LAUREL HILL — Now online, you can find Laurel Hill School’s contribution to a national phenomenon: the mannequin challenge.
The Internet video trend involves a camera moving through a crowd of people who appear frozen in time. There are no tricks; people just stay still and quiet.
Viewers all over the world can see the videos using social media hashtags such as #MannequinChallenge.
Footage for LHS’s video, posted Dec. 2 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIsoN40k6ng, was taken in the middle of the school's homecoming pep rally.
Jessica Stokes, an ESE classroom assistant and cheerleader sponsor, credits LHS Principal Lee Martello with having the idea.
"We were talking about planning the pep rally … and she was wanting to see if we could do that, because we would have the whole school in the gym," Stokes said.
While planning, Stokes and Martello discussed how most of the challenges posted on Facebook and YouTube have a person walking around and recording them on video.
"We thought it would be great to have the Drone Club students do it," Stokes said, so they checked with Drone Club sponsor Joan Mitchell to see if it were possible.
Mitchell recommended Blake Sayers, a junior, and Jax Schlinger, a senior, for the job as they were noted for their skill with operating and smoothly flying the drone. The team shot, edited and placed the video on YouTube a few hours after the pep rally.
Stokes estimated that about 450 people participated in the video. These included prekindergartners through seniors, and some of their parents. The girls and boys basketball teams are also pictured.
As far as preparation for the undertaking, Stokes said, "It was a very spur-of-the-moment thing. I think maybe only a handful of the kids knew we were going to do it at all. Of course, we spoke early with Blake and Jax, but in the middle of the pep rally we mentioned the mannequin challenge and told them we were going to do our own. I told them all, 'Okay, get ready, and when I say freeze, you have to freeze until we give you the green light to move.'
"For the basketball team, we gave them a minute (beforehand) to decide what they wanted to do. And we all stood still until we heard the drone land," Stokes said.
One of the funnier moments is a part where sophomore Micah McVay hangs from a basketball hoop. How did she get up there? Her teammates lifted her up to reach the hoop, and she hung there.
"We went from screaming and yelling for the pep rally to being completely silent for the video. The pre-k kids were great standing still for it," Stokes said. "You can see some of them moved a little, but they did so good!"