Healthcare worker breaks out into stunning ballet performance at hospital lobby

The COVID-19 pandemic has left us feeling fearful, tired, and lonely. The deaths of friends and family, the loss of livelihood, and the isolation have become too much for us to bear that we are compelled to cling to every bit of happiness we could find.

In Utah, another COVID-19 wave is making many people sick, exhausting healthcare workers as hospitals fill beyond capacity.

Sometimes, devastating moments like this make us forget the beauty that still exists around us, but with one spontaneous act, this hospital employee was able to bring a smile to people’s faces—even for just a moment.


While a volunteer pianist played music in the lobby of the University of Utah Hospital, phlebotomist Teva Martinson slipped off his Crocs and broke out into a graceful dance.

And he didn’t just deliver a simple performance—he dazzled spectators with one worthy of the stage!

Teva has been working for the University of Utah Health for around four months. Because of his impromptu ballet performance, the 21-year-old from Grantsville became the talk of the hospital and of netizens who saw his performance on Twitter.

A hospital employee performing ballet in the lobby

While on a 15-minute break, Teva and a co-worker went to the lobby. Soothing music echoed in the area as a woman played the piano. Teva liked it so much that he wanted more than just to listen—he wanted to move along with the melody.

He approached the woman and asked her if she knew any music that would go well with ballet. The pianist then started playing a tune that Teva could dance to.

As he danced, onlookers stood and watched nearby, witnessing Teva perform the moves of a seasoned ballet professional.

It was an unusual place to perform, but for Teva, it was a much-needed distraction. At the time, all he wanted was to feel good and make other people smile, especially during such a stressful time.

“I’ve gotten to see some low moments, I’ve gotten to see some really high moments but overall I think everyone is just trying to work together to keep a positive, joyous mood in the hospital,” he said. “I did it because I wanted to, I felt like it was something right for me, just to like do something and make someone smile, you know to enjoy myself.”

A hospital employee performing ballet in the lobby

The University of Utah Hospital shared the video of Teva dancing on its Twitter page and called it “a moment of pure joy.”

The post was flooded with likes and retweeted many times, with many people asking who the masked dancer was.

Teva didn’t expect his spontaneous dance to go viral.

“My goal when I took my shoes off and got into that headspace, was to be happy,” he recalled. “In the long run I didn’t think that dance would go anywhere, I didn’t think it would go past the 6 or 7 people that were watching.”

A hospital employee performing ballet in the lobby

A spokesperson for the hospital echoed the feelings of those who watched the delightful act.

“As our healthcare workers deal with the stress of the current surge in COVID cases, this was a much needed moment of pure beauty and grace,” Kathy Wilets said.

Teva has been dancing since high school and loves doing it because it brings positivity. He hopes people who see the video will be inspired to step out of their comfort zones if they need to.

“I’ve had a lot of positive reinforcement just from the faculty, the staff, patients,” he said. “We’re absolutely going through really tough times right now and it’s super sad to witness a lot of these things but if I can do one thing in this world to make it a brighter and happier place then I feel fulfilled.”

Watch Teva’s graceful ballet moves in the video below.

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