An Open Letter to the Young Girl Who Dances on my Block

Dear Young Lady Who Dances on my Block,

Every day, when the weather is warm enough, I see you.  You put your headphones on and dance down the sidewalk near my building.  It looks like so much fun!  I can tell you love music.  However, the second you see me (or anyone), you stop.  You pretend you were just walking down the street, minding your own business.

Yes, that’s right, I said I see you.  I see you dancing.  I see you get scared, wanting to go unnoticed.  I see you clam up.  I see you stumble over your own feet as you try to look nonchalant.  You aren’t fooling anyone, hon.  You’re busted, but it’s OK!

I’ve wanted to talk to you for weeks.  I wish I had stopped you during the summer, when you didn’t have school and were out all the time.  Unfortunately, I’m both a grown-up AND a stranger.  I couldn’t figure out how to approach you without automatically mortifying you.  You are much cooler than I am (and by FAR a better dancer).  Now, you’re doing homework.  Shoot.

The next time I see you, I swear, I’m going to tell you this: keep dancing.  You aren’t keeping your secret very well, anyway, and why are you trying?  You are SO talented!  Sure, at your age, you’re afraid of being picked on.  Kids- especially young women- can be awful bullies, and your dancing sets you out from the crowd.  Your passion makes you feel like you have a target on your back, right?  Right.  I know what that’s like.

You probably don’t want to hear this- especially not from a weird, adult stranger- but being a geek is cool.  I’m a geek for video games, comic books, action figures, board games, and cosplay.  You, young woman, just might be a dance geek.  …I forgive you for not embracing the term until you’re older.  😉

My point, my advice, is to OWN IT.  As Wil Wheaton says in this killer speech, when you’re a geek or nerd, “you find the things that you love, and you love them the most that you can.”  You clearly love to dance.  Sadly, there’s serious potential out there for naysayers, haters, and bullies to crush the thing you love.  Please, please, please don’t let that happen.  Please keep dancing.  Don’t hide it.  Don’t let your talent die because you’re worried about what other people think.  If you do, you will grow up boring, and you will grow up sad.

Keep dancing.  You will be a happier, more honest, more fulfilled adult.  You will end up special, talented, and healthy.  The girls who dare make fun of you today will envy you tomorrow.  The guys who think you’re silly today will think you’re incredible tomorrow.  Best of all, YOU will like you more, knowing that you stayed true to yourself.

Keep.  Dancing.  …If not all the time, at least when you see my car.  I love to see a fellow geek girl shine.


With kindness and acceptance,

Lauren (a.k.a. the weird, adult stranger in the baby blue Hyundai)

Filed under: Editorial

Tags: bullies, bullying, dancing, open letter

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