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DANCING QUEEN: Former pro dancer celebrates 100th birthday by dancing

DANCING QUEEN: Former pro dancer celebrates 100th birthday by dancing

Image: SWNS

A former pro dancer has being doing her daily dance and keep fit lesson today - her 100TH birthday.

Grandmother-of-four Dinkie Flowers has marked the three figure milestone with her regular exercise routine – as well as a card from the Queen.

She started dancing aged three and the mum-of-one travelled the world to showcase her skills – including Baghdad to dance in front of the Iraqi Royal Family.

She still runs dancing and fitness classes from her garage but had to wind down due to the pandemic.

But she turns 100 today (May 7) and did her usual dance - also raising money for the NHS.

The widow from Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, has an NHS fundraiser set up by a friend.

Dinkie said: “Everybody says to me - what would you like to do if you could start all over again?

''I’ve always said this is what I’d do, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Dinkie had been teaching dance and keep fit classes right up until the first lockdown.

And up until her 100th birthday today - she's been doing three 45 minute keep fit sessions and three 20 minute walks a week - to raise money for the NHS Charities Together.

Her friend Lesley said: “She’s so amazing – there can’t be many people who are 100 and can do what she does.

“She’s on the floor running on the spot it’s incredible. Her posture is amazing – she can do anything I can do.

“She’s also had an amazing life.”

Sprightly dancer Dinkie Flowers added: "I love it. I love dancing. I hate telling people [when they ask] 'how old are you Dinkie'?

"What the hell does it matter how old I am? I'm still living and I'm still going strong. It doesn't matter whether I'm 30 or 100!

"I'm a terror for work. I don't work because I like it. I work because I love it. I think the thing is, not to sit on your bum all day. Do things. I have never stopped.

"Ballet, tap modern, demi character, all of it. I've been all over the world dancing. I think anyone can dance, even if it's only a little. It gives you the world of good for one thing. Your using your body.

"I mean, how does anybody expect in this world, to have a good body, walk well, feel well, if they're not doing anything? It's impossible."

Dinkie learnt her skills at London’s Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

After falling in love with ice skating, she also went on to skate and dance all over the world.

She even performing for Prince Philip at an Ice Gala in 1952 for which she received a royal letter of thanks.

Through the British embassy – Dinkie also travelled to Iraq to teach the royal family ice skating – but miscommunication nearly resulted in the dancer being forced to stay.

Lesley said: “They wanted to teach them (Iraqi royal family) about refrigeration.

''Dinkie was one of the leading people – and they built an ice rink for the royal family In Iraq.

“Dinkie taught the prince and was there for a few months.

“When it was time to go – some sheikh who bought the rink thought she came with it!

“He thought he’d bought the rink and that he’d also have her.”

At just 98 years young Dinkie made her TV debut tap dancing her way through the auditions to appear on The Greatest Dancer.

Dinkie went on to marry husband George, who managed the famous Raymond Revuebar in London.

He died in 2005. The couple had a daughter Sarah and four grandchildren.

A link to Dinkie’s fundraiser can be found via the following link:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesley-tomlinson2

Words: Ollie Buckley, South West News Service


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