Viral “Dancing Man” inspires UNL students

A victim of cyber bullying has quickly become a hero to millions.

He’s come to be known as “Dancing Man.”  He was part of a cruel, and anonymous, body shaming post online.

But now, he’s about to be part of one of the coolest dance parties we’ve ever heard of.

It all started when two pictures from England were posted of the man (whose name is Sean)—captioned “spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week.  He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

But UNL student Kayla Bullock says she wasn’t laughing when she saw the pictures.

“[I thought] wow, really guys?  How old are we?!  It’s just ignorance,” she recalled.

Bullock’s reaction was also shared by a woman named Cassandra Fairbanks, from Los Angeles.

Fairbanks took to Twitter, asking for help in finding Sean, so she could throw him an epic dance party.

She found him in just 12 hours and he accepted her invitation.

Millions of other online supporters have reached out encouraging Sean to be proud of who he is, and to keep on dancing.

A GoFundMe account will take care of his flight and other expenses.  In fact, $40,000 has already been raised, which is more than double the account’s goal.  Some of that money will be donated to charities that support anti-bullying.

That united front is something UNL Professor and social media expert Barney McCoy suggests Nebraskans take note of.

“That perhaps is going to be the most effective way to battle those who engage in cyber bullying, because you can call them out and make a point of saying ‘this isn’t appropriate behavior.,’” said McCoy.

Nebraska lawmakers recently proposed a bill they believe would prevent cyber bullying.

But McCoy says there’s still more that needs to be done.

“I don’t think law enforcement has all the resources at this point to be able to track down people who are saying mean things about people—fat shaming, for example,” he explained.

“We have the opportunity to educate ourselves about what we can do to keep them from happening, and trying to make sure they never happen again,” he added.

And it seems the “Dancing Man” phenomenon is already helping some people face the music.

“It’s probably our duty to help out because we are a community and we should care for each other.  If people are making other people feel bad, just to make themselves feel better, that’s just not the way things should be,” said UNL freshman Nathan Taylor.

A number of celebrities are RSVP-ing to this dance party, including Paella and Ellie Goulding.

It’s happening in L.A., but no word yet when that date is.