100-year-old 'dancing nana' shares her tips on how to live a long and happy life

Meet Shirley Goodman, the 100-year-old who swears by dancing the "Tush Push" and eating chocolate every day

lady jumping into lake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shirley Goodman, who just turned 100-years-old in March, recently shared some tips about how she's managed to live a long and happy life - and needless to say, she's a huge inspiration.

Regardless of what age you're at currently, you probably feel a bit of pressure to live life with no regrets, or strive to do things that make you happy, rather than things that deplete you - and Shirley Goodman has these practices on lock. 

At 100-years-old, Shirley has been coined as "The Dancing Nana" on social media for posting videos of her dancing and having fun to her over 50k followers on Instagram.

Shirley, who lives independently in Sarasota, FL, loves all forms of dance, but is particularly a pro at tap, as she often shows off her tap moves on her social media - she even showed off her tap moves to Tony Danza once! The dance she went viral for, though, is the "tush push," a line dance that involves kicks, twirls, and plenty other jovial movements. 

So how does Shirley stay so healthy and happy after all these years? She shared her tips with TODAY.com.

Her first piece of advice was to keep moving. According to TODAY, Shirley played tennis until she was about 90, but found it difficult to find other forms of exercise she likes. As for walking, she's not a fan. "I only walk as far as my mailbox, which is about five minutes," she said. 

To keep herself active these days, aside from her impeccable dancing, she does yoga over FaceTime with her daughter every morning.

She also advises staying resilient when life gets tough. Despite any crises she's faced in her life, which includes open-heart surgery, sending her husband off when he was drafted for service in WWII, and more, Shirley has always tried to stay positive, she said. 

"My legs are still working,” she says. “I’m an optimist. I try to do positive thinking all the time. That’s very important. I have a bracelet that says ‘Positivity’ on it. I wear it every day and I try to stay positive."

Shirley also notes that she thinks one of the keys to living a long and happy life is to enjoy what you're eating. 

This may be contrary to every health recommendation you've ever heard, but's worked for Shirley so far. "I don’t eat healthy food," she said. "My kids would holler at me… but when I hit 90, they stopped bothering me."

She says she loves to eat anything that is "cooked in batter," and insists on having at least one piece of chocolate after each meal. This is a diet we can get behind.


♬ original sound - The Dancing Nana

Her last piece of advice for those who want to extend their lifespan and feel happier is to surround yourself with the warmth of loved ones and family members. "I attribute (my longevity) mostly to two things. One is my family - I have a wonderful, devoted family," she reflected. 

The other biggest thing is her tap dancing, she said. "The jazz, the music down here in Sarasota, and my tap dancing, that’s what keeps me going."

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at today.com, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.