Cyber-bullied “Dancing Man” Sean O’Brien got the surprise of a lifetime on Friday, when Meghan Trainor invited him for an impromptu dance party on TODAY.
For those who have not heard the story of the Dancing Man, here’s a bit of background information.
In February, an anonymous 4chan user uploaded two photos of O’Brien dancing. The user captioned the photos, “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.” To view the photos, click here, but I’ll warn you that I tear up every time I see them. Click at your own discretion.
Cassandra Fairbanks, the head of a women’s group in Los Angeles, got word of the vicious cyber-bullying and started the #FindDancingMan campaign. She reached out to her Twitter followers to find out if anyone knew the man, because her women’s group wanted to throw him a dance party.
The Dancing Man was found, and now the party will take place this weekend at Avalon Hollywood. Moby even offered his DJ services free of charge. He tweeted, “no one should ever be ashamed about dancing.”
And O’Brien is not ashamed, joking that he dances “a lot, but badly. Very, very badly.” Though what he went through was heartbreaking, O’Brien is looking forward to making a positive impact with his story. The dance party has already raised over $40,000 online for The Cybersmile Foundation in London, an anti-cyber-bullying organization.
There’s so many good people out there in the world, and what did happen to me, it touched a lot of nerves. The more we can do and the better we can do [against] cyber-bullying is fantastic…There will always be bad in the world, but there’s far more good people.”
O’Brien also looks forward to thanking the party’s organizers in person. “It’s all because of them,” he said. “They saw the picture, sent out the message, and here we are.”