Dance to make a statement against bullying!
Dance, unite—and make a statement against bullying—by holding a Unity Dance. Join schools, students, and community organizations around the world to unite with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in music and dance to bring awareness to bullying prevention.
The song selected for the event is “You Can’t Take That Away From Me,” which was created by Nashville songwriters Tim Akers and Libby Weaver. Akers, the father of a child with a disability, has seen firsthand the struggles and frustrations that some children deal with because they are viewed as “different.”
The song speaks about the importance of teaching children to recognize that personality and character are more important than popularity and outward appearances. The song is performed by 11-year-old Nashville singer Tristan McIntosh, and choreographed by local teens.
“The culture of bullying won’t end until people across the country take action and show children and teens that they care,” says Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Unity Dance Day celebrates the influence of music and dance as a powerful avenue to reach kids and teens about the bullying prevention message.”
Promote the Event at Your School
Download the flyer
How Can My School or Organization Participate?
- Determine a location. For example: the school lunchroom, the hallway, a classroom, the football field or an assembly.
- Establish a time. Will it take place in the morning, during lunch, during half-time, or after school?
- Consider who should participate. Ideas include:
- An athletic team leads the dance, learn the steps, and encourage others to join.
- One person leads the dance, one person joins in, then another, followed by several others, with an invite for anyone watching to join.
- Ten students lead the dance and invite others to join.
- Consider what is needed to play the song. For example: a sound system, the school’s PA system, or speakers and an MP3 player?
What Next? Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Watch this video showing the dance.
- Watch this video showing the choreography.
- Download the MP3 file of "You Can't Take That Away From Me."
- Practice the choreography with anyone who will be involved on Unity Dance Day.
- Determine how the dance will be introduced. For example: will a student emcee announce it, will it be a surprise, will the school principal invite everyone to the appointed place?
- Decide if there will be post dance activities. Ideas include:
- Setting up a table to sign "The End of Bullying Begins With Me" petition
- Creating your own "Unity Ribbons.” Purchase a spool of orange ribbon (5/8” wide) at a craft or dollar store. Cut them into 12” strips. With a black marker write UNITY, “The End of Bullying Begins With Me,” or create your own bullying prevention message. Then tie them around your wrist, on your notebook or to your locker door.
- Post a UNITY banner in the hallway for everyone to sign. Purchase a blank 4' x 8' piece of cardstock at a local print or copy store. Write the word UNITY on it in color markers. Provide color markers for people to sign their name and write a statement about why they believe in supporting each other.
On Unity Dance Day
- At the time you have determined - dance and unite!
- Videotape the dance.
- Post the video and share event photos on the UNITY DANCE DAY Facebook Event
- Encourage everyone to participate in any post dance activities
PACER extends a shout out to everyone involved in creating the UNITY DANCE DAY video! Their talents, time, and commitment to this project are gratefully appreciated.
- Amy McIntosh – The mother of Tristan McIntosh, for all of her behind-the-scenes coordination and for reaching out to PACER to ask how “You Can’t Take That Away From Me” could be used to help raise awareness of bullying prevention
- Tim Akers – Co-writer of “You Can’t Take That Away From Me,” who has raised awareness of the importance of teaching children to recognize that personality and character are more important than popularity and outward appearances
- Tristan McIntosh – Singer of “You Can’t Take That Away From Me”
- Caroline Grace, Matthew, Jessica, Makenzi, and Paiten – The dancers!
- Tony Speight - Choreography
- Camille Blinn –Director of photography, makeup, and stylist
- Eric Rhodes and Shanon Rhodes – Camera
- Dianna Akers, Shelly Ballestero, and Shanon Rhodes –Makeup artists
- Marathon Village – Provided the facility for the dance portion of the video
- Ben James, Chris Gero, and Yamaha Corp. –Equipment support
- Judy Bell, principal of Sycamore Middle School – Provided the school to be used for the video
- Crystal Juechter, Choir teacher - Organized the logistics for use of the school.
- Sycamore Middle School
- Andrea Hedley-Williams and Jamie Milele – Helped to organize the dancers.
- Parents of the dancers, for allowing their children to be involved with this important project.
- Jonzun Radio – Connected Amy Mcintosh to PACER