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Westchester Woman, 96, Dances To Pitbull On 'America's Got Talent'

Tao Porchon-Lynch, right, with her dance teacher Vard Margaryan.
Tao Porchon-Lynch, right, with her dance teacher Vard Margaryan. Photo Credit: Submitted

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Tao Porchon-Lynch has a motto: “There is nothing you can’t do.”

And indeed, this 96-year-old White Plains dynamo who took up ballroom dancing 11 years ago to multiple accolades and awards will show off her moves on “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on NBC.

She will be dancing to Pitbull, with a combination of swing, and "cha cha cha" with Vard Margaryan, her former dance instructor from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Hartsdale.

Indeed, for those who’ve taken her yoga class at the JCC of Mid-Westchester in Scarsdale where she teaches twice a week, at Fred Astaire where she teaches three times a week, or those who’ve seen her around town or been inspired by her TedEx talk (go here to view), the perennially young  yogi is pure inspiration, someone who is continually looking within.

“Yoga and dancing are the path of spirituality; they put us in touch with ourselves,” said Porchon-Lynch who in 2012 was written up as the “World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher” by the Guinness World Book of Records.

And indeed she lives and breathes what she preaches, waking up daily at 5 a.m. with yoga, which she refers to as “the dance of life." Her afternoons feature three hours of dancing with evenings filled with more yoga.

In between, she found time to write her memoir, “Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master,” available next month, which delves into her long and varied career.

Born in a French colony in India, Porchon-Lynch worked as an actress in the 1940’s and 50’s in Europe and the United States, wrote screenplays and made documentaries in the 60’s and 70’s, and worked in education and literacy in India where she also wrote documentaries. She also marched with Mahatma Gandhi  -- twice  -- and helped Polish Jews escape the Nazis during World War II.

At 73, she founded the Westchester Institute of Yoga in Hartsdale, which, thanks to its proximity to the Fred Astaire studio, eventually led to dancing.

Due to her many prizes, as well as to her stream of media appearances and interviews, the folks at "America's Got Talent" emailed her, asking her to participate.

And while we don’t know the final results of her performance – you have to watch to find out – she told Daily Voice keeping active is part of the secret to staying young.

“As long as the breath of life is within us, there is no such thing as age,” she said.

For more on her book, her background and her classes, visit www.taoporchonlynch.com/ or www.thetaoexperience.com/.

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