20,000 try for Thriller dance record

It's estimated about 20,000 people in more than 200 locations and 37 countries around the world participated in an attempt over the weekend to break the record for the largest number of people dancing simultaneously to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Dancers from Vancouver to Beijing to Buenos Aires attempted to make their mark in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest number of people dancing simultaneously to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

It's estimated about 20,000 people in more than 200 locations in 37 countries around the world participated in the dance which occurred Saturday night or Sunday morning depending on where you were.

"I love dancing, I love Michael Jackson and it was a perfect opportunity to do both and get into the Guinness Book of World Records," said elementary school teacher Heather Shantz, 26, who had travelled several hours from her community to join about 230 people in downtown Vancouver on Saturday night.

Dance co-ordinator Graeme Lea led the crowd — all of whom had brought food and money donations for the city's food bank in order to participate in the event.

"When we take our first step, people in China will take their first step," said Lea. The dance around the world was co-ordinated by cellphone so all the dancers could begin at the same time.

In Los Angeles, a massive crowd of more than 4,000 made-up dancers gathered at the Nokia Center to do their bit.

Previous record set in Mexico City on Jackson's birthday

Further south, in Buenos Aires, 400 people boogied to the 1982 song.

"I'm here to pay tribute to the King of Pop," said 10-year-old Melissa Acosta, who danced while watching Michael Jackson's video on a big screen.

"For my father, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are the real kings. But personally I like Michael more."

In every locale, participants dressed up as ghouls or bloodied brides and sometimes, prisoners.

Jackson's Thriller remains the bestselling album of all time, with sales estimated to be 100 million worldwide.

Organizers hope their efforts will top the previous record which was set on Aug. 29 in Mexico City when 13,597 shimmied to Thriller on what would have been the King of Pop's 51st birthday.

Jackson died on June 25 from a lethal combination of prescription drugs.