By Tabby Hardman

Susan Artz isn’t shopping inside Forever 21 — she’s dancing. She’s flapping her arms and shaking her rear as customers mill around her. And, while she dances, someone records it.

This, is a Dance Dare a la Ellen DeGeneres. In case you aren’t a regular fan of the afternoontalk show, Ellen regularly has people secretly dance behind her guests undetected.

So, Artz, a 25-year-old Social Media Events Consultant and George Mason University alum who graduated in 2011 with a degree in tourism and events, ran around Fair Oaks Shopping Mall and filmed herself secretly dancing behind unsuspecting shoppers.

She did this, to raise awareness to Mason’s annual Relay for Life — which raises money to fight cancer by bringing more involvement to the race and also saw it as an opportunity to remain involved in the Relay for Life organization at her Alma Mater.

“I thought by doing one of these videos it would be a great vehicle for Relay, it is something that reaches a large audience and anyone who is interested can participate,” said Artz.

After the Relay for Life committee approved the concept, the committee created their “Dance Dare” film over spring break (the one in which Artz dances in) as a starting point for the challenge.

“We are going to release [the committee’s] video on YouTube and Facebook, which will be our way of challenging the community to send in their “Dance Dare” videos and get the publicity ball rolling,” said Artz.

She thinks her dance video will give a more inspirational, uplifting tone — and encourage more people to participate. It’s fun, and different, and not a “sad depressing film about cancer.”

“We think it’s more powerful to see the human spirit thriving in the face of the devastating realities of cancer,” she says.

And,  who knows, eventually, maybe Ellen will see the video herself.