The Science Museum of Virginia has clapped, snapped, and toe-tapped its way to the final “Thunderdome” round of the worldwide Museum Dance Off competition. Having received tens of thousands of votes from museum lovers across the country to win three previous rounds, the Museum is representing the United States on May 14, facing off against six other museums from across the globe.
A win in the global Museum Dance Off means savings for RVA families! $5 off general admission to the Science Museum of Virginia for the five days after voting closes, May 15 though May 19. Museum members already get free admission every day so they get an additional 5% off in the store and café May 15 through May 19 – if the Science Museum of Virginia wins the global competition.
Voting starts 8 a.m., Monday, May 14. The voting link will appear on whenyouworkatamuseum.com at 8 a.m. _________________________________________________
The Museum’s entry caught the attention of eighties music fans and science nerds alike. The video, called “Factual,” is a shot-for-shot scientific remake of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit “Physical.” The production was created entirely in-house: a scientist crafted the lyrics, the content team shot and edited the footage, a member of the Museum’s resident theater company impersonated Newton-John, and staff did Soul Train-style dancing to round out the parody.
Maggie Guzowski created the Museum Dance Off competition in 2014 after someone sent her a video of museum staff dancing to Pharrell’s “Happy.” When Guzowski put the call out in January for submissions for this year’s competition – the fifth she has organized and managed – she also announced that this Museum Dance Off would be her last.
Any museum anywhere in the world can compete in the Museum Dance Off. Each museum in the 2018 contest created an in-house, approximately five-minute dance video that was uploaded to YouTube in late March. Guzowski received 48 entries from 14 countries, the highest for any Museum Dance Off. She matched museums by region, then held 24-hour voting blocks starting in April. The museum that garnered the most public votes each round advanced to the next round.
Richard Conti, Science Museum of Virginia chief wonder officer, explains: “We decided to participate in the Museum Dance Off because it’s the kind of activity we would do even without the competition. The Museum is a fun place, and this video gives us a fun vehicle to share information about the essence of science. The importance of the scientific process in our society comes across in the various dance vignettes, and I think that’s why people have been so supportive of our submission. If viewers go away understanding that the scientific method consists of steps including making an observation, coming up with a hypothesis and conducting experiments, then we’ve done our job and all the humiliation of dancing in an international competition is worth it. We’re honored to represent the U.S., and we have a great chance of winning because science and facts always prevail!”
The final international “Thunderdome” round of voting takes place Monday, May 14, at 8 a.m. EST through Tuesday, May 15, and 7:59 a.m. EST. Anyone can vote from any electronic device an unlimited amount of times. There is no cost or registration involved to vote. To ensure a person is voting (and not a computer program or spambot), the voter will need to enter the CAPTCHA code each time.