Dancing teen steps up to his bullies

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Kids can be inspiring, talented and amazing, but they can also be very cruel.

A local boy who only wants to express himself through dance has seen the cruelty of kids first hand, but he won't let it stop him.

When the beat begins, Julian Trevino is transported to a place that is his alone, a world of syncopated staccato fluidity in which his fingers and feet become extension of a force he can't fathom.

This is where he is happiest: living the music and the moment and the movement of dance.

Oscar Trevino picks up his son at the bus stop every day after school. Julian is 14, and bullies on the bus have made his dad's presence something of a ritual.

Every night it's the same thing for Julian. Homework first, always. Then he rolls up the rugs, kicks off his shoes, cues up his hero and does what comes naturally.

"As soon as I hear that bass and treble, all the planets are aligned for me," Julian said.

Oscar is well aware of his son's nightly routine.

"He dances every chance he gets, to and from his bedroom, through the living room, back to his bedroom," he said.

And the dancing isn't confined to his home. Home video shows Julian at a skating rink, with people watching, as he dances like there's nobody watching.

"I never took a personal dancing lesson. Never went to a class, none of that," Julian said.

He entered a talent show, and was hooked after hearing the girls scream for him.

But at school, not everyone approves of Julian, and he's often ridiculed for his dancing.

"Kids have challenged him to stop doing what he loves to do," Oscar said.

It was as if the more joy it brought him, the more some people wanted him to stop.

"At school, it happened a lot. (They say) 'you're gay, you're a faggot, you're a homo and that's so queer and everything like that.' It really hurt."

But they picked the wrong kid to pick on. Julian danced more, not less.

"I'm not going to stop dancing because of what you said. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard," he said.

And so there he is, in downtown Mount Vernon, moonwalking through a crosswalk

While his dance moves are not meant for a novice, the most difficult thing for Julian is being different.

"You call me stupid, I don't care," he said. "I know who I am. I know what I am, and I don't need to take that kind of stuff from you, because I know I'm not. Up here, I know."

And a funny thing has been happening to Julian recently. Other kids have been showing up, drawn by the music and Julian's guts. And now they're dancing, too.

"They sometimes make fun of us, but some kids think it's pretty cool that we're putting ourselves out there," said fellow dancer Johnny Walker.

They plan on dancing for other kids. They want to talk to them about being bullied, being strong and the power that comes from being yourself.

For Julian Trevino, the dance has just started, and he won't stop until he gets enough.

"I want to wear the bullies out. Wear 'em out," he said.

Julian will soon be making appearances at school assemblies and church youth groups.