Edmonton seniors cheer on Oilers with viral TikTok dance moves

By Laura Krause

Some of St. Albert’s oldest residents are showing their support for the Oilers this playoff season with some dance moves.

“I never dreamed we would be having this much fun living in a retirement home, this is great,” said Jean Walsh.

Residents at Everitt Gardens Retirement Home started making TikToks in 2020. It was their playoff videos last season that scored big on social media, gaining tens of thousands of views.

“We don’t do them for the fame, we do them more because it’s creative, they get to dance, and it really forms a sense of a community here as well which we want for the residents,” said recreation therapist Lori Kary.

“And it just gives so much hype to the building when it’s game day. As you can see, most of the residents have jerseys, which they didn’t have before. Many of their families are buying them jerseys to wear.”

FROM 2022: Senior home residents showing support for Oilers by dancing on TikTok

Their dance moves were such a hit that they’re doing it once again this season.

“I’ve never see anything like it, I’ve never heard of TikTok either,” said resident Vivian McNeiloy. “My family is always calling and letting me know ‘I saw you on TikTok today.’”

Most of the videos have several thousand views.

A video last week of a flag-waving resident in dark sunglasses and full Oilers gear, mixed in with dancing seniors – the whole thing to the music of ACDC’s “Back in Black” – hit more than 12,000 views in six days.

On Friday the retirement home’s “Pump Up The Jam” video ahead of Game 3 – which saw a senior playing the piano while others in Oilers t-shirts danced along – had nearly 80,000 views by Sunday afternoon.

While the opening-round playoff series hasn’t gone the Oilers’ way so far, with the L.A. Kings leading 2-1, the residents are optimistic they will make a comeback.

“I’m just hoping and praying that they come through because if they don’t win, what are we going to do for the next few weeks? So they have to win,” said McNeiloy.

As a long-time fan, 99-year-old Gib Paradis is happy to have an opportunity to cheer on the team from the comfort of his own home.

“For years I had season tickets at the old Coliseum in Edmonton, and we enjoyed all the games. I passed those onto my son, I got a little too old,” said Paradis, laughing.

“They have to win tonight. If they don’t, they’re in trouble. But they should win.”

@everittgardens We are ready to PUMP IT UP for game 3️⃣! #letsgooilers #oilers #oilersnation #fyp #EverittGardens #OptimaLiving #stalbert #nhlplayoffs @Global Edmonton @CityNewsYEG @Edmonton Oilers ♬ Pump Up The Jam – The Hit Crew

@everittgardens Game 2 HYPE! We got this boys!

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