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Posts Tagged ‘100-year-old’

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Photo: David Sprayberry / Belhaven University
“Henry Danton was born on March 30, 1919. At 100, the former ballet star turned master teacher still drives around Mississippi teaching ballet,” reports NBC.

I’m always impressed by people who enjoy their work so much that they are still doing it at an advanced age. The 100-year-old ballet teacher in this story is a great example. I definitely don’t want to be driving at his age, but I admire him for continuing to make a contribution in the world and having fun while doing it.

A. Pawlowski at Today.com reports, “At 100 years old, Henry Danton is still the center of attention in the ballet studio, now full of students one-fifth his age.

“The former dancer once pirouetted on premier stages around the world, then became a master teacher, training new generations of ballet dancers. He continues to teach today, and says he has no intention of retiring.

“The British-born centenarian said he has a healthy body and mind, lives on his own, loves his smartphone, hasn’t been to the doctor in 10 years and still travels the world. … He recently completed a residency at the Belhaven University Dance Department in Jackson, Mississippi, and teaches ballet around the state. …

“ ‘You have to take care of yourself,’ Danton told TODAY. ‘This body is the only thing you’ve got. You’ve been given this wonderful instrument, you have to look after it. …

‘I see people who retire and they become so bored, they don’t know what to do with themselves,’ Danton said. ‘That’s when their health starts to go down. I love teaching, I don’t want to stop. Children are my vitamin.’ …

“These are the factors Danton credits for his long life and wellness:

“Diet: Danton said he became a vegetarian more than 50 years ago when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the same illness that took his brother’s life. … He stopped eating red meat, fish and poultry at age 49 and hasn’t consumed any animal flesh since, he said.

“Danton likes to ‘live on seeds and nuts,’ enjoys organic vegetables, drinks lots of carrot juice and consumes dairy including cheese and milk. He also occasionally eats chocolate, but stays away from other sweets in his regular diet. He likes beer — ‘like a good Englishman’ — but skips other alcoholic drinks.

“Exercise: Danton credits constant movement as a dancer as one of the main factors that’s kept him healthy and helped him reach the age of 100.

“ ‘I really, absolutely believe exercise is the answer to everything,’ he said. Swimming is the best workout after ballet, Danton said. He still gets some of his exercise from teaching and composing his class for the day. He also has an extensive morning routine centered on a deep tissue massage he gives himself before getting out of bed. Starting with his scalp, then moving down to his neck, shoulders, arms, legs and feet, the one-hour-plus massage stimulates blood circulation, Danton noted.

“ ‘With your thumb, you go as deep as you can into the muscle,’ he said. ‘It works because my body is in incredible condition for my age.’

“Another part of his busy morning routine involves stretching with an elastic resistance band. After all his morning exercises, he said he never eats breakfast before 11 a.m.

“Positive [outlook]: Danton is an optimist, which he called a ‘very important’ factor in his longevity.

“ ‘There’s absolutely no point in making your life miserable,’ he said. ‘Your mood affects you physically, absolutely.’ …

“Danton stays curious about the world and said he is still learning. He has a computer and an iPhone, immediately suggesting that a caller switch to FaceTime during a recent conversation. And he loves his phone’s virtual assistant.

“ ‘Siri amazes me. She answers you immediately,’ he said. …

“Lifestyle: In his whole life, Danton said he has only smoked one cigarette. … Danton hasn’t been to see a doctor in a decade, he said, only running into his primary care physician a few years ago when he was getting a flu shot. The doctor has since retired.”

More at NBC’s Today show, here.

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