October 12, 2008

Zombies Invade Manhattan Beach

By Andrea Woodhouse

PHOTOS: Zombie boogey

Zombies invaded Polliwog Park on Saturday, but Manhattan Beach residents shouldn't load their shotguns or board up their windows just yet.

The 10 or so pretend-undead weren't roaming the sprawling Manhattan Beach Boulevard park for human flesh, but for dance practice.

They were getting ready to participate in Thrill the World, an Oct. 25 event where groups worldwide simultaneously perform the elaborate line dance from Michael Jackson's ghoulish "Thriller" music video.

Organizers expect up to 3,000 people in almost 100 cities worldwide to make like zombies at 11 a.m. that day, almost doubling last year's showing of 1,700 dancers.

The Los Angeles-area group, which so far includes about two- dozen South Bay residents, will perform the ode to Halloween in full costume and make-up at the Hollywood & Highland Center for the event, said organizer Amanda Ayres, a 27-year-old Redondo Beach resident.

Few of the participants are professional dancers - just regular people looking for some fun in times scarier than a real zombie invasion, she said.

"It's free and it doesn't cost you anything," Ayres said. "Everyone's always wanted to learn it. It's something a 5-year-old or a 90-year-old can do. So, come in and join the fun."

The group will practice again on Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Polliwog Park, 1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd. For more information visit the group's Web page at www.myspace.com/ttw08LAzombies.

- Andrea Woodhouse

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