Prison Inmates Came Together In Yard And Started Off A Fantastic Michael Jackson Flash Mob, Getting Over 45 Million Views

Byvu lita

Mar 25, 2024

Since its first appearance online in 2010, this dance video has captured the attention of millions worldwide.

Yet, the story behind this internet phenomenon, originating from a place as unexpected as a prison, remains largely unknown to many.


At first glance, viewers might have mistaken this for a cleverly staged flash mob.

The setting – a prison – seems an improbable stage for such a coordinated dance routine.

However, the truth is even more fascinating.

These dancers are inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum-security facility in the Philippines.

In an unconventional approach to prison life, these inmates engage in dance as part of their daily exercise routine, turning a mundane task into an art form.


The individuals you see moving rhythmically in the video are not professional dancers; they are prisoners, who have since been dubbed the “CPDRC Dancing Inmates.”

While the prison briefly basked in the limelight as a “happy jail” due to these dance videos, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

The facility grappled with typical prison issues like gang dynamics, corruption, and violence.

The dance program, initially seen as a creative outlet, drew criticism from some human rights advocates who labeled it exploitative.

This led to the cessation of public performances in 2010, although dance remains a staple in the inmates’ exercise regimen.


The “This Is It” video’s journey to becoming one of the most viewed clips on the internet is a tale of unexpected joy and talent emerging from the confines of a prison.

The inmates, cooperating and seemingly enjoying themselves, displayed remarkable talent.

This contrasted sharply with their reality – they were, after all, men serving time.

According to reports, the prison housed many serving short sentences or awaiting trial, with a significant number facing serious charges like murder.


The prison’s newfound fame for its dance videos opened up new opportunities.

They began inviting visitors to witness these unique exercise routines, transforming them into performances that garnered donations.

This initiative not only provided entertainment but also brought a different kind of attention to the prison.


The fame of the program reached new heights when it caught the attention of Michael Jackson’s choreographer, Travis Payne, along with dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid.

In 2009, they visited the prison to teach the inmates dances from Jackson’s “This Is It” album.

This visit was proof of the global impact of the inmates’ performances, bridging the gap between a maximum-security prison and the world of professional dance.


Among the various performances, one that stood out was set to “They Don’t Care About Us.”

The song’s themes likely resonated with the inmates, many of whom had been waiting for years in jail without trial.

This particular video struck an emotional chord not just within the prison walls but also among online viewers.

Comments poured in from around the world, with many expressing how the performance’s underlying message was both powerful and poignant.


The dance program, initially viewed with skepticism by some prison officials, proved to be a resounding success.

It was the brainchild of Byron F. Garcia, the security advisor to the Cebu government.

However, the program’s success was not without its controversies.

Questions about the management of donations received from public performances eventually led to Garcia and other staff members parting ways with the prison.

Despite these changes, the spirit of dance continues within the prison walls, albeit away from the public eye.


For those intrigued by this unique blend of incarceration and choreography, Garcia’s YouTube channel offers a comprehensive look at these performances.

It’s a collection that spans various genres, featuring dances to songs by Queen, Soulja Boy, and a plethora of Michael Jackson hits. Among these, the rendition of “They Don’t Care About Us” stands out as a particularly moving and memorable performance, encapsulating the complex emotions and realities of prison life.

It’s a performance that goes beyond entertainment, offering a glimpse into the human spirit’s resilience and the power of dance as a form of expression.

To watch the powerful and incredible routine for yourself, watch the video below.

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