Thursday, October 07, 2010

Inspirational Student Shows Us Nothing Is Impossible!

By Catherine Brill

Tao Porchon-Lynch isn’t your ordinary dance student. She is a former Hollywood movie and small screen actress, model, screenwriter, and documentary producer, and has been a Master Yoga teacher for more than 45 years. She has studied with yoga legends Indra Devi and BKS Iyengar and has made over 24 pilgrimages to India with her yoga students. She also frequently competes in Fred Astaire regional ballroom dance competitions.

Not too bad for someone who is 92 years old.

Tao actually met Mr. Fred Astaire in the 1950’s when they were both at MGM. “He was a very sweet and shy man. Everybody liked him,” she remembers. But she didn’t start ballroom dancing until seven years ago. “I always wanted to go to Argentina to dance the Tango!” Now she takes two to four lessons a week at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Hartsdale, New York.
Tao doesn’t let anything slow her down, not even hip replacement surgery! In April of this year, she kept dancing (with her hand in the air) after breaking her wrist. More recently, Tao injured herself in a fall and her doctors advised her to stop dancing for a month. She only took a week off before returning to the dance floor. “There’s so much to do in life and so little time,” she reflects.
At the most recent regional competition in Verona, New York, Tao performed 31 dances and three solos. Not surprisingly, she received a standing ovation for her performances. To celebrate her latest birthday, the studio threw her a big party where she danced the Jive, Samba, and Argentine Tango for her guests.

Her extensive background in yoga has helped her with her dancing. “Yoga makes you breathe and gives you more energy. Both yoga and dance get you in touch with the creation of life.”
“Dancing brought new joy into my life,” Tao believes. She is now practicing for another competition in New Jersey in November and a showcase in Tarrytown in mid-October. She is an inspiration to dancers and non-dancers alike, an extraordinary woman who has made the most out of life.

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