Justine Tuckett was 5 years old when her father was sent to prison for murdering his stepfather in 1999. Over the next 22 years, Bill Lorance would miss her many dance recitals and her wedding. "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," Tuckett, now a 28-year-old dance fitness instructor with a family of her own, writes on Instagram. But they're making up for lost time. Released from prison in California on Oct. 5, Lorance asked his daughter to film a TikTok dance. The result: a 13-second video viewed 45 million views on TikTok and Instagram, per BuzzFeed.
"My Dad has been in prison for 22 years," reads a text caption as Tuckett of Utah dances alone to Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots." Lorance hops into the frame with the caption, "I got to pick him up this week." "I wanted to upstage her," Lorance tells BuzzFeed. But "I suck. I'm not even dancing, I looked like a robot that needs grease." Viewers didn’t mind. Indeed, Tuckett—who described how her father was reformed and "unrecognizable from the person he used to be before prison"—was flooded with messages from people looking for advice on how to maintain a relationship with an incarcerated person. About 7% of all children in the US have had a parent in jail or prison, per BuzzFeed.
The pair then began hosting conversations on Instagram Live. Struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction, "I was filled with rage, and I acted out in violence," Lorance said of his crime, per the Daily Mail. "I'm interested in speaking about how guys can be rehabilitated while doing time," he tells BuzzFeed. Lorance—who was permitted three days of family time before entering a six-month transitional program—also wants to work on his dancing and get a handle on social media. "How much phones can do was shocking and mesmerizing and wild [to him]," says Tuckett. "I know people are going to be like, 'Look at this dum-dum taking pictures of his breakfast,'" adds Lorance. "But it just proves it's all new to me." (Read more viral video stories.)