A mysterious dancing woman has captivated Baltimore for weeks.
Prancing through the streets, jamming out to various radio stations on her iPod, Betsy Mills captured the attention of the city recently when her moves brought a smile to the faces of passersby in Mount Vernon, Canton and the Inner Harbor.
Little did Mills know a YouTube video of her dancing in Canton (unintentionally in sync with the video's music) had garnered thousands of views, and residents were posting videos, tweets and impassioned pleas to local neighborhood Facebook groups to find the "#baltimoredancinggirl." Mills had no idea anyone had taken notice until an acquaintance passed along the Canton video, posted on Aug. 14.
"It was very surprising," Mills, 30, said. "I know sometimes people take videos on their phone, but I just assume that they look at them themselves."
Mills lived in Baltimore for eight years and used to dance when she went on runs. A few years ago, however, she injured herself and could no longer run.
"Recently, I realized that I could just walk and dance and it was just as fun," she said.
Although the most popular documented instance of Mills' moves took place in Canton, spending time in the neighborhood was a rarity -- Mills lived in Mount Vernon and primarily pranced down Calvert Street and around the Inner Harbor, she said.
Perhaps the reason Baltimoreans' interest ramped up in recent weeks is because Mills was out and about more often than usual; she moved to Michigan for a new job over the weekend, and dancing was her farewell to Charm City. Mills said she hopes to keep dancing in her new home, though she'll have to gauge the community reaction.
“It just makes me really happy and it makes other people happy," she said. "It seemed like a really good way to say goodbye to the city."
Though combing through Facebook comments reveals the "dancing girl's" fans have had a hard time tracking her down, Mills said she did have frequent participants in her impromptu dance parties.
“Lots of times people would join in," she said. "They often asked what I was listening to. No one ever really asked why."