How About Dancing to Stay Young?
How about dancing to stay young? Could this be? One of the common secrets of Centenarians is that they took extraordinary measures to stay Physically and Mentally Healthy. Dancing addresses both. And it is so much fun.
The Most Pervasive Loss with Age
“It is a curious and disturbing fact that what is probably the most pervasive loss with age is the one people can do the most to control.” ~Lynn Peters Adler, J.D., Centenarians, The Bonus Years. Much of the loss of mobility as one ages is the result of disuse because of a lack of exercise. Centenarians like George Gillespie travels about 100 miles a week on his stationary bike. He and his wife are active. They enjoy life and realize it goes fast.
A Wonderful Book
http://a.co/3PiWSmk for Lynn Adler’s book.
In my search for more information on these honorable ones who have reached the age of 100, I came across this book by Lynn Adler, Centenarians: The Bonus Years (one of my favorite Centenarian books).
On Physical Mobility
We are physically fit when we have the heart and lung (aerobic) capacity to pump oxygen to the muscles, sufficient muscle strength to accomplish reasonable tasks, and flexibility in the joints to permit movement. When it comes to maintaining physical mobility, the simple axiom “use it or lose it” says it all.” ~Adler
Former professional dancer Milton Feher was forced to retire from the Broadway stage in 1941 due to arthritis in his knees. “I then developed a way to cure myself after I gave up on doctors,” he explains, “and I’ve been teaching people of all ages ever since. The concept is to relax into a straight line and to keep the body centered. The problem people have, and the reason so many older people fall, is that people are moving their weight off their feet. The key is to always feel that your body is resting on your feet and not let it get away from you. It sounds simple, but it takes concentration and practice.”
Claire at 100 was a star pupil at Milton Feher Dance Studio. She says she felt old at seventy. Exercise or walking for pleasure had never been her routine.e. She realized she was beginning to stoop and shuffle. Upon overhearing a conversation about dancing, she began attending classes three times a week. At 100, she attributes her training with Milton to keeping her healthy, beautiful, and graceful.
Exercise Keeps You Younger
Milton’s star pupil, Claire Willi, 100, credits his work with her over the last thirty years to getting her to the century mark. “There are two things that older people fear most,” she confides, “falling apart and falling down.” “Exercising regularly, learning how to use one’s body correctly, in balance, and using relaxation techniques improve flexibility and coordination and help with both. Exercise keeps you younger, no matter what your chronological age,” Claire says with certainty, and from experience.
It bothered Claire tremendously that at seventy she felt like an
old woman and beyond hope.
Healthy, Beautiful and Graceful at 100
She made her way to the Milton Feher School of Dance and Relaxation on West Fifty-eighth Stree. Claire has been a regular student ever since. She attributes Milton’s training to what now keeps her healthy, beautiful, and graceful at age 100. She wears a leotard and leggings and her body is trim and shapely. Claire and Milton, an octogenarian, have been featured in numerous magazines over this last decade as a true success story, including Prevention Magazine (January 1992) in an article entitled “Dance Away Arthritis Pain!)” This information was from Adler’s book: Centenarians, The Bonus Years published in 1995.
“Claire has succeeded in staving off the loss of mobility that so often accompanies advanced age. She keeps up with people half her age in the one-hour dance class, and afterward, as has been her practice for these thirty years, she takes a long walk in Central Park,” Milton tells. Claire advises, “It’s never too late to begin.” ~ from Centenarians: The Bonus Years
I would love to find out more about Milton Feher and Claire Willi. My searches revealed a relaxation record by Milton on Amazon, but little about Claire. There is a most beautiful photo of her in the Centenarians: The Bonus Years’ book. She is 100 in leotards at the Milton Feher Dance Studio. She looks maybe 50.
Abe Goldberg has used ballroom dancing as his mode of exercise for more than thirty years. “I danced my way through my eighties, nineties, on my 100th birthday and every year since then.”
John and I Started Dancing
Before our 50th Anniversary, John and I decided to celebrate by having a dinner dance. We hired Ben De La Vega to choreograph and teach us a waltz. Ben was so good that we continued these private lessons after the anniversary performance was over. That was over six years ago. The picture you see to the side is John and me on a trip with friends dancing in a beautiful ballroom in Indianapolis at the Roof Top Ballroom 2017. It is fun to dance and really fun to share this experience with friends. the next one is last year’s Dance Weekend at Mackinaw Island, Grand Hotel.
Have You Thought About Dancing?
I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Have you checked into any group lessons in your area? Ben at PJ’s Dancetique is our favorite and we think the best teacher in the DFW Metroplex.
Learn more about How to Stay Young for a very long time in the course Living Long and Strong that is just beginning.