Skip to main site content.
A photo of Virginia McLaurin from Facebook.

Black History Month

Virginia McLaurin, 106-year-old who danced with Obamas, says it was the “joy of her entire life”

By WITW Staff on February 23, 2016

How did it feel for 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin to dance with President Barack Obama?

“It was the joy of my entire life,” McLaurin said Monday. “I can die smiling now.”

The video of McLaurin and the Obamas meeting and dancing at the White House during a Black History Month celebration became an Internet sensation on Monday, launching the South Carolina native to overnight fame. McLaurin recounted her experiences to the Washington Post, saying that her phone began ringing at 5 a.m. that morning with relatives calling to tell her they had seen the video of her dancing with the President. “I was so happy to meet the black president,” she said. “I was so happy to shake his hand, and his wife was so nice.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 12.56.25 PM

The Post showed her the video, which she hadn’t seen, on an iPhone, and McLaurin asked where she could get a copy. “I wish I could have 30 minutes alone with him,” she added. “Oh, you know how women think.”

Though she lives in D.C. now, McLaurin was born in 1909 in South Carolina and married at age 13.  She then moved to Washington to live with her sister, did domestic work for families in Maryland, and raised two children. She told the newspaper that when she was young, she never imagined a world where black and white people were integrated. She will turn 107 in March.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


105-year-old Australian Aboriginal artist honored with U.S. exhibition

Meet Marilee and Mabel, two working women over age 100

Woman, 102, finally receives doctorate … 77 years after Nazis disqualified her