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Something to be thrilled about: A 'Thriller' dance record

May 17, 2009 |  5:42 pm

With the school year winding down and summer fast approaching, parents of college students everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief -- the next tuition payment won't come until August.

But was that money well spent?

For a select group at the College of William & Mary, there's more to bring home than just this semester's grades: More than 240 students (and some faculty and staff members) have bragging rights to a Guinness World Record. The hard-working troupe rehearsed for about six months, then gathered at the Williamsburg, Va., college's Sunken Garden last month to break the record for the most people dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" simultaneously in one location.

The original six-minute video, famously directed by John Landis, has been replicated in various forms since it was first released in 1983 -- from the dance done in a prison in the Philippines (guess prisoners don't qualify for records) to the party ice-breaker scene in the Jennifer Garner film "13 Going on 30."  

The college students' record-holding dance took place April 19, organized by William & Mary graduating senior Kevin Dua. Official word came Friday on the Guinness website.

"I got up this morning and randomly check it without thinking anything, and there, right in my face, was, ‘Congratulations,' " he said Friday on the college's website.  "I'm pretty sure I read it like five times." 

The previous record was a mere 147 people in Britain.

Since William & Mary ranks No. 32 in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 ranking of colleges nationwide, we're pretty sure many students also will be bringing home good grades.

-- Lisa Fung