Students seek zombies to 'Thrill the Island'

Oak Harbor High School zombies Michael Garon and Soureya Hetzel rehearse for
Oak Harbor High School zombies Michael Garon and Soureya Hetzel rehearse for 'Thrill the Island.'
— image credit: Contributed photo

Zombies are coming to Whidbey Island and you can groan and dance along as the Oak Harbor High School Choir Club and Media Arts Club create “Thrill the Island,” an island-wide music video of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” To participate, zombies must attend a dance workshop Saturday, Feb. 25 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Oak Harbor High School gym.

More than 50 students are working on the project and they hope hundreds of community members across Whidbey Island will join in as zombie dancers.

No singing experience is necessary; all you need is some undead personality.

“You don’t really need to have dancing talent because you’re a zombie. You can just hobble around and people might say you’re the coolest zombie they’ve ever seen,” said Choir Club president Shani King.

Participants should create their own zombie costumes. So far, students have come as football player zombies, zombies with rollers in their hair and even a Marilyn Monroe zombie. Students plan to have makeup, fake limbs and fake blood.

Show Choir students will teach the public the moves at a rehearsal in Oak Harbor tentatively set for the end of February. Participants can also learn moves online at

“It’s fun for us and we enjoy it. The more the merrier,” King said about teaching the dance moves. She added that she’s looking forward to seeing the community’s reaction to their fun idea.

King plays one of the main characters.

“I’m the first one that gets bitten by the zombie and I get to spread it to my friends,” King said.

The music video will be filmed March 10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. Hordes of undead dancers plan to head to filming sites including Fort Casey, Deception Pass Bridge, Pioneer Way, the OHHS football field and the ferry docks.

Choir director Darren McCoy stressed that this is an all-island event meant to be a fun way to bridge the gap between the artistic communities.

Choir Club vice president Katie McClimans said she’s excited to get the community involved. As part of the Show Choir, McClimans and King are well-known in the community.

“We walk into the grocery store and people say, ‘Hey, you’re in that Show Choir.’ And we want to say, ‘Hey, you were in the ‘Thriller’ video,’” McClimans said.

Oak Harbor High School students will interact with their teachers and with students from Coupeville and South Whidbey high schools.

“It’s good for students to branch out and for teachers to get to know the students and see what they really do,” McClimans said, adding that she’s looking forward to teaching her friends at the other high schools how to dance.

The idea for the video came to King, McClimans and McCoy last year when they were walking down a dark hallway after a concert.

“It was really dark and we started doing the moves from ‘Thriller,’” King said.

It was fun --- until they heard a noise.

“It was the scariest thing ever,” King said, laughing.

But the experience inspired the idea for the video, which dropped into the background as the Choir Club got involved in other community projects.

The Choir Club has focused on community interaction over the last three years with community events like “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” a dinner and show event, and “Into the Woods,” a full-scale musical. The club is part of the “Wish Upon a Star” production opening at the Whidbey Playhouse in February.

“It’s good for people to get excited about choir because it’s going to stick around forever,” McClimans said.

As a senior, King said she wants to leave a legacy.

“Who knows, this could be the big break I’m waiting for,” she said.

The Media Arts Club plans to use the video in a competition.

“We’ll use it as more than just a film. It’s something to represent the school,” McCoy said.

“This is going to be so awesome! Every time we talk about it, I just get more excited,” King said.

For information about rehearsals, filming and dance move videos, visit “Thrill the Island” on Facebook.


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