6 Times Dancers Clapped Back to Trolls on Social Media

It's tragic, but in 2018 it seems cyberbullying is par for the course for having any kind of a social-media presence. 😔 As a teacher, it can be absolutely terrifying to know how to help your students deal with this kind of thing. Thankfully, we have some excellent examples in the dance world today who can show us how it's done!

Here are six dancers we love who dealt with negativity online, clapped back, and then gracefully shook it off in order to continue on as their stellar selves. We love the great example they are, and hope it inspires everyone to be kinder online! In the meantime, we will be taking the advice of the great Taylor Swift and, shaking it off!

1. When Misty Copeland graciously responded to the haters.

2. When Kyle Hanagami clapped back by taking the high road after @bookdnblessed made a meme about him.

3. When Travis Wall took the negative things people said about him and turned them into a gorgeous and inspirational concept video.

4. When Galen Hooks put @bookdnblessed in their place.

5. When "Dance Moms" Alum Mackenzie Ziegler told people to ignore troll comments (1:06).

6. When Lizzy Howell responded to negativity by dancing her heart out.

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

I often teach ballet over Zoom in the evenings, shortly after sunset. Without the natural light coming from my living room window, I drag a table lamp next to my portable barre so that the computer's camera can see me clearly enough. I prop the laptop on a chair taken from the kitchen and then spend the next few hours running back and forth between the computer screen of Zoom tiles and my makeshift dance floor.

Much of this setup is the result of my attempts to recreate the most important aspects of an in-person dance studio: I have a barre, a floor and as much space as I can reasonably give myself within a small apartment. I do not, however, have a mirror, and neither do most of my students.

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Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

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Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

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