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‘I will never stop dancing’

Indian-born 93-year-old dancer Tao, who has acted in Hollywood and been a Chanel model, says its yoga and dancing that have kept her fit for so many years. Read on to know all about this inspirational dancer.

art and culture Updated: Oct 16, 2010 16:45 IST
Rochelle Pinto
Rochelle Pinto
Hindustan Times

She’s an inspiration to everybody who thinks that they’re too old to dance. She’s acted in Hollywood in the 1920s, been a Chanel model and now travels the world teaching dance and yoga. She’s a legend,” gushes choreographer Sandip Soparrkar.

The lady in question is a 93-year-old miracle of nature called Miss Tao Porchon Lynch. Born in the former French colony of Pondicherry, India, the dancer and yoga teacher performed a samba routine with Soparrkar at an event on Friday. Apart from teaching yoga to young students everyday, Lynch also drives herself around New York and makes light of the round-the-world flights she takes with shocking regularity.

The key to good health “It’s yoga and dancing that have kept me fit for so many years. I started when I was a young child in India, when yoga was practiced mostly by men and considered to be un-ladylike. But I told my parents that if the boys could do it, so could I,” she reveals.

Lynch says that she’s shocked when people come up to her saying that she’s an inspiration. “I’m not doing anything spectacular. I don’t know why people are so surprised to see me still dancing,” she says nonchalantly.

First-time partner Soparrkar, who didn’t get as much time to practice as he would have liked, revealed that he had a bad case of the nerves before taking to the stage for their number. “In our dance sequence, we performed a series of lifts that would have been challenging even for a younger person. I was so nervous because I was afraid I might drop her.”

With a successful performance behind them, Soparrkar now reveals that he had a hidden motive in inviting Lynch to India. “When I take classes, I find a lot of people coming up to me saying that they’re too old or not in the right shape to begin dancing. I knew that when they saw Tao, they would open their eyes to the fact that dance is for all.”

First Published: Oct 10, 2010 12:48 IST