Berkeley High sets new world record for Soul Train dance

Berkeley High students dance the Soul Train. Photos by Mark Coplan

More than 300 Berkeley High students stayed after school on Monday to try and set a new world record for the longest Soul Train dance line.

The students, along with some faculty, staff, and alumni attempted to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records by having 211 people dance their way through a central courtyard at Berkeley High. And according to a certificate presented to the group, they did it.

“Berkeley High School set a Soul Train Guinness World Record today (November 14, 2011) by having 211 dancers dance down the “Soul Train,” school spokesman Mark Coplan wrote in an email. “I was number 296, and there were three people after me, so the numbers were strong. It was the time it took to herd all of us together (4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) that made it difficult for everyone to stay for the final count, so a lot more participated. Great job Berkeley High!”

“Soul Train” was a long-running musical variety show that ran on television for 35 years. At the start of each show, dancers would form two lines with a space in the middle and dance and strut to the music. It was known as the “Soul Train Line.”


A number of the dancers gained national recognition for their moves, including MC Hammer, Rosie Perez, Carmen Electra, and NFL player Walter Payton.

See a complete set of pictures here.

UPDATE 10:15 am: From Chris Young at BHS: A snippet of the event may be shown on national TV on Thursday evening. Young also said the effort was led by Reed Urmann, ASB Vice President, Flora Ziprin, ASB President, Orlando Williams, Class of 1985, and Belinda McDaniel, with the assistance of many others.

Students hold their world record certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records