Call Me Maybe: Dance-Pop Goes Intergenerational

URI Pharmacy Students and seniors from South Bay Retirement Living in South Kingstown, R.I. worked together and had a lot of fun producing their own video version of “Call Me Maybe,” a dance-pop tune by Carly Rae Jepson that was the best-selling single worldwide in 2012. (They also snuck in a little intro featuring “Gangnam Style” by South Korean musician PSY.)

The intergenerational music video was an idea that came from Chris Sheil, resident program manager at South Bay Retirement Living. She knew what she wanted to do, but also knew she would need some help pulling it off. She immediately thought of the URI College of Pharmacy students who are involved in clinical programs and intergenerational activities at South Bay with Clinical Assistant Professor Erica Estus. She knew the students enjoyed interacting with older adults and knew a thing or two about technology.

This video was choreographed by four pharmacy students who jumped at the opportunity: Monica Dougherty, Jenna Solomon, Chelsea Solomon, and Krystal Memmer. They did the choreography, filming, and editing. Michael Bly, also a pharmacy student, is the male star making his music video premier. Dottie Cusack, age 92, is the dancing queen. And to truly reach across the generations, there is also a cameo by 8-year-old Ryan Estus, making his first, but likely not his last, dancing appearance. The ages in this video span 90 years—from 8 to 98.

Estus says, “These older adults are full of energy and a ton of fun—they live each day to the fullest and have a lot more in common with the URI students than you might think. This project took several months to complete, but there were a lot of laughs along the way. And the performers were very good sports about the whole thing; they can’t wait for their next project! They are in talks with their choreographers at this moment.”

“The seniors are hoping the video will go viral,” says Estus, “but we did have to assure them that “viral” is not a bad thing.”