'Hokey Pokey' Dancers Set World Record

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., (UPI) — A line of 2,569 people danced the Hokey Pokey on a bridge spanning New York’s Hudson River Saturday, setting a world record, Guinness World Records said.

The dancers gyrated 212 feet above the river on the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, stretching 1.28 miles between Poughkeepsie and Highland, N.Y.

They broke a June 14, 2008, “longest single line of dancers” record set by 2,354 people in Audru, Estonia, who performed a “toe dance” folk jig, said Guinness adjudicator Danny Girton Jr., who officiated Saturday’s dance from the bridge’s midpoint.

“We did it!” cheered Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart, executive director of the event-organizing non-profit group that supports the state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, which manages the bridge normally used by sightseeing walkers, joggers, bicyclists and in-line skaters.

“Now THAT’s what it’s all about!” Waldstein-Hart’s organization said in a statement, referring to the last line of the distinctive dance’s accompanying song.

Volunteers and participants brought hundreds of handheld radios and boomboxes so contestants could dance in unison, the Walkway Over the Hudson group said.

The 5-minute dance, broadcast live over a local radio station, attracted registrants from more than 10 states, including California, Florida, Maine and Missouri, the group said.

Dancers included students, business employees — including 80 from IBM Corp., which has a major local presence — a 102-year-old man from a retirement home and the entire Hudson Valley Horrors women’s roller derby squad.

The event was a fundraiser for the walkway group, with $15 entry fees going to support the 3-year-old park, a converted railroad bridge. Sponsors let schoolchildren dance for free.

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