Next Saturday is going to be a "Thriller" in Downtown Lodi.
Led by Downtown businesswoman Patricia Moore, Lodi's Zombie Walk on Oct. 29 will kick off with dancing to the 1982 mega-hit by Michael Jackson at about 8 p.m.
And who will be dancing?
You — that is, if you want to participate.
You don't have to be as good a dancer as Michael Jackson. Dressing like a zombie is encouraged because that's the theme of the evening, but the idea is to have fun.
Moore has been busy this month, at least on Thursday nights, giving free lessons on how to dance to "Thriller." Because the idea is to have as much fun as possible, Moore has what she describes as "a non-perfectionist policy."
"It's dancing, but still looking dead scary," Moore said, in keeping with the spirit of the evening.
People who want to participate can do one of three things — show up at Moore's fitness studio for a free lesson at 7 p.m. Tuesday, watch videos at www.patriciafitness.com and www.lodinews.com, or just show up on Oct. 29.
And by the way, you don't have to look your best. As a zombie, you'll want to look your worst.
Last week more than 50 people of all sizes, shapes and ages showed up to Patricia Fitness to learn the basic steps. They started out taking four steps forward and four steps back. Pretty traditional stuff, but then Moore jerked her neck to her right and left — she calls it "the Michael Jackson neck" — then clenched her open hands while continuing to dance.
Actually, it's quite a workout.
Moore became involved in with leading the "Thriller" dance because she knows Lodi Zombie Night coordinator Tom Presler. They used to work together at a local gym. She said she trusts Presler in his endeavors, so she said yes when he asked her to lead the "Thriller" dance.
"She's probably one of the pure-hearted, hardest-working people I know," Presler said. "I am so grateful she's taking this on and making this event her own."
Moore grew up in Woodland and moved to Lodi 12 years ago. She was a stay-at-home mom for eight years until her two children, now 11 and 8, were old enough to go to school.
She worked at the city of Lodi's aquatic fitness center and at various gyms in the area. Now she has her own studio, Patricia Fitness, at 112 S. Church St. She opened the studio in May and conducts group exercise classes and teaches by appointment. She's in the process of adding pole dancing to her offerings.
But now it's "Thriller" time.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.