Meet Funky Sole’s Rave Grandma

Jessica Lim’s youth was swallowed up by family, work and a journey to flee an authoritarian regime in Cambodia. Now in her 60s, she’s reliving her 20s by dancing in Echo Park every other night of the week.

On any given Saturday night at the Echo music and club venue, 64-year-old Jessica Lim commands the dancefloor, furiously grooving to the sounds of funky soul in the crowd of mostly 20- and 30-somethings.

Decked out in a homemade hat fashioned out of Hello Kitty-shaped lights, multiple cat-ear headbands and artificial flowers, the manicurist and grandmother of two is the grande dame of the Echo’s dancefloor. Her pink Kanye-style shutter shades glow brightly in the dark above the rainbow flower lei encircling her small frame. To top off her outfit, Lim carries a brightly colored plastic hand-clapper in one hand and a LED toy spinner in the other.

“I like see people happy,” she says. “When you happy, other people happy.” Though her English is choppy, the language of dance is universal and she’s had little trouble making friends in the neighborhood.

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