Virginia McLaurin, who went viral dancing with the Obamas, dies at 113
Virginia McLaurin, who went viral for spontaneously dancing with former President Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama during a 2016 Black History Month celebration, died on Monday. She was 113 years old.
McLaurin died early Monday morning after being placed under hospice care a few days prior, a post on her Facebook page stated.
“While best known for her visit to the White House in 2016, she spent decades volunteering 40 hours a week at schools after she retired,” the post read. “She had an extraordinary memory, sharing stories of family’s life as sharecroppers in South Carolina before traveling north in the Great Migration.”
McLaurin was born in South Carolina in 1909 and later lived in Washington, D.C.
She had a social media campaign to meet President Obama, and in February 2016, McLaurin fulfilled her dream of visiting the White House as she joined the first couple at an event to celebrate Black History Month.
A White House video of her bobbing as she met the first couple garnered more than 4 million views.
“I want to be like you when I grow up,” Michelle Obama told McLaurin in the clip as the then-106-year-old broke out into a dance.
“She’s dancing. Come on! So what’s the secret to still dancing at 106?” President Obama followed up.
A memorial fund has been created in the supercentenarian’s honor. It has raised nearly $4,000 as of Tuesday evening.
The organizers said the funds would be used to cover McLaurin’s funeral and burial expenses, also encouraging admirers to “look out for the other Ms. McLaurins in your neighborhood,” noting her long record of volunteering.
McLaurin in the 2016 clip went on to say she never thought she would live to visit the White House, especially with a Black president in residence.
“You have just made our day. You know that? That energy,” Michelle Obama said at one point.
“Well, you made my day,” McLaurin responded.
After meeting the Obamas, McLaurin later declared, “I can die smiling now.”