Meet Shirley Goodman, the centenarian who is inspiring the world with her positivity and dance moves.
Shirley Goodman, a 100-year-old woman, has become famous on Instagram for her lively dancing videos posted by her family. She is popularly known as "The Dancing Nana" for her tap dancing, floss dance, and Tush Push. She celebrated her 100th birthday on March 14, 2023, and advised people to keep music in their lives and not just sit at home in a rocking chair. Goodman lives independently in Sarasota, Florida, and was born in Troy, New York. She started dancing when she was 8 years old and opened her dancing school at the age of 17. Goodman taught ballet and ballroom dancing but closed the school after a few years of marriage. She continued to enjoy dancing all her life, and studies have found that dancing can be beneficial for brain health and reduce the risk of becoming physically disabled. Goodman played tennis until she was 90 and also took up golf, but she was not crazy about it. She does yoga via FaceTime every morning with her daughter, Joan, who lives in Albany, New York.
Goodman's life has seen many crises, but she always tried to stay positive. Soon after she got married in 1943, her husband, a pilot, left to fight in World War II. He was shot down the next year and was a prisoner of war until 1945. When he came home, the couple had four children and were married until he died in 1995. Goodman has had two open-heart surgeries, including a bypass surgery to fix clogged arteries, and has a pacemaker and a stent. She also deals with vision and hearing problems but continues to keep dancing.
Goodman is an optimist and tries to do positive thinking all the time. She advises others to try to be happy with their thoughts and their families. Longevity experts have previously told TODAY that many people who live long and healthy lives do not exactly focus on yogurt and vitamins and Goodman might be an example of that. She admits that she doesn't eat healthy food and loves fried foods like shrimp, chocolate, and any kind of sweets. She likes to have at least one piece of chocolate after each meal, including a chocolate chip cookie with breakfast. The centenarian doesn't like the healthier dark chocolate. And her favorite is milk chocolate with nuts. She also doesn't eat a lot of vegetables or home-cooked meals.
Goodman's daughter Joan, 71, tells TODAY that her kids used to holler at her for not eating healthy food, but when she hit 90, they stopped bothering her. She says, "The secret is to enjoy what you're eating." The centenarian doesn't drink alcohol, and she also never smoked. Goodman has four children, 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She attributes her longevity mostly to two things, her wonderful, devoted family and the jazz and tap dancing in Sarasota. She has been teaching some of her family members how to do the Tush Push, and her family is the source of her warmth and happiness.
Shirley Goodman is an example of how one can live a long and healthy life without necessarily following a strict diet or exercise routine. She attributes her longevity to her love of music, dance, and family. Goodman advises people to keep moving, stay resilient, and be positive to lead a happy and healthy life.