This interview is from Daniel's perspective. It was filmed on an Ipad once we got inside. These are his thoughts, feelings and reaction to what happened to him. Nothing more, nothing less. Thank you for listening.
We are currently without a rehearsal studio, so on Thursday August 13th we improvised and held rehearsals on the Tom McCall waterfront park in downtown Portland. Great weather, cute kids and potential new fans - seemed perfect. At the end, we did solos where everyone picks a song to freestyle to. Daniel (that ball of awesome in the video) chose Christina Aguilera's “Come On Over” because… duh, it’s Christina!
As he was living his life, a man came at him carrying a sledgehammer and shoved him. It was terrifying and infuriating. Two of us immediately jumped into “Mama Bear” mode and another called the cops. The rest made sure Daniel and our younger members were okay. Thank God he chose to use his hands and not what he was holding because none of us could have reacted in time. The man was arrested and released just two hours later.
I am incredibly grateful for this family we have built, but am sorely disappointed by the lack of concern or action by the people watching us. It left my heart heavy knowing that there were at least 30 people around and not one of them stepped in to stop this man, to see if we were ok, or even call the cops. Not one.
This is NOT acceptable. When you see something, DO something. SAY something. Everyone should be able to prance without fear. We should not feel unsafe dancing in public, let alone in a place where children are playing.
This isn’t the first time Daniel’s dealt with hate so he did what he does best - he kept on dancing (click to watch full clip). His reaction was a shining example of why we do what we do. We dance to change the world. To challenge perspective and to affect the heart. We promise to work hard each day to ensure that we create something so remarkable, so groundbreaking, so undeniable, that people will have to listen. This isn't about us, this isn't for us. We have been tasked with something much greater - to show the world what love truly means. NO ONE can take that from us, including a guy with a sledgehammer.
This Wednesday August 19th, we will be testifying to the city about this incident and asking for action from them. But, right now we are asking YOU to take action. Speak up. Share this post. Strive to be better for those around you. And NEVER stop prancing.
11: Dance Co