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Tampa mayor hosts daily virtual dance party as citizens practice social distancing


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – When Tampa Mayor Jane Castor turned on the television one day and saw New Yorkers taking a moment to celebrate life while social distancing, she was intrigued.

She watched as people in New York City opened their windows each night at 7 p.m. and took a moment to cheer for first responders and for one another and that got Mayor Castor thinking.

The city of Tampa, she thought, could easily do that, spreading joy during these uncertain times amid daily social distancing.

And, just that fast, the Mayor’s Karoke Dance party was born.

“I saw in New York where everyone was coming out at 7:00 at night and clapping and thought, well we can top that. And, I thought we need to come up with something where we can bring everybody together. So, here you go,” the Mayor told 8 On Your Side Monday night, as people danced outside Tampa’s Old City Hall.

Mayor Castor teamed up with iHeartMedia to make it happen.

So, each night at 6 p.m., Tampa citizens can bust a move as the same song is played simultaneously on six Tampa Bay iHeartMedia stations.

For the debut of the mayor’s dance party, the very first song played was a highly appropriate one that got everybody smiling and moving.

‘Happy’ by Pharrell.

“You know, everybody is getting a little cabin fever, everybody’s frustrated, a lot of anxiety,” said the Mayor. “So, I thought, what better way to bring everybody together than through music.”

With the virtual dance party, Mayor Castor is hoping citizens will post videos and pictures with the hashtag #happyathomeTPA – acknowledging the safer at home order currently in within the city,

As that hashtag began to trend on Twitter Monday night, one thing could be seen over and over again. People were, indeed, smiling, laughing, dancing and sharing a moment of joy.

Mayor Castor had this personal message for 8 on your Side viewers, “C’mon, we can do this. Let’s get outside and let’s be happy. “

Mission accomplished, Mayor Castor!


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