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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – A dance flash mob with a purpose: rising up and dancing to end violence against women this Valentine’s Day. In 200 countries, 5,000 groups participated, including one in St. Louis.

Four hundred dancers flooded the Missouri History Museum lobby, dancing to break the chain of violence.

This dance mob has extra significance for participant Lyndsey Scott.  She says,

“Personally, I’ve been a victim of violence and many of my friends have, and so I feel how deeply it affects our freedom as women.”

Lyndsey isn’t alone.  Dance mob coordinator Susan Kidder explains, “One billion women on this earth are raped or beaten. And that’s an atrocity. One billion women and those who love us, rising and dancing together is a revolution.”

That’s the idea behind this One Billion Rising worldwide dance mob.  Dance instructor Diana Barrios explains, “This could be a really sad event to participate in, if we focus on the part that’s really horrifying. But what we can do with the dancing is say, this is a celebration of a movement that says, this is the end.”

Several men also danced in support of female victims. Participant Eric Hahn explains, “I think domestic and sexual violence is not just a women’s issue, it’s a men’s issue, and I think in fact it’s very important for men to show support for an issue like this.”

Barrios says dance has an added benefit for victims: “Dance is a good way of recreating your relationship to your body, and making that relationship be a positive and strong one. You can really feel and own your own strength when you’re moving instead of feeling like it’s not something that belongs to you.”

For Lyndsey, the dance was liberating.  “We get to be sensual again, we get to be nurturing again, I think sometimes that fear keeps us frozen,” she says.

The St. Louis dance mob was organized by the local group Safe Connections, which helps women victimized by violence.

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