Aypical workplace retirement celebration might include a cake, a card and a few tears and shared memories. But for one physical education teacher at North Surrey Secondary School, a quiet goodbye simply wouldn’t do.
After 25 years teaching dance, 60-year-old Shirley Clements decided to celebrate her retirement doing what she loves — dancing with her students. Her farewell performance had over 2 million views since it was uploaded to YouTube in March and was so well-received, she was asked to be a guest on The Ellen Show.
With her red bandana and flashy jacket emblazoned with a “C,” Clements rocks the house with her energetic moves and a “too hot” attitude. Choreographing the dance to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson, Clements proves she not only has what it takes to teach kids new moves but has no problem keeping up, either.
“Mama Clements,” as her students affectionately call her, started a hip-hop and break dance showcase called Outbreak Dance Competition in the British Columbia school 19 years ago, reports Global News. “People think today that kids can afford to take dance classes outside of school, but in our economy many kids can’t take dance classes outside of school,” she told Global News.
She continued, “I think it’s really important that the legacy of Outbreak and that … it’s been created for these children of Surrey, which oftentimes gets kind of a hit, that it’s really important that people know that they should come out and support their kids.”
So why is someone so dedicated to her students and bursting with energy and enthusiasm retiring? According to CBC News, Clements is planning to expand her work by opening a nonprofit dance school for children in San Francisco, Mexico. She hopes that the new dance studio can eventually become a space for local children and visiting students to share their cultures, having already found common ground through the love of dance.
The rousing performance she delivers and the overwhelming response from the students in the video below leave no doubt that Clements will be a big hit wherever she goes.
Don’t believe me? Just watch.