Grieving 96-Year-Old Widower Charms Dancing World Champion with His Moves

Dayna Remus
Mar 25, 2022
08:40 P.M.
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Stepping onto the dance floor, an elderly man felt memories of his late wife racing through his mind. But, the music called to him, and he decided to take one more step -- and then another, his feet now uncontrollably moving to the beat. 


Liya Kazbekova from Los Angeles, California, has a CV that could leave anyone stunned and in awe of her talents and tenacity. 

She is a dance coach, choreographer, ballroom dancer, consultant, champion, and finalist in international competitions. This sparkling list is only a glimpse into Kazbekova's many accomplishments.

Liya Kazbekova dancing with Tom. | Source: Morning America



Above all, her most significant qualification is her heart and passion for dancing. This devotion was made clear when Kazbekova began teaching 96-year-old Tom -- an elderly widower. 

When his wife and dance partner passed, he stopped moving to the music after three decades on the floor. His son was determined to help his dad and booked a few lessons with the dance coach.

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Liya Kazbekova dancing with Tom. | Source: liya.kazbekova



An Instagram post by Kazbekova posted in February 2021 showed the two dancing together, with Tom immediately and evidently brought back to life. She captioned the post: 

"HE IS 96 and he is a dancer ❤️ My inspiration and motivation. Applause to my student - Tom. Once a dancer, forever a dancer. [sic]"

A trumpet played in the background as the duo danced gracefully and in sync. It was clear that the 96-year-old had danced before. 



Individuals in the comment section were besotted by the two, with hearts and hand-clapping emojis flowing in. One person wrote

"Wow, true inspiration and a wonderful combination of love of life and dance! [sic]"

It looks like dancing and music can genuinely act as tools for healing. Hopefully, instead of grief, Tom's time on the dance floor will now bring him back to loving memories -- moments when he and his true love swayed together.

Individuals’ comments on a post by Liya Kazbekova. | Source:



Elderly widows or widowers generally face a deep sense of isolation and may be vulnerable because of health decline. Unfortunately, dancing can't cure all of them

Eighty-eight-year-old Paul Webb's wife had been dead for many years. This loneliness was permanent until he ran into Jenni Ekletsion -- an uber driver who was taking him to the store.

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Jenni knew from the very beginning that she was going to, in some way, help Paul. After visiting him every day and conversing together, she eventually quit her job to look after him full-time. 

From doctor's appointments to lunch, talking to one another, and buying food at the shops,  Jenni ensured that this man was cared for to the fullest extent. Significantly, she provided physical assistance for Paul. 

Her gesture of spending quality time with him, similar to Kazbekova and Tom, alleviated his seclusion. Who knew dance and conversation could have such an extraordinary impact?