We think Taylor Swift would so approve

By Maria Yagoda
Updated June 17, 2015 06:15 PM

“All you have to do is shake it off.”

Valedictorian Colin Yost ended his commencement speech at Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire on Friday with a nod to Taylor Swift. What happened next, no parent or cousin or administrator in the audience could have predicted.

All 230-plus of his 2015 graduating class, though, were in on the surprise: a massive, carefully choreographed "Shake It Off" flash mob that erupted immediately after Yost ended his speech.

“I’ve always wanted to do a flash mob, and I thought graduation would be the perfect place because our class is very cohesive and doesn’t really have a lot of cliques,” Yost told MTV News. “I was listening to ‘Shake It Off’ in the car and I thought that would be great for a flash mob, so I talked to a few of my friends about making it happen.”

To plan the performance, Yost put together a private instructional video – with the help of a stage manager friend and two pals with dance experience – which they shared with the senior class to practice. (They rehearsed the routine over the course of five scheduled graduation rehearsals, with the blessing of school administrators.)

Our advice to Portsmouth High School’s class of 2016: Start planning now.