The moment at American Airlines gate B7 is the best. Mahshid Mazooji is one-minute-47-seconds deep into her viral YouTube video. She’s shaking her booty at the camera, breaking it down with a yellow-vested woman at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. She erupts with laughter, pausing mid-move to sweep her wild, curly hair out of her eyes.
Mazooji posted the video, “All Night Long at The Airport,” on YouTube around 5 a.m. on Sept. 23. The link got picked up by USA Today and The Charlotte Observer, accumulating more than 1.9 million views and 15,000 “likes” by Sept. 30.
Dressed in black yoga pants and a black t-shirt, Mazooji, 30, got a handful of employees and stranded travelers at the Charlotte airport to dance with her during the late-night hours of Sept. 22 and early morning hours of Sept. 23. She was stuck in the airport when she missed a connection during her trip from Newark, N.J., to Denver, Colo., to visit her family and attend a wedding.
Dancing to the beat of Lionel Richie’s hit “All Night Long” was her way of handling it.
The two-minute video shows Mazooji making her way around the airport, dancing in baggage claim with a suited man, arm-pumping in front of a Starbucks counter with a green-aproned (and also dancing) barista, riding the escalator and waving joyfully at the camera, and high-fiving a couple of other presumptuously stranded travelers in a row of chairs.
Then there’s that moment where’s she’s breaking it down at gate B7. In all her spunky, losing-it-with-laughter glory.
As for coaxing people into her dance party, Mazooji wrote in an email, “Some people turned me down and others were hesitant at first, but they all opened up and seemed to enjoy it once they gave in.”
People posting comments online under her YouTube video were loud with support, with notes like “Wow.. best employees. Others take note!”; “Good for you for taking a downside situation and making it fun (Turn upp!) [sic]).”; and “Holy shit that moonwalk.”
So who is Mahshid Mazooji? She’s a woman who lives in New Jersey and works as a sales manager. She also happens to be quite good at the moonwalk and is a big fan of Lionel Richie and his song “All Night Long.”
“I enjoy feel-good music and songs with soul,” she wrote. “Lionel Richie is a legendary artist who I have been fortunate enough to see once in concert. I used to sing this song as a child and it always uplifted my spirits and got me moving. Every time.”
At least, until the dark morning hours of Sept. 23.
“I stopped filming at about 3:30 a.m. and edited the video, posted it by 5 a.m. then passed out on the floor next to my gate until my flight,” she wrote. “The video really did help me pass the time.”
Photos: Screen shots courtesy of Mahshid Mazooji/YouTube
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