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Punxsy native choreographs heart-healthy flash-mob

October 10, 2011

IUP senior and Punxsy native Nikki Battestilli (front, right) choreographed a flash mob at the Indiana County Fair that illustrated the seven signs of a heart attack. The flash mob was part of a nationwide presentation by the American Heart Association to promote heart health awareness. (Photo submitted)

INDIANA — Flash mobs are something most people are used to seeing on YouTube or television, or hearing about from a friend, but one local native was fortunate enough to take part in one this summer for a good cause.

While she was working at a children’s camp over the summer, Nikki Battestilli, a senior studying theater at IUP, was asked by Laura Jeffry of the Indiana Regional Medical Center, to choreograph a flash mob pertaining to a health- related issue — in this case, the seven signs of a heart attack.

After some research via the Internet, Battestilli — daughter of Guy and Uli Battestilli of Punxsy — provided some filler material to spice up the dance.

A group of between 30 and 40 people was assembled at the end of June, practicing twice a week to prepare for the surprise Aug. 28 song and dance at the Indiana County Fair.

The dance began with just the original people who had practiced it, but in typical flash-mob fashion, others at the fair joined in.

The event was part of a bigger project by the American Heart Association to promote heart health awareness, as there were similar flash mobs all across the country.

Battestilli said she had a lot of fun with the flash mob and plans on doing it again in February on the National Day of Dance.

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