Georgia seniors boogie away pandemic loneliness with Friday dance parties

At Florence Hand Home in LaGrange, hairbrushes double as microphones and hallways as stages.

Residents and employees alike break it down every Friday, or as they call it “Fri-YAY.”

“When the coronavirus hit, obviously we had to shut down for visitation from our families and friends that would normally come and visit,” said Eliza Lopez, the facility’s director of nursing. “This was a great way for us to bring joy back to our building and also share with the people out there what's going on inside.”

Their contagious energy has captured an audience in the millions on social media.

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Among the viewers are many of the seniors' families, who have not been able to embrace their loved ones for eight months and counting.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shutter off the long-term (also short-term) care facility.

In the meantime, Lopez said these videos “bridge the gap” between families and residents, “letting them see the joy and the light that's still here despite what's going on.”

Brandy Knight is the woman behind the lens ... and the idea. 

“Their connection with music, it just does something to them that nothing else does,” Knight said. “When you turn music on, they just light up, they come alive.”

She said it's about making the best of even the worst of times.

“You just take it day by day,” said resident Ruby Henson. “And look forward to Friday dancing,” she added, with a smile.

So whether it's a single foot, pointer fingers, or your whole body – everyone is boogying on Friday, one way or another.

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