Dancing 106-year-old in White House: 'The Bible says a good laugh is the best medicine'

The 106-year-old internet sensation who danced with the Obamas says her deep faith keeps her upbeat and healthy.

A video released by the White House went viral last night as it showed Virginia McLaurin dancing with joy at meeting Barack and Michelle Obama. The centenarian squealed with happiness, not only at being introduced to the leader of her country, but also at the significance of meeting America's first black President.

Dance Party with 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin

What's the secret to still dancing at 106? Watch 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin fulfill her dream of visiting the White House and meeting President Obama. #BlackHistoryMonth

Posted by The White House on Sunday, 21 February 2016

"I tell you, I am so happy," she said to Obama, before turning to the First Lady and saying: "A black president, yay, and his black wife."

McLaurin, who has lived through the height of racial segregation and two world wars, said her weekly Bible study has helped her stay healthy and happy.

"The Bible said a good laugh is the best medicine," she said, according to The Washington Post. "You don't know who you're going to have to look to before you leave this world, so you treat people how you want to be treated. Treat people nice and somebody will always treat you nice."

McLaurin was born in South Carolina in 1909 when slavery had not been abolished. She was not allowed to attend school beyond the 8th grade and married aged 13, working as a seamstress for most of her life.

What is the secret to dancing at 106? McLaurin says her weekly bible study keeps her happy and healthyThe White House / Facebook

"This was white and this was black. There were so many things we weren't allowed to do, we were raised up like that," she said. "I felt like it would always be that way."

However, she told the The Washington Post she is not bitter: "I have nothing to do but be happy."

And in an interview in 2014 she said: "One of my secrets for longevity is reading the Bible and praying daily, loving Jesus Christ, and my fellow man.

"There's no one that I don't like; I love everybody."

A friend of McLaurin, Deborah Menkart, submitted a petition to the White House in 2014, with a note from the old lady attached:

"I know you are a busy man, but I wish I could meet you," it read.

"I would love to meet you," she wrote, adding: "I could come to your house to make things easier."

"I pray to the Lord that I would be able to meet you one day."

Last week her dream was realised and she went to the White House for a Black History Month celebration.

The White House's official blog said Menkart had petitioned for the meeting citing McLaurin's volenteering work. For over 20 years, the elderly lady has been a foster grandmother to inner-city youth. This is on top of being there for her own grandchildren, who she says are too many to count.

Commentators on the video, which has been viewed over 50 million times, marvelled at her energy and mischievous charisma, in spite of her advanced years.

"I wish I could have 30 minutes alone with him," she told the Washington Post, remarking how handsome Obama was. "Oh, you know how women think."