One of the UK’s oldest women has revealed her hacks for longevity - including doing ballet every day. Dinkie Flowers, a 101-year-old former pro dancer still dances every single day to stay young and says having a boogie is the secret to her long and happy life.
Dinkie started dancing at the age of three in 1924, and still hosts dancing and keep fit lessons at her dance school called Dinkie Flowers Stage School in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, to this day. Despite being over a century old, she starts every morning by going to the studio in her home and practising some moves on her ballet barre.
The mother-of-one has travelled the world to showcase her skills, including a show in Baghdad to dance in front of the Royal Family and performed for Prince Phillip at an Ice Gala in Paris in 1952. Reflecting on her long life, Dinkie now says dancing is the reason she has lived for so long, and says she won’t stop "until they take me away in a box".
Dinkie, who was born on May 7 1921, said: "Dancing is my secret to a long and happy life. I dance all the time, I teach dancing still too - I just couldn’t live without dancing. I’d advise anyone and everyone to start dancing to keep you young - for body and mind.
"Everyday I go and dance in the studio I have at home and I try to get everyone else to do it too. The work you do keeps your body supple, last much longer and look much younger.
"It sounds hard, but it’s never too late to start. Once you know what you’re doing and being taught by a teacher you’d love it. You don’t have to go mad, but it’s good to keep on moving your body, bending your knees and stuff like that."
Dinkie learnt her skills at London’s Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, and went on to ice skate all over the world. She was even arrested in 1940s Paris for wearing a red playsuit to perform, as it was associated with illegal prostitution at the time.
More recently, Dinkie made her TV debut tap dancing her way through auditions to appear on The Greatest Dancer at 98 years young. Through her dancing passion, Dinkie met and married her husband George, who passed away in 2005.
The couple had a daughter Sarah, who followed in her mother’s footsteps as a professional dancer, and Dinkie now has four grandchildren. Dinkie, who was once the only British acrobatic skater said: "Dancing is my life, and helping people dance is my life.
"I couldn’t live without dancing and I think it’s what’s kept me young and happy. I see people just sitting on their bottoms all day and reading, but it’s important to get up and keep on moving - I need to be able to do something.
"It doesn’t matter how old you are. You could be 30 or 100, but as long as you have movement you are fit and well."