The Making of #VXsafetydance

Monday October 28, 2013 / Posted by Virgin America

“For the .0001 percent of you who have never operated a seatbelt before, it works like this…”

For most Virgin America frequent flyers, the quote above is instantly recognizable. Many of you even may be able to recite the remaining script. It’s the most famous line of our original safety video, which was released in 2007. The first of its kind in the U.S., the cheeky animation quickly developed a cult following, and with over 700,000 unaided views on YouTube, it’s been a cornerstone of the Virgin America brand.

So in order to refresh an already beloved safety video, we knew we’d have to do something unexpected. Here’s what we came up with:

The Team: We enlisted the help of our friends at Virgin Produced to come up with an idea that paid homage to Virgin’s musical roots. The result: a safety video musical.

The Talent: Virgin Produced helped us rally some amazing talent to pull it all off, including Director Jon M. Chu, choreographers Jamal Sims and Christopher Scott, dancer/songwriter/singer/American Idol-alum extraordinaire Todrick Hall, epic new dance stars like Madd Chadd and Baby Boogaloo, and 10 So You Think You Can Dance alumni. We even threw in a couple Olympians and brought back the tech-savvy nun, an original safety video favorite. 

Safety First: A few Virgin America InFlight Teammates stepped in to help us hit all the right notes when it came to ensuring guest safety. You can bet that no seat belt was left unbuckled.

The Result: After 26 hours on set and 14 dance styles used, including animation, break dancing, Broadway, contemporary, contortion, finger-tutting, jazz, tango, and more — we had our final safety video.

The Reveal: No safety video would be complete without a grand unveiling, so we’re launching on Google Play, YouTube and live on digital boards across Times Square at 12 p.m. ET today to show the world that you’ve gotta buckle up to get down.

The Twist: Since Virgin America fans have been crucial to our airline’s success, we knew we wanted to give everyone a chance to bask in the moodlighting. That’s why we’re opening up auditions to be cast in a future version of the #VXsafetydance. Just film and post a 15-second Instagram video using the #VXsafetydance hashtag and enter here.