Canes, fans remember granny's dance moves

Posted March 1, 2013
Updated March 2, 2013

— The Carolina Hurricanes' biggest cheerleader passed away this week. The woman known as "Dancing Granny" will boogie no more in the aisles of the PNC Arena, and other fans say that will change how they see the game.

Joyce Johnston, otherwise known as Dancing Granny, was more familiar to Canes fans than some of the players on the ice. 

For 12 years and past her 85th birthday, she showed off her moves, celebrating Carolina success.

Dancing Granny Granny's grooves remembered by Canes fans

"She's awesome man," fan James Maudlin said. "Every time you turn around, she was up dancing in the stands. Watching her on the little fan cam, seeing the audience reaction to her, it was fantastic.

"She kind of reminded me of my grandma actually."

Juliette Dalton called Johnston a delight. "She made you want to get up and dance, no matter how bad we were losing or winning."

Jennifer Hester in introduced her own mother to Dancing Granny.  
"I used to tell everybody when we go to the games that we would see this lady dance and everything. One time my mother actually got to go to the game, and she got to see her, and she got really tickled at her. It was really funny," Hester said.

Maudlin said Dancing Granny was an inspiration to younger fans.

"You got to admire someone who has got that kind of passion for something and having had that much fun with something, especially something that's not native to North Carolina like hockey," he said. "She was great."

As as a tribute to her, the Carolina Hurricanes will no longer play "Apple Bottom Jeans" at home games. The song is now retired in her honor.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • TsKaMF Mar 2, 2013

    View quoted thread

    What's sad is you ! 85+ years & you want to come on here talking about smoking/ being a smoker. Let's see if you make it to 85+.

    God bless her, and her family.

  • 321oohaw Mar 2, 2013

    Really sad...But I read that granny smoked 4 packs of cigarretes a day. What a shame

  • 321oohaw Mar 2, 2013

    how sweet...

  • jscott13 Mar 2, 2013

    I am so pleased to see this story. Dancing Granny made everyone smile and that is really what life is all about. She is still watching over her coincidence that they had one of their best games against the Penguins on the night after she died. She won't be in that seat anymore, but she will be there.

  • JPack Mar 2, 2013

    Gonna miss her! She always made me smile no matter how bad we were playing.

  • melissapernell Mar 2, 2013

    Such a great tribute to her! She was so popular at the games! She loved the game and loved the fans and loved having her picture taken with the kids! Every time I would go to a game I got into the habit of looking to see if she was there as she always sat in the same seat. I guess old habits are going to be hard to break! We will miss you Dancing Granny! RIP

  • StunGunn Mar 2, 2013

    Great story - love her spirit. RIP, Dancin' Granny.

  • Senior PGA Championship

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Teams TBD

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Tennis: French Open

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Senior PGA Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Soccer: North Carolina FC @ Jacksonville

    Sunday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • Senior PGA Championship

    Monday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Teams TBD

    Monday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Rochester

    Today at 11:00 am on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NBA: Cleveland at Boston

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

    Sunday at 6:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Indianapolis 500

    Sunday at 11:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

NBA Scoreboard
Thursday, May 25
Cleveland 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 CTNaN:�
NHL Scoreboard
Thursday, May 25
Ottawa 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Minor League Baseball
International League
Norfolk 7:35 PT8:35 MT9:35 CT10:35 ET3:35 GMT
Louisville 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET11:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Indianapolis 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Lehigh Valley 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Syracuse Postponed
Buffalo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
ATP Scoreboard
Wednesday, May 24
Geneva Open (ATP)
Second Round
(3) A. Ramos-Vino5 1    
A. Kuznetsov7 6    
(6) S. Querrey6 6    
F. Skugor2 3    
(5) S. Johnson6 6    
H. Zeballos1 3    
(4) J. Isner4 77 3   
M. Zverev6 65 6   
J. Tipsarevic4 1    
C. Stebe6 0    
(1) S. Wawrinka5     
R. Dutra Silv2     
Open Parc Lyon (ATP)
Second Round
(1) M. Raonic6 6    
D. Istomin4 3    
(6) J. Del Potro60 4    
G. Elias77 6    
J. Thompson2 63    
K. Khachanov6 77    
(2) J. Tsonga62 6 6   
C. Berlocq77 2 3   
(5) G. Simon3 7 6   
K. Edmund6 5 4   
(3) T. Berdych6 7    
H. Chung3 5    
WTA Scoreboard
Wednesday, May 24
Internationaux Strasbourg (WTA)
Second Round
A. Barty6 6    
C. Giorgi3 0    
(7) D. Gavrilova6 65 6   
E. Kulichkova3 77 4   
(5) C. Garcia6 6    
M. Linette3 3    
S. Rogers6 6    
Q. Wang4 4    
Nurnberger Versicherungsc (WTA)
Second Round
(4) L. Siegemund6 5    
B. Krejcikova4 5    
O. Dodin6 0 3   
M. Doi3 6 6   
(7) Y. Shvedova6 6    
T. Maria2 4    
(1) K. Bertens7 6    
A. Beck5 2    
(6) J. Goerges1 5    
C. Witthoeft6 7    
(2) Y. Putintseva6 6    
Y. Wickmayer4 0