Frederic Franklin is no average dancer. He started dancing at the age of 6, and today, at the age of 96 years old, he’s still performing and influencing the next generation of dancers.
Decades after many of his peers retired, Frederic, or Freddie, joined the prestigious American Ballet Theatre at the age of 80. Sixteen years later, he’s still on stage to perform in classics like “Swan Lake,” and he’s even staging a three-act ballet for the next summer season at the Met.
What’s his secret? Never stop moving.
“I’ve trained my body my entire life. I’ve never let it go. I always kept going and that’s why I’m still doing it,” he tells Growing Bolder. “I’ve never retired. If you can survive, it’s all worthwhile.”
Freddie says the secret isn’t how to live during your golden years — it’s how to get there. He said it’s simple — eat well, exercise and have a strong desire to want to keep moving.
“It’s just a matter of willpower, and I still have quite a lot of it,” he says.
Listen to fascinating interview to find out how he got his start as a young child in Liverpool, England, and how he went on to perform with some of the world’s greatest and biggest stars of the stage, including Josephine Baker.
Freddie is featured in a new documentary called, “Do Not Go Gently,” which profiles creative people and shows how they are redefining aging. Click here to listen to our interview with the film’s writer and director, Melissa Godoy.