In a surprising turn of events at Sumner High School in south Hillsborough, middle school teacher Yolanda Turner became an internet sensation after a spontaneous dance-off caught on video went viral on social media.
Turner, a 51-year-old study skills teacher, was in the spotlight after participating in a game called “dance telephone” during a break between exams. Little did the students know that Turner is a seasoned “vibe dancer” with a history of dancing in talent shows during her childhood.
Her daughter is even a professional dancer today. Despite feeling less fluid in her movements as the years passed, Turner showcased her dance prowess when an eighth-grader challenged her during the cafeteria dance-off.
The unexpected fame didn’t stop there. The Hillsborough County school district retweeted the video, and Turner’s daughter shared it on TikTok, catapulting the views from 10,000 to 24,000 in a day. Soon, television stations were reaching out, and Turner received email inquiries about licensing.
While there were occasional snide remarks about the state of education, Turner emphasized that these negative comments were the exception, promptly drowned out by viewers’ overwhelming support and positivity.
She shared her thoughts, saying:
“Yolanda, nobody’s looking at your butt but you. These people are looking at your dancing. I know they see the joy. They see the reactions, they see the relationships.”