Dance

97-year-old woman gives street performers a run for their money with spirited dance

October 28th, 2020

Not many people in their 90s can gleefully bust a move anymore. But one 97-year-old Italian woman went viral all over the world when someone caught a video of her dancing in the streets of Italy.

But Annina was already a sensation in the Italian town of Turin. Now, she has hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, mostly thanks to this charming video.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson Source: YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson

The soundtrack

You’ll no doubt recognize the street music in the background – and, again, it’s unclear if she’s part of the show or just enjoying the music on her own.

The tune is “Funiculì, Funiculà,” a Neapolitan song composed in 1880 (“O Solo Mio” is another recognizable Neopolitan song). It was written to celebrate the opening of the first funicular railway on Mount Vesuvius.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Wikimedia Commons Source: Wikimedia Commons

In case you didn’t know, a funicular is a cable car system designed to transport people up steep inclines, hence the chorus:

Let’s go, let’s go!
To the top we’ll go!
Let’s go, let’s go!
To the top we’ll go!
Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!
To the top we’ll go, funiculi, funicula!

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson Source: YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson

If you don’t dance along to the song like Annina, you’ll no doubt be compelled to hum along once you hear it.

The moves

As you can see, this is a woman with some joyful moves.

“Good for her! I want what’s she having!” joked a commenter.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson Source: YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson

Annina is known for having this sort of public fun and doing spirited dances in Turin’s square. She simply lets the music move her and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.

And she really can shimmy! In fact, a few of those moves look pretty modern, so perhaps she’s a fan of watching dance videos on YouTube herself.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson Source: YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson

According to a 2017 story in TheLocal.it, her full name is Annina del Balónm, and she was a regular fixture in Turin. In fact, there are many more videos of her, one of which is here, recorded in 2012. Simply put her name into YouTube and enjoy!

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - upertia Source: YouTube Screenshot - upertia

Apparently, she was known by locals as Anna la pazza (“Crazy Anna”), which is a little cruel, but has a story behind it.

Who is Annina?

It turns out a film may be made about her at some point. Directed by Giuseppe Bisceglia, it appears to be in development.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Davide Mila (@davidemila82) on

Annina’s story is, in part, a sad one. She was locked up by her family in the neighboring town of Collegno’s psychiatric hospital for years. But she was later released after Basaglia’s Law was passed in 1978 – this dismantled psychiatric institutions in favor of community service treatments and rehabilitation (instead of incarceration).

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Capetown Film Source: Capetown Film

However, once she was released, she married a man who took much of her money. But with the help of a neighbor, she both literally and figuritively got back on her feet again.

The film intends to follow her early life, explore her web stardom thanks to viral videos (the video at the center of this story was even shared by rap star Diddy), and follow her story until her death. Her funeral was attended by the mayor of Turin and she was sent off by a marching band as an ode to her love of music.

It makes this fun video bittersweet to watch, but knowing that she danced with joy and freedom makes it worthwhile.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson Source: YouTube Screenshot - mark davidson

You can scroll down below to see her moves.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: YouTube – mark davidson, Facebook – The Italian American Page, The Local, CapeTown Film

Advertisement
Advertisement