A grandmother about to celebrate her 102nd birthday has revealed her secrets to enjoying a long and happy life.
Dinkie Flowers, of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, owes her longevity to sunshine and daily dancing.
The ex-professional dancer, who appeared on the hit BBC show The Greatest Dancer at the age of 98, still teaches students at her own dance school.
Born in 1921 – three years after the end of World War I, Mrs. Flowers will celebrate her 102nd birthday on May 7 with a Ritz-style tea party.
The 101-year-old has said she would ‘change nothing’ about her remarkable life (pictured celebrating her 100th birthday)
Former professional dancer Mrs Flowers still teaches students of all ages at her own dance school, Dinkie Flowers Stage School in Shoreham-by-Sea
The mother of a child has traveled the world to showcase her skills – including Baghdad to dance for the Iraqi royal family. In the photo, during her dance life
Ms Flowers, who has lived through five monarchs and 22 prime ministers, shared her secrets, saying: ‘I can’t stop dancing, you see.
‘I recommend dancing and exercise to stay fit and healthy, not sitting all day, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
“Dancing keeps you alive and dancing and being in the sun makes me happy.”
Speaking of her upcoming birthday party, Ms Flowers’ caretaker Leslie said: ‘We’ll be making the typical sandwiches like when you go to the Ritz for afternoon tea – cucumber crust sandwiches, scones, cream tarts, all done afternoon tea style with porcelain cups and real tea.
“A little music and some family and friends, but people tend to put cards and stuff in front of her.”
She added that Mrs Flowers is ‘very well known in Shoreham’ as she has taught ‘generations around here’ how to dance.
Mrs. Flowers first started dancing in 1924, when she was only three years old.
She performed for Prince Philip at an ice gala in 1952, for which she received a royal letter of thanks.
Ms. Flowers has also traveled the world to showcase her skills – including in Baghdad to dance for the Iraqi royal family.
She learned her skills at the Italia Conti Academy of Theater Arts in London.
After falling in love with skating, she also went skating and dancing 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.
Ms Flowers said she won’t stop ‘until they take me away in a box’.
She said: ‘I would advise everyone to take up dancing to keep you young – for body and soul.
“Every day I go dancing in the studio I have at home, and I try to get everyone to do the same.
“The work you do keeps your body supple, lasts much longer and looks much younger.”
She believes it’s “never too late” to start, adding, “You don’t have to go crazy, but it’s good to keep moving your body, bending your knees and things like that.”
In the run up to the 100th birthday in 2021, Ms Flowers did three 45 minute fitness sessions and three 20 minute walks a week to raise money for the NHS Charities Together.
The grandmother of four even appeared on the hit BBC show The Greatest Dancer (pictured), aged 98, as she worked her way through the audition process
Dinkie learned her skills at the Italia Conti Academy of Theater Arts in London. In the photo, during her dance life
Dinkie next married husband George, who managed the famous Raymond Revue bar in London. He died in 2005, pictured, together
She said at the time, “What the hell does it matter how old I am? I’m still alive and I’m still strong. It doesn’t matter if I’m 30 or 100!’
Her daughter Sarah even followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a professional dancer.
Ms Flowers, who was once Britain’s only acrobatic skater, said: ‘Dancing is my life and helping people dance is my life.
“I see people sitting on their bottoms reading all day, but it’s important to get up and keep moving, I have to be able to do something.”
She was married to George Flowers, who managed the famous Raymond Revue bar in London.
He died in 2005. The couple had a daughter Sarah and four grandchildren.