As you guys know, navigating the tricky social strata of your school and dance studio can be overwhelming. Sometimes, being mean can feel like the easiest way to get people onto your side, or get someone else to leave you alone. But it's never okay to treat others with cruelty, even if—especially if—everyone else is doing it too.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. What should that mean to you? Look around your studio and your school, and see the people who are consistently left out or made fun of. It takes courage and maturity to stand up to jerks, but preventing bullying means speaking up when you see or hear something that isn't OK. A good first step can be saying "I don't think that's funny," or simply, "Leave her alone."
And what about the wild world of the internet? When you can toss off a snarky comment on Facebook or Instagram and never look back—or look the recipient in the eye—being mean is no big deal. But guess what? Bullying is just as hurtful online as it is IRL.
For some people, receiving mean cyber-comments isn't a once-in-a-while kind of thing. They're targeted—and in the huge social network we live in, small things add up. If you leave a mean comment, remember that it's not just one. It could be one of many more.
So what's a girl to do? For starters, watch this awesome video by MusEffect, directed by Nik Gravelle and Jessica Starr. The L.A. based dance company made an anti-cyberbullying dance-for-camera PSA. Share it with your friends, and when you need a little extra courage to do the right thing, let it inspire you!