Do You Think You Can Win? Dancing away stale clichés about aging.
Do You Think You Can Win? With that facetious remark, Simon Cowell addressed the odd couple standing at the stage poised to begin their dance routine in a recent episode of Britain’s Got Talent 2014.
She, a petite elderly woman well into the golden years, was attired in the festive regalia expected from contestants, including a high-cut body suit that exposed the full length of her legs – definitely not the commonly stereotyped senior citizen.
He, a tall muscular young man, the live image of the fortitude that youth offers and visibly surpassing her in height and volume, made you wonder how well-paired they were for synchronized dance.
Both looked a bit nervous but neither seemed bashful nor intimidated by the full audience awaiting to see how exactly it was that they had landed a spot in the competition.
After a two-minute mild Tango overture that seemed perfectly appropriate for her age – and his background- what followed was an extraordinary display of brisk and exuberant high speed salsa dance and masterly synchronized acrobatic moves that kept both the audience and judges at the edge of their seat, leaving everyone open mouthed – yes, including Mr. Cowell.
The dance was spellbinding – the acrobatics fearless.
But aside from their expert command of the salsa moves, what was astounding was the tremendous demonstration of stamina, strength and vigor on the part of the elderly lady, who seemed to have no problem dancing to the accelerated beat of salsa, synchronizing with her much younger counterpart, sustaining the accelerated pace, and being thrown around in acrobatics fit for an early teen – and abolishing every stereotype and prejudice liberally thrust upon older people.
As if intent on doing away with each and every one of the clichés attached to old age, this bold couple taught, in a three-minute audition for a dance contest, major lessons:
Him, not to judge the book by the cover – or in this case ability and agility by the age group.
Her, not to let anyone determine how old you are and what your “age appropriate” activities should be. And not to ever EVER be hesitant about pursuing joy – no matter your age.
Because the bottom line of her performance was that: the bliss of dancing and the sheer joy she derived from being in full command of her body to perform high-risk acrobatics.
Concluding the dance audition to a full house standing ovation, this GRAND mother seemed undaunted by a judge’s question bout her age, confidently stating that she would be turning 80 this year, and provoking one of the judges spontaneous shout of “you are an ode to older people!” that led them all to skip the vote and fast-track the dancing couple to the next round of the competition.
Sure, there is a bulk of research and evidence based data on how our own feeling young is a determining factor in good health and longevity. But you can capture the whole lesson just watching her: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hjHnWz3EyHs
Do you think you can win? was Simon Cowell’s opening remark.
Unbeknownst to him, this magnificent lady was a winner before she set foot on stage.