Surprise Sweet 16 quarantine style

Friends and family gather to celebrate Sweet 16 surprise at On Pointe studio


Birthday surprise group photo

Itxel Nunez and Lyndsay Walsh

Before the Event…

Written by Itxel Nunez

What seemed to be just another day in quarantine turned out to be something out of the ordinary. Lyndsay and Kaitlyn Walsh are dance students and teachers at On Pointe Dance and Movement in Eaton. On May 12, a few of their loved ones and dance students gathered to celebrate their Sweet 16.  

Under the current conditions, the Walshs’ were not able to celebrate their birthday  how they normally would . The main event planners were Julie Walsh, Kaitlyn and Lyndsay’s mom , and Mellissa Jacobson, their dance teacher. They wanted to plan a surprise flash mob celebration outside the studio for the girls’ big day. 

The  planning took place a week ahead to make sure the surprise still followed the  government guidelines. Jacobson  choreographed  a dance routine and decorated the dance studio to surprise the girls. Balloons and streamers were hung in the studio as  friends and family arrived early to learn the dance. Within a few minutes, the dance routine was taught and all that was left was for the girls to arrive. 

Originally, the girls were going in for a private lesson with their teacher, but little did they know, friends and loved ones were awaiting their arrival. Kids with flags, party hats, and whistles lined up in the street as the time approached. 

The Walshs’ white car pulled up to the studio, and a speaker blasted “Happy Birthday” as the show began. This birthday surprise put a smile on the faces of the girls and the guests. A few of the students that they teach prepared dances  that they dedicated  to them, and they performed their gift beautifully. 

All of the children and adults at the gathering were thrilled to show their support and thank them for everything they do for the studio.  This small community event showed that even in these uncharted hard times , we can come together and cherish the relationships that we have with others.  

The Main Event…

 Written by Lyndsay Walsh

     On what seemed to be just another day in quarantine turned out to be one of the best surprises of my life. As the month of May approached, I was sure that my 

sweet 16 was not going to be spectacular, figuring the pandemic we are in right now. I woke up on Tuesday, May 12, my birthday, just going about my normal day. My mom made chocolate chip pancakes for me, a treat in our house. I got straight to homework because that is my new normal, and went about my day as usual. I didn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. 

     I was heading off to teach my dance teacher’s daughter and take dance class afterwards at 2:45 pm. We turned the corner on to 1st street, when I heard and saw massive cheering and a big crowd. To my surprise, my mom, Julie Walsh, and dance teacher,

     Melissa Jacobson, organized a flash mob in front of On Pointe Dance and Movement. Some of my Pre-ballet students that I teach gathered on the sidewalk alongside their parents along with some of my high school friends. Everyone on the street was dancing and shouting happy birthday. A special dance was prepared, although some of the choreography was lost in the excitement. I was then escorted into the studio by the little kids and was presented with a throne. My twin sister Kaitlyn and I sat down and watched a special performance from the pre-ballet students.

     I was overwhelmed with joy and I was smiling ear to ear with the amount of love that flooded out of the girls. Two of them, Cat and Austyn, presented a bouquet of flowers to us, and then we were pressured into performing our own dance. On the fly, Kaitlyn and I executed one of our prepared dances, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danney Gokey. The guests then mingled and the kids drew pictures for us. The small gathering was all I needed to brighten up my out-of-the ordinary birthday. 

     By the end of it all, I was filled with compassion and love from all the support of my friends and students. A surprise birthday flash mob made my 16th birthday one I will never forget!