A Fred Astaire Dance Studios student celebrated her 106th birthday bash with a surprise appearance on GMA Strahan and Sara joined by “Dancing with the Stars” Professional Tony Dovolani!
Setty Cirillo first learned to ballroom dance in 1927 when she was 14 years old. 92 years later, she had the thrill of appearing on national television to celebrate with one of the most famous names in ballroom dancing.
Check out the video below to learn more about how Tony Dovolani got his start with Fred Astaire Dance Studios and now gets to serve as the company’s co-national dance director. Then enjoy watching him dazzle on the dance floor with Ms. Cirillo!
Setty has an amazing story! She first learned to ballroom dance in 1927 when she was 14 years old. The Great Depression sunk her dreams of going to college, and she stayed home to help with the family business. She eventually went to design school, paying for it by pawning her engagement ring and wearing a fake one so her family- or husband wouldn’t notice! She married, had two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren — and danced through it all.
She lives each day as if it was “the first day of the rest of her life,” even through the death of her seven siblings, a divorce and the loss of a few male suitors and dance partners along the way. (She vows to never marry again!) Setty didn’t dance for a few years, missing out on the fun social activity that dancing provided in her life.
Suddenly, like “a miracle,” Setty says, this summer she got an offer in the mail from the Fred Astaire Dance Studios — and her granddaughter brought her to take a class. Though she has a bad knee, she keeps it medicated, and hasn’t missed a single weekly class since.
“Dancing is my medicine,” says Setty. “It’s my joy and keeps me going!” Thanks to dance and a renewed energy, Setty even started designing again, and wears many of her original fashions on the dance floor!
Remember, you are always young enough to dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studio! Call your local studio today to find out how you can start dancing today!