After coming across this incredible article on Huffington Post about the #DancingMan campaign and how it has effected her life, we came into contact with Ally Del Monte. Ally is a young lady from Connecticut who in her own life has experienced bullying and has taken her stand against the bullies and body shaming in her own blog at www.losergurl.com. After reaching out to Ally, we asked her if we could post her words here, and she was more than happy to share her article.
When I read the story about #DancingMan it broke heart, then made it sing! Somebody caught a man dancing, and took photos of him while making fun of him. #DancingMan saw what they were doing, and hung his head in shame. The caption of the original post read:
"Saw this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing."
When I was 13 years old, I went to a dance at our local teen center and I was so excited to have a good time. I had decided to just have fun, and yes, I danced. I danced until I overheard a bunch of guys laughing at me, saying, "What is Ally doing dancing, she's so fat!" It broke my heart. I wrote about it. It really affected me. Even now, I'm a little self-conscience when I dance. It took me a while, but I have learned to dance again!
Oh, God. How many times in my life have I stopped doing something I love because other people made fun of me? How many times have I hung my head and tried to act like I didn't think I had the right to embrace joy and happiness because I'm not what some people think of as beautiful or acceptable? No more. Now I do what I want and most of the time I feel great about it. Sometimes, though those old feelings come back and I slink down and hide. I push myself to remember that I am worthy of feeling, being and doing whatever makes me happy.
I'm so excited that Cassandra and her crew were able to track down #DancingMan, whose name is Sean, and invite him to a big dance party with lots of women who want to dance with him. It's gotten bigger and bigger, with Pharrell, celebrity djs and others wanting to join in on this dance party!
I want in. I want in on the fabulous dance party that is about this one man, Sean, who was made to feel awful when all he was doing was dancing. I can't go to the party, it's in California, but I sure as hell can have my own party the night that they're dancing! In my house in Connecticut, I'll be boogieing down with my family celebrating all that is fabulous about dancing -- the freedom, the joy, the way that dancing lets you laugh with your body to the beat of music that moves your soul. I will be joined by my dad, who wept today when he remembered how I was made fun of for dancing, and yet, still will get up and dance with my mom, because they love each other. My Mom, who laughs and says she does the "preteen girl hop" when she dances, but she still dances all the time, and my little brother, who is learning how to dance, and still laughs and loves it! The bullies haven't gotten into his head about it, yet. I won't let that happen. I will dance, even though I think I'm not good at it, but secretly like to dance with myself.
Won't you dance with us? We can ALL be #DancingMan or #DancingWoman -- let's just be #DancingPeople and spend even five minutes dancing together, wherever we are. Let's be brave and do it! Who wants in?