Upset over George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict for killing Trayvon Martin, the dancers came together to take a proactive stance against “Stand Your Ground” laws, which was a chief reason why officers didn’t initially arrest Zimmerman.
“We were really upset at the outcome and so were a lot of our friends,” said Sheila Anozier (pictured below left), a professional dancer who co-organized the flashmob — a group of people who assemble and perform for a short time and then immediately disperse — with friend Marie Philippeaux. (pictured below). “We wanted to do something in action towards the solution of getting rid of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.
To that end, Anozier collaborated with Philippeaux a day after the verdict to figure out possible solutions. Initially, the friends created a Facebook page dedicated to getting people to boycott Florida.
But they knew they couldn’t stop there.
“We decided that we needed to do something to take it a step further and to protest in some way, Anozier continued.
“We’ve all been dancing and dancing is the way that we’ve expressed ourselves all these years. We thought we could use dance as a form of protest to apply pressure to the proper people to repeal the law.”
From there, Dancing For Action was born.
Watch Dancing For Action’s “Nago” warrior dance here:
And it was no accident that the group was dancing outside Schumer’s office.
The U.S. Senator is no friend to “Stand Your Ground.” Last year, he wrote a letter to the Justice Department, asking for further examination of the law.
“We wanted to show Chuck Schumer that we applaud him and we’re extremely grateful that he would do something like that,” Anozier said. “We wanted to let him know that we support him in taking more of a leadership role toward that goal.”
The group has held steady to the boycotting of Florida but are going beyond not setting foot in the state.
“In every way,” Anozier insisted. “Whether it be oranges or orange juice or any company that supports Florida.”
According to DFA, boycotting Florida in your own way can only help the cause.
For those interested, the group regularly practices at The Mark Morris Dance Group company in Downtown Brooklyn. You can contact them at DancingforAction@gmail.com.