Birthdays. Sports games. Holidays. Sharing a bowl of cereal on a Sunday afternoon … these are just some of the moments, big and small, that are missed when a parent is incarcerated. And sadly, they can't be replaced.
But sometimes, second chances do come around. For father and daughter Bill Lorance and Justine Tuckett, that second chance came in the form of a TikTok dance. They didn't take it for granted, and now they're making up for lost time. It's not only a win for the father-daughter duo, it shows how rehabilitation is possible and that people don't have to be defined by their mistakes.
On the day she picked her father up from prison, Tuckett posted to Instagram:
"Words can not express the emotions and feelings I've had this week. Picking up my Father from prison after 22 years was amazing.
When I was younger every time I blew out my birthday candles 🎂 I would wish that he would get out of prison…until I was old enough to realize that he wasn't going to be wished back to me.
My Dad put in the work everyday, he is unrecognizable from the person he used to be before prison. Some resilient people CAN be reformed. Some people DESERVE to re-enter society again. Some WILL embrace their children, grandchildren, and family one again. Someone like my Dad. 💕"
Bill Lorance had been convicted for the murder of his stepfather, and served 22 years in a California state penitentiary. He didn't make it to his daughter Justine's wedding, in addition to many other milestones.
According to BuzzFeed News, Lorance and Tuckett both shared a love of dance. Before incarceration, Lorance had a passion for dancing in clubs and making home videos; Tuckett teaches a fitness dance class called Dirtylicious. It seems almost destined that after Lorance's release, their TikTok debut would happen.
The video, which now has more than 45 million views, starts with the words, "My Dad has been in prison for 22 years. I got to pick him up this week," as Tuckett gives some fun, funky shuffle steps.
Then dad leaps into frame and the two deliver some awkward yet undoubtedly onbeat moves that many fathers and daughters have been able to share. Tuckett might be a grown woman, but in that moment it seemed like her 12-year-old self got to come out and play with dad.
Creating this video had been a dream for Lorance, to do something really special with his kids to celebrate their reunion. Though he never dared risk the additional time to sneak a smartphone in prison, he wasn't completely unsavvy to social media, having seen trends like Drake's "In My Feelings" car dance and the Ice Bucket Challenge. Still, it was a new world for him. Tuckett noted that for her father, "how much phones can do was shocking and mesmerizing and wild."
In favor of simple movements and a slow tempo, Lorance's daughter-slash-dance instructor chose the song "Forget Me Nots" by Patrice Rushen (though "WAP" and "Fancy Like" were also music contenders). Lorance admitted flossing was a tad too difficult.
So much more than a few likes and followers came from their viral video (though jumping from 200 to 40,000 followers is pretty impressive). Tuckett and Lorance teamed up to create more content that helps others understand not only how to maintain a relationship with an incarcerated loved one, but to remind everyone that people really can change.
In an emotional series of Instagram Live videos, Tuckett and Lorance discuss a multitude of topics brought in from Tuckett's followers: how Lorance got incarcerated, how they maintained their relationship, anger and addiction, and the role outside families play in accountability. Through teary, heartfelt conversations, their core message provides an insightful takeaway: treat these crimes as bad decisions, rather than mistakes.
As for what's become of Lorance now, BuzzFeed reported that he's opened a bank account, is working toward securing a car and has quickly acclimated himself to the digital world of social media, posting sunrise beach jog and morning omelette photos to Instagram. Suddenly these simple things we often take for granted become symbols of a fresh new start.
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