Kitty Cohen, 103, fulfills dream of dancing on stage


Kitty Cohen, a 103-year-old Toronto woman, had her dream to dance onstage fulfilled on Sunday when Canadian choreographer Blake McGrath heard about her plight of not being able to find a suitable dance partner.

Cohen is no stranger to the limelight.

In May 2014, she made headlines for being the oldest person in Canada to throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game.

READ MORE: Toronto grandmother, 101, oldest woman to toss out first pitch at MLB game

Later that same year, Cohen visited Global’s The Morning Show studio to talk about her 30-kilometre walk to help raise funds to end women’s cancers.

When asked what kept her healthy and energetic, she had two tips:

  1. Eat healthy food, preferably food you grow yourself.
  2. Stay active.

“You have to walk, you have to dance, you have to keep moving! You’ve got to get this body up and out,” she said.

Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and she was running the bases at the Rogers Centre with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.

But her wish list didn’t end there.

“I want to find a dancing partner,” she declared in an interview with CTV in July. “I want to get on that dance floor and jive like I did when I was a teenager … There is someone out there waiting for me. I don’t care what his age, what his colour, or what his religion. I just want to dance!”

McGrath saw Cohen’s interview and reached out to her, offering to be her dance partner, saying he felt an immediate connection to the centenarian.

READ MORE: Interview: 101-year-old Kitty Cohen and daughter Bernie Cohen

Over the weekend, Cohen and McGrath teamed up and shimmied across the stage at a professional dance convention in Toronto.

With only 30 minutes of rehearsal, McGrath – who has danced for the likes of Britney Spears and Beyoncé – and Cohen wowed the crowd, which whooped and applauded for the duo.

“It was a dream come true. I love to dance and my age prevented me from having a partner so I reached out to the public and it paid off,” she said.

“I didn’t know it was going to be him, but I said any nice partner that is available, please,” Cohen told The Toronto Star. “And he was perfect.”