Dancer, centenarian Eileen Kramer celebrates another milestone

The 109-year-old has choreographed and starred in two stage dramas, music videos and film projects including the Foxtel series The End. [Source: ABC News]

Australia’s favourite dancer enthusiast and centenarian, Eileen Kramer, celebrated her 109th birthday this week by hosting a dance lesson party in her hometown of Sydney.

At Wednesday’s gathering at the Sydney Dance Company in Dawes Point, Ms Kramer led friends, family and fans through an improvised lesson with a variety of dance moves.

Although she now dances sitting down due to balance issues, Ms Kramer – who still moves and choreographs every day – gently guided guests and helped them perfect their form with enthusiasm and softness.

Relishing in yet another opportunity to teach dance and glammed to the maximum, Ms Kramer adorned bold eyeshadow, lipstick, feathers and flowers for her big celebration – a tradition she finds very important to maintain her sense of self.

“Aren’t I lucky? […] I think I am the luckiest person,” she told ABC News

Daily movement exercises help Ms Kramer keep her mobility and she swears by the impact moving creatively can have on one’s well-being.

Born in Sydney in 1914, Ms Kramer was an original member of Australia’s first modern dance company, Bodenwieser Ballet.

Ms Kramer as a young dancer. [Source: Supplied]

She toured as a professional dancer all across the world in the 1940s and 1950s, meeting the likes of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, she spent the following 60 years living and working creatively overseas before returning to her hometown about 10 years ago.

Always on the move, the centenarian has made films, featured in theatre productions, choreographed new works, written books and entered a self-portrait in the Archibald Prize since being back on Aussie spoil.

This year she has published a new book, Life Keeps Me Dancing, which explores her fascinating life.

Ms Kramer said barriers such as ageism or lack of self-belief are not problems for her as she simply focuses on creating more interesting life experiences, something she encourages all older people to do.

“Stop saying ‘I can’t do this now because I’m older or I have a grandchild’ – forget it! I don’t think about age and it doesn’t stop me from creating a dance,” she told HelloCare.

“We’re all children – some have been alive for a long time and others only for a short time. I’m just someone who’s been here a long time, who’s had many interesting experiences and I’m still having them.”

To learn more about Ms Kramer, visit her website.

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