USF students combat bullying through dance, not words

USF students create anti-bullying dance video

TAMPA - There are no words in the video.

"Movement is something we all do," explained USF dance student Brittany Williams.          

These University of South Florida dance majors believe their craft can be more powerful than language, expressing what many young people are put through at school.

"It was middle school and high school," explained Williams.

"She would pick on me, call my phone all the time. Every time she'd see me, we'd get into an altercation or she wanted to have an altercation with me," she said.

"I was bullied for my size," said USF dance student Sean McDonald.

"I struggled with being able to stand-up to bullying, being able to say no," said USF dance student Jenne-elise Galluzzi.

The seven minute, anti-bullying message created by USF Dance Professor Andrew Carroll is impacting kids all over the United States and beyond (see the video below or at http://youtu.be/h3wWUq0fJWA ).

"The entire Los Angeles school district of over a thousand schools adopted it. Then it got picked up by "Bully No Way" in Australia and then Northern Ireland," said Professor Carroll.

This is the type of media Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman says is worthwhile.

"When you've got ten percent of your two hundred thousand student population just in the last 30 days being victims of cyber-bullying, we know we have a long way to go to educate our students," she said.

Murman is asking for $20,000 county budget dollars for local schools to help fund an already existent anti-bullying campaign. Right now, only 23 schools participate, and they need materials to relay the powerful message that bullying hurts.

"Their movement is really fragile, delicate, honest," said McDonald describing part of the video.

"The way he comes in and out of the floor really suggests the ups and downs and the highs and lows," said Galluzzi.

"It's a voice for the voiceless who are not able to speak up or didn't have, me, I didn't have anyone who could say, you can say no, or you can walk away," said Williams.

"I really feel that dance can express sometimes where words fail," said Professor Carroll.

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