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The Triumphant Final Chapter of the Dancing Man Saga

LA Reverential

Rarely do stories concerning the hideousness of cyber-bullying end as happily as this one. A few months ago Sean O’Brien, a Liverpudlian financier, was photographed dancing at a gig before noticing that he was being watched/laughed at and stopping. The culprit posted the images on 4chan with the caption “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week, he stopped when he saw us laughing.

Unacceptable, I’m sure you’ll agree, but almost as soon as it started to gain traction an LA-based journalist named Cassandra Fairbanks took to the internet to track Sean down and organise an initiative to get him flown out to LA for a huge (and predominantly female) dance party, at which he would be the guest of honour.

It wasn’t long before Fairbanks had drummed up a huge following and last Saturday the plan finally came to fruition, hosted by the Avalon club in LA and hoisted by over $40,000 of donated funds from across the world. Fairbanks and O’Brien were joined by hundreds of women including Fresh Prince actress Tatyana Ali, comedian Damienne Merlina and Monica Lewinsky, who is now an anti-bullying campaigner. Also present were Andrew W.K. (presumably there to make sure that all the partying was appropriately hard) and Moby, making good on his promise to DJ the event for free. Pharrell also made an appearance via video feed to wish O’Brien well.

The party wasn’t the only item on the to-do list though. The following day (likely rather hung over) O’Brien threw first pitch at the LA Dodgers/San Diego Padres game, as well as being gifted with a Dodgers shirt with ‘Dancing Man’ on the back. The Dodgers ended up getting trounced by San Diego in an 11-3 route, failing to score any points until the 7th innings. I’ll stop pretending I know anything about baseball now.

As well as being a massive counter-attack against the appalling behaviour directed at O’Brien, the whole thing has worked as a massive awareness campaign against cyber-bullying, a horrendous cultural blight which has only increased in scope with the advent of social media and online anonymity. O’Brien himself seems to have taken that on board. “I’ve always had confidence anyway, I’ve always wanted to dance.” He said in an interview “It’s just people pick on you sometimes. But what it has taught me is just totally ignore them rather than just blanking them.”

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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The Triumphant Final Chapter of the Dancing Man Saga Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Rating: 5

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