Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 21, 2023 ·  5 min read

‘I’m About to Celebrate My 102nd Birthday – these are My Secrets to Having a Long and Happy Life’

Although most of us do what we can to have a long life, realistically, no one knows for sure when they will die. As a result, most people, including Dinkie Flowers, choose to live life to the fullest. Furthermore, the Centenarian will turn 102 next month and appears to feel as young as ever.

Once an Active Dancer

Long before becoming a centenarian, Dinkie Flowers was active and wild, a professional dancer during her career. She attributes that to the reason she’s lived long enough to make it to the centenarian category. “Dancing keeps you alive, and dancing and being in the sun makes me happy,” she explained. “Dancing has helped keep me healthy. Everyone should do something, they shouldn’t be on their bottom all day,” the former acrobatic skater said. “I’ll do a little bit of dancing, I can’t stop dancing, you see.

Image Credit: The Argus

Now a Glamorous Centenarian

Her special birthday bash will be just as fun and vibrant as she. Subsequently, her May 7th party will be an intimate tea party gathering. “It will be a few friends around and afternoon tea in the garden. We do it properly: We’re going to get the China out and dress the table, do it really nicely,” the centenarian’s caregiver explained. “We’ll be doing the typical sandwiches, like if you go to the Ritz for afternoon tea — cucumber sandwiches with crusts cut off, scones, cream cakes, all done in the afternoon tea style with China cups and proper tea.” Continuing, “A little bit of music and some family and friends, but people tend to drop in cards and things for her.”

A Local Celebrity

Flowers is from Shoreham-by-Sea, a port in West Sussex, England. The local celebrity centenarian was born in 1921 making her one of the oldest UK residents, who’s lived through 5 monarchs and 22 prime ministers. “She’s known very well around Shoreham,” her caregiver also explained. “She’s taught generations around here, and people have danced with her for years.” However, her fame isn’t just local. She’s known for having performed in Baghdad for the late Prince, Philip, and other places all over the world.

Although she’s retired from dancing professionally, the centenarian does so for fun but also contributes to society. Her hopes for the upcoming birthday bash include raising funds for a local charity that helps aid funding throughout the community.

Advice From Wise Centenarians

She certainly has some great insight to offer others about longevity. If dancing and seeking out happiness are the secrets, then who wouldn’t be in? Interestingly, she’s not the only person worldwide to enter the centenarian category. Nor is she the only centenarian willing to share their secrets for longevity. Some are a bit comical, like “three cans of Miller High Life a day and a shot of good booze at 5 p.m.”, “Don’t die too early.” or “Don’t be a cheapskate.” Meanwhile, others are a bit more serious but still encourage a life of longevity, joy, and relaxation.

Advice from Centenarians

When it comes to their health, 100+ year-olds have some pieces of advice for you:

  1. The use of vitamins? Forget it. And I don’t encourage going to a lot of doctors, either.”
  2.  “Fall in love, get married. Sex is to be encouraged.” (Both pieces of advice offered by the same man, a doctor, who at 100 years old, was still running his own practice.)
  3. For years I would not take any medicines at all. I don’t think they do much, and lots of times the doctor is using you as a guinea pig.”
  4. If you’re positive you can get through it OK. When you think negatively, you’re putting poison on your body. Just smile. They say laughter is the best medicine there is.”
  5. “I attribute my longevity to a great extent to walking, not being in the back of the car strapped down.”
  6. When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.”
  7. Make time to cry.”

Centenarians Advise Be Kind

  1. Even if you feel hatred, keep it to yourself. Don’t hurt other people for any reason.
  2. Do one thing each day that is just for you.”
  3. Most time things will figure themselves out.”-Don’t stress.
  4. Love people. Find something to like about the person—it’s there—because we’re all just people.
  5. Be active. I do things my way, like skiing when I’m 100. Nobody else does that even if they have energy. And I try to eat pretty correctly and get exercise and fresh air and sunshine.
  6. You can involve yourself in local problems. There are all sorts of things that have to be tended to in the world.”
  7. “Have lots of people in the house and lots of different kinds of people—young, old, black, white, people from all over the world. People have always energized me.” (Proof that “growing up in a different time/generation” isn’t a valid excuse to be racist or prejudice)
  8. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.”

 Don’t Forget to Relax

One thing that all of these bits of advice have in common is they limit a person’s stress levels. Whether the centenarian generation is out having fun in the sun, treating others with kindness, or dancing their hearts out, the theme they all share is blissful relaxation, the key to a long life.

Keep Readibng: Jean Bailey, the 102-year-old leading fitness classes 4 days a week


  1. 100 pieces of advice from 100-year-olds.” Mental Floss.. August 8, 2015.
  2. I’m about to celebrate my 102nd birthday – these are my secrets to having a long and happy life.” Daily Mail Online. Hannah McDonald. April 11, 2023.
  3. Dancer turns 102: I’ll stop when ‘they take me away in a box’.” New York Post. Brooke Steinberg. April 11, 2023.