A grandma who is going to turn 102 has revealed her tips for living a long and happy life.
Dinkie Flowers of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, attributes her longevity to daily sunshine and dancing.
The ex-professional dancer, who appeared on the hit BBC show The Greatest Dancer aged 98, still teaches pupils at her own dance school.
Ms. Flowers, who was born three years after WWI ended, will celebrate her 102nd birthday with a Ritz-style tea party on May 7.
Ms. Dinkie Flowers, 102
Ms. Flowers, who has lived through five kings and 22 Prime Ministers, revealed her secrets, saying, ‘I can’t stop dancing, you see.
‘I advocate dancing and moving to be fit and healthy, rather than sitting all day, which I couldn’t do.
‘Dancing keeps you alive, and dancing and being outside in the light makes me happy,’ she says.
‘We’ll be doing the normal sandwiches like if you went to the Ritz for afternoon tea — cucumber sandwiches with crusts cut off, scones, cream cakes, all done in the afternoon tea way with china cups and genuine tea,’ Ms. Flowers’ carer Leslie said of her upcoming birthday celebration.
‘A little bit of music and some family and friends, but people usually leave cards and gifts for her.’
She says Ms. Flowers is ‘well-known around Shoreham,’ having taught ‘generations around here’ to dance.
Ms. Flowers began dancing at the age of three in 1924.
She received a royal letter of gratitude for her performance for Prince Philip at an Ice Gala in 1952.
Ms. Flowers has also performed all throughout the world, notably in Baghdad in front of the Iraqi Royal Family.
She received her training at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
She fell in love with ice skating and went on to skate and dance all over the world after that.
She was also detained in 1940s Paris for performing in a crimson playsuit, which was connected at the time with illegal prostitution.
Ms. Flowers stated that she will not stop ‘until they take me away in a box.’
‘I’d advise anybody and everyone to start dancing to keep you youthful – for body and mind,’ she stated.
‘Every day, I go to my home studio and dance, and I try to get everyone else to do the same.
‘The job you do maintains your body supple, allows you to live longer, and makes you seem younger.’
She believes that it is ‘never too late’ to begin, adding, ‘You don’t have to go crazy, but it’s nice to keep moving your body, bending your knees and stuff like that.’
Ms. Flowers raised money for NHS Charities Together by doing three 45-minute keep-fit sessions and three 20-minute walks per week in the run-up to her 100th birthday in 2021.
‘What the heck does it matter how old I am?’ she asked at the time. I’m still here and still going strong. It makes no difference if I’m 30 or 100!’
Sarah, her daughter, also became a professional dancer, following in her mother’s footsteps.
‘Dancing is my life, and helping people dance is my life,’ said Ms. Flowers, who was once the only British acrobatic skater.
‘I see people sitting on their bottoms all day reading, but it’s necessary to get up and move around – I need to be able to do something,’ she says.
She was married to George Flowers, who ran London’s famous Raymond Revuebar.
He passed away in 2005. Sarah was the couple’s daughter, and they had four grandkids.