IN HIS OWN WORDS: Sean, the "Dancing Man" O'Brien

IN HIS OWN WORDS: Sean, the "Dancing Man" O'Brien

07.30 on Friday March 6th is a time and a date that will live with me for many a year. If you know your history, and have been following my story, that was the date and time when I received a call on my mobile just as I was about to leave for work.

On the other end was one of my closest friends and, considering the time of the call, I was instantly fearful of what the call could be about. What he then said to me has changed my life for the better in so many ways, and led me on the most fantastic journey possible.

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MEET EDDIE: Dance Like There's Nobody Watching....

MEET EDDIE: Dance Like There's Nobody Watching....

 I wish we lived in a world where everyone felt they could confidently show off their signature dance move; something that our body is instinctively drawn to, something that could be executed fearlessly. Some people love the running man or the classic two step, while some kids twerk or booty drop like their life depends on it. Some dance moves can’t even be put into words, and those are the best kinds of moments to experience on the dance floor; when a dancer’s body and the music have a conversation that is so indescribable you can’t help but smile and feel joy. Unfortunately, not everyone feels comfortable enough in their own skin to dance their heart out. So many people feel stuck in their own body, and even worse, feel embarrassed of it.

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MEET JENNIFER: Being Miss.Wheelchair America & What the DancingMan Party Meant to Me

MEET JENNIFER: Being Miss.Wheelchair America & What the DancingMan Party Meant to Me

I had the awesome privilege of being a guest at Sean O’Brien, AKA Dancing Man’s dance party. Hosted by the Dance Free Movement and Los Angeles Tourism, this epic party was held in the heart of Hollywood, CA.  

 Sean has endured cyber bullying and body shaming first hand, as many of you have heard through his viral story on social media. I was born with partial limbs and experienced being bullied and teased for my  physical anomalies in school during my adolescent years. I also experienced the power of encouragement, acceptance and friendship during my college years.  My personal experience inspired me to start an anti-bullying campaign called "The Power of Words" and write two books on the subject.  I share this campaign in schools nationally.  My path as a motivational speaker lead me to the awesome privileged of carrying the title of Ms. Wheelchair America 2014. 

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MEET OLIVIA: Learning Body Positivity Through Gender Transition and Facing Bullying While Homeless

MEET OLIVIA:  Learning Body Positivity Through Gender Transition and Facing Bullying While Homeless

When I first saw stories online about the Dancing Man, I remember being struck by the outpouring of compassion and love being sent to this man who was laughed at and bullied just for trying to have a good time and be himself.  The story resonated deeply with me.  As a homeless transgender woman, I struggle with that kind of aggression on a daily basis.

“I bet you don’t think you’re pretty, do you?�?

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MEET ALLY: All Bodies are Dance-Worthy Bodies, Including Mine

MEET ALLY: All Bodies are Dance-Worthy Bodies, Including Mine

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. 

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MEET JUSTIN: Overcoming Homophobia and All Bullying

MEET JUSTIN: Overcoming Homophobia and All Bullying

Faggot is a powerful word. If you’ve never had it used against you, the full effects might not be apparent, but let me tell you right now — it hurts. It hurts in that way that makes you grab at your chest hoping to claw it out.

Growing up as a young man in middle and high school, I was bullied for being perceived as gay. I still remember the sharp hatred that painted the word faggot as it flew from the lips of my bullies. I hear it sometimes nowadays and feel a brief nausea come over me as memories of high school come shooting back.

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MEET MATT DIAZ: A Journey of weight loss and self-Acceptance.

MEET MATT DIAZ: A Journey of weight loss and self-Acceptance.

Meet one of our heroes, Matt Diaz. Matt has been in the media for a YouTube video he posted of himself, along with other posts on his Tumblr page and other social media outlets. In the video he talks about his incredible weight loss and the effects on his body. He has become a very active voice in the self love and anti body shaming movement, and we couldn’t be happier to have come in contact with him. Since then, we have been speaking with Matt a bit more, and requested a few words from him to share with you all. He shares his story, journey in weight loss, and where he stands today. Also a few jokes along the way, because you can’t get through life without a little bit of humor!

His words are truly inspiring and beautiful to us at Dance Free Movement, and we know you will all feel the same.

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MEET JUMOKE: Dancing his way to health and happiness.

MEET JUMOKE: Dancing his way to health and happiness.

Jumoke Hill was one of the first to reach out to us in support of dancing free. The very first night our movement began in search of Dancing Man, he sent us a few videos of him dancing to hip hop and we immediately became fans. His story is very close to our hearts, and is a perfect representation of our mission. At one point in his life, Jumoke weighed over 600 pounds. He was bullied and put down for his size, and felt very ashamed to be himself in his own skin. Recently, he decided to stop caring what others think and just start dancing. We asked Jumoke to put together a story about himself to share with all of you about his experiences.

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Meet Sean "The Dancing Man" : How one candid photo took the internet by storm.

Meet Sean "The Dancing Man" : How one candid photo took the internet by storm.

The beginning of our movement kicked off initially with a social media campaign to find the "Dancing Man". This was sparked by an image of a man dancing that had been anonymously posted on a website to intentionally shame the subject of the photo. We took to Twitter and Facebook to search for this man and throw him a dance party especially for him. Within just 24 hours, the dancing man from the photo was found: Sean. 

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