A couple who have been married for 48 years are “flabbergasted” at the response to a video of them dancing at a concert.
Nick and Emma Nichols met back in 1968 and have been dancing with each other ever since.
“We may miss one week every three or four months, but Saturday night it’s our ritual to go dancing,” Nick, 70, said.
The Virginia residents were recently at a Ludacris concert – yes, that Ludacris – when they started doing what they do best. It’s pretty easy to see why the video went viral.
Between that video and posts elsewhere, Nick and Emma’s routine to J-Kwon’s Tipsy has been viewed almost 30 million times in just over a week.
“We have a whole lot more steps than that video will show,” Nick, who’s known as the dancing machine, said. “I’ve got more steps than the Washington Monument!”
But despite the pair making friends everywhere they go, Nick is definitely not the man you want to meet on the dancefloor.
When his daughter, now 41, was in college in Georgia, Nick and Emma’s visits were a little different to most parents’.
“When we’d go down and see her, there’s a club down there called Heartbreak Alley, and they had two sides – a DJ side, and a band side.
“We’d go to either side and I’d go up to whoever was the best dancer on the floor, and I’d go dance right beside him and dance him off the floor!”
The retired grocery store employee, who still works for Fed-Ex, put a lot of work into becoming a great dancer, going to the beach each weekend when he was a junior senior to practise.
When he and Emma got married, in 1969, they started practising there together.
But despite their lengthy relationship – their 48th wedding anniversary is on September 27 – it wasn’t love at first sight for Nick and Emma.
The pair met at a Hardee’s hamburger joint in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where they still live now, in 1968.
“I pulled up in a green 60 Corvet, it looked like a turtle, and she had a 68 Camero in blue,” Nick recalled.
“She had a girlfriend with her and I had a guy with me, so we got some food and came out and I said I’d like to go riding in that new car, that new Camero, and so I jumped in the back with her girlfriend and he jumped up front with her.”
A little while later Nick’s friend asked if he minded swapping seats – and all these years later here they are.
“It wasn’t love at first sight but it grew and grew and grew. And that’s a good thing,” he said.
“It was not love at first sight,” Emma reiterated.
“But snaggle-tooth and all I fell in love with him. He did have hair back then but now we’re sort of bald at the top… I’m okay with that! He’s the love of my life and we don’t really go too many places without being with each other.”
“It’s been a wonderful thing, a wonderful relationship. If I had to do it all over again, I’d marry her again,” Nick added.
The key to their long and healthy relationship, Emma said, is communication – while they can dance as much as they do due to working out three times a week.
“You’ve gotta keep the communication open. In 48 years we’ve had our ups and downs, but if you communicate you can get it across and try to settle things down.
“Also doing things together. When we first got married Nick was into a lot of sports, but it took me a little while because going through high school, going through nursing school, I spent more time on my studies than I did sports or any other thing.
“But after marrying him and living with him I fell in love with football and track and field. As a matter of fact he’s 70 years old and he still competes in track and field.”
As well as feeling shock at the sheer amount of people who’ve shared the video of them dancing, Emma also feels gratitude towards them.
“I wanna thank those people because if it hadn’t been for them we wouldn’t have gotten those hits on that. I really appreciate the shares and the confidence these people have had in us to post it like that,” she said.
“I think it’s really great and I just hope we can inspire somebody, or couples, whatever, doesn’t matter, to be loving and to be caring and hopefully they can carry on.”
So if you ever happen to be in Virginia on a Saturday night, keep an eye out for these guys. Your night will no doubt be better for it.