Everyone knows that with age comes wisdom … and gray hairs and achy joints and a whole litany of other bodily changes. We all assume that we’ll also become less able to get around on our own, but that might not be an absolute certainty. Just take one look at Mathilda Klein and you’ll likely find yourself thinking differently about old age.
Klein, who goes by the nickname Tilly, has been dancing longer than many of us have been alive … over seven decades, that is! She got her start moving to the Big Band music popular during the 1940s and she hasn’t lost her talent since then. She hasn’t lost her competitive streak, either. After taking lessons from Danny Maloney, who is over 50 years younger than Klein, they decided to team up as dancing partners and enter competitions. They do well, too, even against much younger dancers; they recently won their heat at the Florida State DanceSport competition with their salsa routine.
Klein and Maloney have enjoyed a happy and quick-stepping partnership for over a decade now. “She’s an inspiration to me every time I dance with her,” Maloney said. It’s unlikely Klein will stop inspiring him anytime soon if she has anything to say about it. “This is what I do,” she explained. “It keeps me alive.” There’s certainly no doubt about that. Having a passion for your hobbies keeps you mentally fit and the physical side of dancing doesn’t hurt, either; in fact, Klein reckons she’s as physically fit as most people in their 40s!
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