When you picture Pitbull’s biggest fan, you might not immediately think of a 99-year-old cancer survivor like Margaret Masters. And yet, whenever she hears “Mr. Worldwide,” Margaret can’t stop those toes from tapping!
Margaret discovered his music during her Silver Sneakers Zumba class in New Orleans, Louisiana. She started taking the classes nearly a decade ago when she was “only” 90 years old. Since then, she’s danced her way through cancer, a pandemic, and anything else life throws at her!
“I just like to dance,” Margaret told GMA.
Although she’s always enjoyed dancing, she recently returned to the activity in order to stay active as she gets older. From the moment she took her first Zumba class with instructor Deana Lejarza, she was hooked.
“When I first started doing Zumba, I was 90 years old,” she said. “I wanted to exercise and dance. It’s the most fun you can have, is dancing. It keeps you moving, and it keeps your body going. Obviously it has mine, because I can still do it when people can’t at my age. I wish everybody could.”
Deana said she “couldn’t believe it” when she heard Margaret’s age. Over time, she learned that age really is just a number for the almost-centenarian, who kept coming to classes even when they had to go remote due to COVID-19.
In fact, Margaret never skipped a beat, taking yoga, stability, and dance classes almost daily throughout the pandemic. Even over Zoom, Margaret’s energy was palpable for all involved.
“The title of ‘Dancing Queen’ is the perfect fit for Margaret, because when she walks in the room in the Zumba class or she comes on the Zoom group, we know she’s ready to start dancing,” said Deana. “She’s a great motivation for all of us, so if ever you don’t feel like exercising one day, you know Margaret’s going to be there, so you have no excuse.”
In 1996, Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed surgery and treatments. Even as she fought the disease, she kept dancing, bonding with her doctor over different kinds of music they both enjoyed.
“He and I would talk music more than we talked breast cancer,” she said with a chuckle.
These days, Margaret is enjoying her Golden Years surrounded by a supportive group of friends she’s made at Zumba. She wants others to hear her story and feel inspired to get (and stay) active!
“The secret to getting my age, 99, keep smiling, keep dancing, and keep moving, and the whole world smiles with you,” she said.
Margaret has the best attitude! It’s so important to stay active as we age, and she’s living proof that you’re never too old to make new friends, discover new music, and dance like no one is watching.
Share Margaret’s story to send a message to others: get moving!
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