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99-year-old cancer survivor dances her way into the hearts of everyone she meets


Margaret Masters, a 99-year-old cancer survivor, may not come to mind when you think of Pitbull’s biggest fan.

Margaret, on the other hand, can’t stop tapping her toes whenever she hears “Mr. Worldwide!”

In New Orleans, Louisiana, at a Silver Sneakers Zumba class, Margaret heard his music for the first time. When she was “only” 90 years old, she began taking the classes almost ten years ago. She has since danced her way through life’s challenges, including a pandemic and cancer.

Margaret told GMA, “I just like to dance.”

Although she has always loved dancing, she has only recently started doing it again to stay active as she ages. After taking her first class with instructor Deana Lejarza, she developed a Zumba addiction.

She claims that she began practicing Zumba at the age of 90. She wanted to dance and exercise. Dancing is the activity that brings the most joy. Your body benefits from it, and you stay active because of it. She can do something that most people her age are unable to, proving that her body is active.

When Deana learned Margaret’s age, she said she “couldn’t believe it.” She eventually realized that the student, who was almost a century old, didn’t care about her age and continued to attend class even when COVID-19 required that they be remotely held.

Throughout the pandemic, Margaret kept up with her schedule and continued to go to nearly daily yoga, stability, and dance classes. Even over Zoom, everyone in the room could feel Margaret’s enthusiasm.

“When Margaret enters the Zoom group or the Zumba class, we know she is prepared to start dancing, so the moniker “Dancing Queen” fits her perfectly,” Deana observed. “There is no reason not to exercise if you know Margaret will be there because she is a great motivator for all of us,” Deana said.

Margaret needed surgery and treatment after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis in 1996. Even as she fought the illness, she kept dancing and bonded with her doctor over the various musical genres they both liked.

“He and I would talk about music more than breast cancer,” she chuckled.

Margaret is currently relishing her senior years while being supported by her Zumba friends. She hopes that by hearing her story, others will be inspired to get (and stay) active!

Keep dancing, smiling, and being active, she advised, “and the world will smile with you as you get to be 99 years old.”

Margaret is the most pleasant person! She is living proof that you can meet new people, listen to new music, and dance like no one is watching at any age. It’s important to stay active as we age.

Tell others about Margaret’s story to motivate them to get moving!