Virginia McLaurin, who charmed hearts when she danced with Obama in the White House, turned 110 today

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Author: Allison Klein
Date: Mar. 12, 2019
Publisher: The Washington Post
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 212 words
Content Level: (Level 2)
Lexile Measure: 840L

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Byline: Allison Klein

The woman who charmed hearts across the country several years ago when she danced with President Barack Obama and later declared, "I can die smiling now," turned 110 years old today.

Virginia McLaurin was at the White House in 2016 -- when she was almost 107 -- to meet the Obamas during a Black History Month celebration. The three chatted and danced, and Michelle Obama told her: "I want to be like you when I grow up."

For her birthday today, people across social media -- including the Obamas -- wished her well.

For her 109th birthday last year, she celebrated with the Harlem Globetrotters.

McLaurin was born in 1909 in South Carolina and worked as a seamstress for most of her life. The D.C. resident has been a widow for more than 70 years.

The day she went to the White House, she was nothing short of amazed.

"I tell you, I am so happy," she said at the time, looking at the Obamas. "A black president, yay, and his black wife."

When she shook her hips, Barack Obama took note.

"She's dancing," he said with a laugh. "So what's the secret to still dancing at 106?"

McLaurin's answer? She just showed off more of her dance moves.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A578138772