Dancing nurse: I use dance to cheer up my patients

Elizabeth Robai Lukresia, a second year pediatric student nurse at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) with a child patient

Elizabeth Robai Lukresia, a second year pediatric student nurse at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), with a child patient at Kitale Level IV hospital Ward 8. Her video dancing to the recuperating child went viral on social media.

Photo credit: Gerald Bwisa | Nation Media Group

Lukresia Elizabeth Robai has always loved children, and even at a young age she would volunteer to teach Sunday school children at her church.

It is no wonder that even when she could not pursue her childhood dream of becoming a doctor because of her grades, the 22-year-old student is now studying nursing and enjoys working with children at the hospital.

Elizabeth is a second year fully sponsored student at the Kenya Medical Training College in Kitale, pursuing a Diploma in Nursing.

Last week, she became a national sensation after a TikTok video of her dancing for a hospitalised child in the Kitale Teaching and Referral Hospital went viral.

Fully aware that the video was being recorded, Elizabeth danced away to ‘Baby Shark’, a popular children’s song, as the child laughed and seemed to be cheering her on.

The video was widely shared across social media platforms with Elizabeth being praised for bringing a smile on the child, who had a fractured leg and has since been discharged.

Elizabeth says that though she has danced for other people, her patient’s reaction was heart-warming and came to her as a shock.

“I was so caught up in the moment that I even forgot the dancing style. I had a specific part that I would dance but even after the recording was done, I continued cheering up my patient,” she explains.

Elizabeth is happy that her dancing cheered the child and prides herself as a nurse-cum-dancer who stylishly and rhythmically entertains her patients--children--whilst going about her duties.

To her, dancing is something basic like walking. It is something she has always done, and seeing others happy or commenting on her posts motivates her to do more dance videos on TikTok.

The last born in a family of three, Elizabeth and her brothers were single-handedly raised by their mother, who passed on when Elizabeth was in form three.

“My mom was very strict and growing up I was thoroughly disciplined. Being a lover of church and its activities, I was also part of the dancing team and I would say my dancing is in-born,” she says.

Elizabeth joined TikTok in 2019 after her high school, but her account was mostly dormant and she would use it to watch people dancing.

“In 2020, I danced and posted my first video but it did not get any likes or views. This demotivated me and I pulled it (her account) down then uninstalled TikTok,” she says.

However, after some time, Elizabeth started seeing how people were attuning to the platform and would admire them. She had dance videos on her phone but at the time, she was posted them only on her WhatsApp status.

Early this year, she felt the urge to re-install TikTok and posted a video from her phone’s archives. “I started to get followers with the video's likes and views grew by the day.”

But even as her TikTok fan base increased steadily, Elizabeth sometimes felt deflated and would not post videos all the time, sometimes not posting any video for even a month.

“My followers would ask whether I quit dancing but I was feeling discouraged because you do so much but there is no motivation to continue. However, I still cannot fathom where I got the strength to continue posting,” she shares.

But last week, her efforts bore fruit with the viral video.

Despite her new-found fame, Elizabeth says she will continue pursuing her education and hopes to further her studies to a higher diploma after completing her diploma in a year’s time.

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