Doing the Nae Nae at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois

Videography by Anna Dworzecka

 

The pediatrics infusion room at Children’s Hospital University of Illinois, where patients with chronic or acute illnesses undergo treatment, doesn’t seem like a place to have fun.

But UIC students, fellows, doctors, staff, patients and their families were all smiles Nov. 9 as they showed off their moves at a Nae Nae dance-off.

“It was truly a party atmosphere,” said clinical staff nurse Cathleen Kiely.

The idea began with a young patient in October. It wasn’t long before pediatrics staff jumped into the fun, getting nearly 20 people to participate.

Everyone had two weeks to learn the Whip/Nae Nae — dance moves that became popular with hip hop artist Silentó’s music video, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”

“Treatment can be tedious for patients, because they spend many, many hours in an outpatient setting, so I was hoping to bring some joy, laughter and smiles to their day,” Kiely said.

The dance-off was especially meaningful for two patients — Nina Lungu, 7, and Jonathan Hernandez, 10.

Lungu was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year. The day of the dance-off was her last round of chemotherapy. She’ll return every two to four weeks for follow-up, plus regular blood work and MRIs.

Hernandez, who has been receiving treatment for a genetic metabolic disorder, transferred to a hospital in New York.

“It was a nice end of chemotherapy for Nina and a nice send-off for Jonathan,” Kiely said. “I think they certainly appreciated it.”

Kiely hopes to organize more dance-offs with patients and staff.

“I think it was good for patients to see the staff not in a medical or nursing role, doing something fun and out of character,” she said.