The backlash from state and school officials to a homoerotic dance video by underwear-clad civil aviation cadets in Ulyanovsk has sparked a flashmob of support from students at other technical institutes across the country. Go online today, and you can find half-naked Russian young people in training for nearly every walk of life — all shaking their booties and pumping their hips to the beat of Benny Benassi's “Satisfaction.”
Here’s where it all started. On January 16, students at a civil aviation institute in Ulyanovsk shared a dance video featuring a dozen or so young men clad in cadet caps, chest straps, and boxer shorts, thrusting their hips in a dance orgy. Immediately, the boys started taking flak because the video has homoerotic overtones.
After the stunt gained national attention, the school’s management and Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency promised to review the situation and take disciplinary measures. The prosecutor’s office got into the mix, too, but quickly reported that no crime had been committed. Ulyanovsk Governor Sergey Morozov thinks the dancing video shouldn’t be grounds for expelling the boys, but he says it's still a “teachable moment.” In other words, he hates the dance video and thinks its stars deserve to be punished.
Before long, a bunch of young men in shirts bearing the name of Russia’s Federal Emergency Management Agency released an analogous “Satisfaction” video. It’s not totally clear where these kids are studying, but social media users believe they’ve traced the footage back to the Ural State Fire Service Institute. The school’s officials, however, have denied vehemently that its curriculum would allow students enough free time to film such an elaborate dance video. Sounds like a challenge, no?
On January 19, another video featuring Emergency Management Agency cadets hit the Internet. While the guys in the first dance clip may have just donned government t-shirts, it’s clear in this second video that the dancers are the genuine article, as they strut and thrust their way around real fire trucks. (These boys, by the way, are not in their skivvies.)
Both the boys and the girls at an agricultural school in a village near the Ulyanovsk institute film their own “Satisfaction” videos, joining what was now a bonafide flashmob to support the civil aviation students.
In Dimitrovgrad, another city in the Ulyanovsk region, a group of nurses joined the fray. Sadly, no one has been able to determine if they’re medical students or active medical professionals.
The young men in this video say it was filmed at a nautical school, but they don’t identify the school itself.
We don’t know much about this video, but hey some of these fellas are wearing hardhats!
Reporters have verified that this video comes from cadets at a Suvorov Military School, but it’s still unclear which. There are more than 10 such academies in Russia.
Naturally, nobody loves this dancing flashmob more than journalists, and so it comes as no surprise that staff at the television network N1 filmed their own take on “Satisfaction.” Unlike most of the cadets now shaking their stuff, however, these reporters filmed their dance outside in full winter wear (apparently in dramatic subzero temperatures).