Funky Friday

Math Department Unveils Graph Dance Flash Mob With Pre-Calculus, Calculus Students


Photo by Anthony Whiting

Smiling while forming hand signs, junior Klarah Sosa dances with her peers. For the lyrics “uptown funk you up” students make the shape of the y = 1/x and y = -1/x. “I really gave it my all in class [for preparation]. It was really fun,” Sosa said. “I think it was really cool way to get kids hopes up to make sure they have a lot of confidence. It wasn’t serious but a good mood booster for the day.”

Anthony Whiting, Reporter

This hit: y = 0. That ice cold:  y = x. Michelle Pfeiffer: y = 0. That white gold: y = x. These are just a few of the choreographed functions Precalculus and AP Calculus students danced in sync to on April 8 to the tune of “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, with the goal of memorizing graphs to perfection.

Used as an extra credit project, students dressed in black and seniors wore sunglasses. In the front row facing the library, senior Sydney Fuller was one student guiding the group due to her six years of dance experience.

“I think that a lot of people would feel embarrassed to do something like this, but at the end of the day, we are all graduating soon,” Fuller said. “I know that if I were to look back and not have done it or not given it my all, I would have regretted it because I did have a lot of fun being out there, even if it is silly. It was a lot of fun and was really worth it, and made my week 10 times better actually doing the dance.”

Coordinated by Math Department Head, OnRamps Precalculus and Calculus AB teacher Pamela Martin, students have been learning the dance since January.

“Almost everyday in Calculus AB, we would practice once or twice in class, with the whole choreography and on five sheets of paper of equations,” senior Emma Janysek said. “We had to memorize and it actually taught us a lot about quadratics and other fun stuff. It was really cool. I think I’m going to start doing the dance in the middle of the AP test just so I remember how to do it. Memorizing the choreography will help me memorize the graphs themselves.”

Graphs ranged from basic to more advanced functions, including trigonometric, polar functions, step graphs and square root graphs.

“I really gave it my all in class [for preparation]. It was really fun,” junior Klarah Sosa said. “I think it was really cool way to get kids hopes up, to make sure they have a lot of confidence. It wasn’t serious, but a good mood booster for the day.”

Martin initiated the graph dance flash mobs about 10 years ago. Interest depends entirely on the students and, according to her, it was awesome to see so many students participate.

“It’s a lot more fun when you can stand up and do math with your arms, so there wasn’t a lot of encouraging needed and then we just needed music and a place,” Martin said. “Every year I ask my students and if they seem interested, we do one. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve done one. So we might do one next year, we might not, it just depends on the kids in the classes and this year, they were open to the idea and somewhat enthusiastic about the idea.”