initial goal of breaking the world record for the most people dancing in their underwear, Wheelie got a national underwear company to donate boxes and boxes of undershirts and tighty-whiteys.
But then Guinness got back to us just after we had received that shipment…
And the Guinness people were like, okay, sorry to break it to you guys, but we already a world record for the most people congregating in their underwear.
It was a few thousand people.
And we just can't categorize specific activities of people congregating in their underwear. That's the only record we'll take.
So then we changed directions. And we started doing some research, and we found this one with the backing dancers, that was doable, that we felt like we could do it. And then we thought, like, you know, if we're going to do these backing dancers, when will you ever have 550 people…
Or 548, if you want to break the record.
…dressed in the same costume?
And further, the band thought…
How cool would that look to shoot a music video of 550 people doing this movement all in the same costume? So we kept the underwear, added the backing dancers, and Guinness was like, you got it.
So, on Saturday, Nov. 16, Wheelie is inviting people to Stroga Ballroom in Adams Morgan to make this dream a reality.
And you're actually expecting like 500-something people?
Yeah, we're expecting close to 600 people.
And we're talking all kinds people.
Big people, small people, old people, young people.
Underwear knows no boundaries.
Underwear knows no boundaries. Exactly.
On hand will be more than three-dozen dance captains, to help participants learn the dance. Wheelie's also putting an instructional video on YouTube. But Michael says the dance itself, is actually pretty easy. Or as he puts it…
Pedestrian-friendly. So it's designed for a lot of different folks.
So if someone is thinking, I’m not really a dancer. You would still encourage them to come?
I don't think it's about the dancing. I think it's about the message that potentially we could share with a lot of people, which is about putting yourself out there, and having some fun doing it, and hopefully, you know, breaking a world record and feeling really good about that.
Something else it's about is making other people feel really good. Wheelie has invited the local nonprofit Mary's Center to host a clothing drive the day of the event. The band will also donate a portion of participants' registration fees to Children's National Medical Center.
To learn more about Wheelie's attempt to break the world record for the most backup dancers on Nov. 16, and to see that instructional video teaching you the underwear dance, visit our website, metroconnection.org.
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