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93-year-old Florida grandmother finds TikTok fame with viral dances, positive message

TikTok Grandma
Posted at 10:00 AM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 11:48:42-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Fran O'Brien, 93, wasn't searching for social media fame. She just loves to dance.

So after her granddaughter recorded a video of them dancing, she was surprised to hear it had made its way onto a popular social media app.

"The next day, Allison, my granddaughter, said to me, 'I posted it on TikTok,'" O'Brien said. "I said, 'Allison, I don't know what you're talking about. I never heard of TikTok. Nobody here has heard of TikTok.'"

The TikTok reached 4 million people within 24 hours and has blossomed into O'Brien's own account, @fran_the_hip_gram. Since that first video went viral, she's racked up 20 million views and more than 150,000 followers.

It all started as a way to bring light to a challenging situation.

@fran_the_hip_gram

##getit ##dancer ##loveyourself ##positivity ##grandma

♬ original sound - Johnny Sibilly

"(Allison) says, 'Let's do a funny video for mom because she is ill.' So I said, 'OK,'" O'Brien said.

O'Brien's daughter, Allison's mom, has had three separate battles with cancer. That's why O'Brien's granddaughter set out to give her mom some joy.

O'Brien says she's enjoying her newfound fame, but it's hard to believe.

"It's just gone beyond my wildest dreams," she said.

TikTok has given O'Brien a chance to show off her personality and her dance moves. She believes it's something she was meant to do.

@fran_the_hip_gram

##oopsididitagain ##93yearsyoung ##grandmasoftiktok ##oopschallenge

♬ original sound - Meghan Joy Yancy

"I think I was born a dancer," O'Brien said. "I always wanted to be a Rockette, but I was too short."

She might have been too small for the Rockettes, but she proved to be quite big on TikTok.

She hopes her videos inspire others to be positive.

This story was originally published by Lauryn Moss on Scripps station WFTX in Fort Myers.