Aging Really, Really Well is the Best Revenge
79 year old Paddy Jones turns the tables on Simon Cowell when he (and most of the studio audience) are ready to dismiss her in her Britain's Got Talent premiere (2 videos below).
The lively Paddy was born July 1934 in England and began dance lessons at age 2 1/2. After marrying husband David when she was just 22, Paddy gave up dancing to be a wife and mother (she's now a grandmother of seven). When David retired in 2001 they moved to Gandia, Spain, but David passed away from leukaemia less than 2 years later.
In an interview with Alasdair Glennie for the Linkza News in 2014, Paddy said that her recovery from the grief and shock of her husband's death was aided when she decided to take flamenco dance classes with dance instructor Nico Espinosa in Gandia. She also learned salsa and she and Nico eventually formed a dance duo Son del Timbal. She told the reporter:
"When I started, I was worried it might embarrass my children. But they told me I had to do it. After all, I gave up dancing to marry dad and look after them."
The couple looks mismatched for two reasons - obvious height and age differences. Nico towers over petite Paddy, and he is also 40 years younger than her. Once they start dancing they quickly demonstrate why height and age differences are not barriers. They won the Spanish talent show Tú sí que vales in 2009 (when she was a 75-year-old septuagenarian senior citizen, and made it to the 11th round of an Argentinian version of Dancing With the Stars (Bailando) in 2010.
In 2014 they entered Britain's Got Talent and judge Amanda Holden sent Paddy and Nico directly to the semi-finals. Despite suffering a cracked rib while rehearsing for the final show (video below), Paddy was able to perform with Nico in the finals, where they ended up 9th overall. Not bad for a senior citizen that would turn 80 a few months later!
In her interview with Glennie, Paddy said despite worries about losing flexibility and her bones becoming more brittle with aging, she had no plans to retire from dancing or keeping an active lifestyle as a senior. She hoped to inspire other seniors to stay active instead of giving in to grief and old age.
"A lot of old people think “I’m old so I have to sit around and watch TV now”, and they stiffen up and fade away. But that’s nonsense. You have to keep active. Join a walking club or do some gardening, or do dance classes like I do."
Paddy Jones - proof that aging really, really well is the best revenge!