Flash mob organizer takes steps for causes
Jennifer Eirinberg, whose brainchild is the Dance N' Donate flash mob concept here in Northbrook, is a fourth grade Grayslake teacher and is teaching a dance class at DancEd in Northbrook Wednesday nights. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2011 10:42AM
What’s a flash mob dance?
Ask Northbrook’s Jennifer Eirinberg — whose Dance N’ Donate “flash mob” performances change lives with spontaneity.
“The whole idea of a flash mob is brilliant,” said Eirinberg, who has lived in Northbrook since she was one. Now a college graduate, Eirinberg organizes flash mob dances, which raise fundraising dollars while stunning audiences.
“Surprising people at a public place with some entertainment is a great way to make people smile and show off some moves,” said Eirinberg, whose four minute Dance N’ Donate flash mob captivated Northbrook Days audiences in early August.
“Flash mobs are wonderful to watch,” reports Eirinberg. “A large group of dancers smiling and grooving to a choreographed routine is most definitely a sight to see.”
Donation cans were passed around that day to benefit Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook.
“It’s all about the secret beforehand and then the fascination of the synchronized number of people during it – little things like witnessing a flash mob performance can make someone’s day.”
Eirinberg, a Glenbrook North High School graduate, last May received her elementary education bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is “beyond thrilled to be teaching as I can’t imagine myself doing anything else for the rest of my life.”
Eirinberg teaches fourth grade at Round Lake’s Grayslake School District 46.
Is music part of her curriculum?
“Don’t worry, we will be having “music moments” in my classroom,” she reports. “They’ll be earned by students and will include lots of fun music, and of course dancin’!”
Eirinberg, the daughter of Debbie and Howard Eirinberg, has one younger sister, Laura, 20, a junior studying communication design in New York. Her brother, Brian, 16, is a GBN junior.
“My family is my everything,” said Jennifer. “We are a close knit bunch.”
Eirinberg also teaches DancEd Dance Centre classes in Northbrook. With seven consecutive summers on her resume, Eirinberg “grew up dancing at that exact studio.”
She teaches hip hop classes and is “very excited about it.”
Eirinberg is also program director for the Northbrook’s JCC Z’ Frank Apachi Day Camp and works with A to Z Entertainment as an emcee and dancer.
“I dance everywhere, the grocery store, at school, at the mall — you name it!”
“I’m always choreographing in my head to music and breaking it down.”
“Dance is absolutely my passion,” she added. “It allows me to forget everything and just do what I love.”
“It allows me to tell a story — whether it be my own or someone else’s.”
But who gets credit for her story?
“My largest influences are most definitely my parents,” she said. “They are wonderful role models and have raised me with unconditional support and love.”
“They are behind me 100 percent in everything I do and have taught me to follow my heart and my dreams.”
Eirinberg, who “loved every minute of it” at GBN was vice president of the Student Activity Executive Board (SA Board) and president of Orchesis, GBN’s dance company.
She danced in the Variety Show all four years, serving on the Key Club and Diversity Club. Eirinberg was a peer group leader — a Glenbrook High School District 225 privilege.
“My other family members, teachers and friends also influence me,” Eirinberg said. “They have instilled in me a wonderful drive.”
“I am influenced by children — they are incredible beings with so much spirit and energy – they inspire me to be a better person and smile every single day.”
The Dance N’ Donate flash mob idea evolved during college.
“I was nervous to dive into something like a dance team or company,” Eirinberg explained. “I felt that something was missing in my life, so I decided to test out teaching a dance class and see how people responded.”
“To my pleasant surprise, there was a great response, so, I started renting out rooms at the campus rec center and low and behold, Dance N’ Donate began.”
Hip hop classes at the University of Illinois were $7 per class.
“I decided to weave in another love of mine: philanthropy,” she said. “I knew that if I charged a dollar, college kids would be more likely to come and donating it to different charities would be the icing on the cake!”
Today those served include Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook, Keshet, the Jennifer Lynn Snyder Teen Heart Foundation, the American Cancer Society and more.
“Northbrook has always provided me with opportunities to make a difference — not only just in the community, but in the world.”
“It is a town that wraps its arms around neighbors, especially those in need.”
“Volunteering is a selfless act,” believes Eirinberg. “I never thought that in a million years, I’d be raising thousands of dollars for various organizations”
Now that’s one pretty good dance move.