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Ex-Rockette, 92, Uses Dance To Fund Cancer Research (VIDEO)

Posted: 11/02/11 09:59 AM ET

Louise Neistat was a Rockette...during World War II. But for the 92-year-old, age hasn't gotten in the way of her passion for dance or her desire to help others.

The New London, Conn., local has been tapping for nearly 50 years and has turned it into a way to help fund cancer research. She teaches tap six days a week to 70 students from her attic-turned-dance studio. She gives performance proceeds -- more than $100,000 over the year -- to the American Cancer Society.

A YouTube short documentary detailing her efforts was filmed by Neistat's grandson, Casey, 30, a filmmaker based in New York with over 200 short films in his repertoire.

Neistat earned her Rockette dancing shoes in 1941 and ended up on the road with the United Service Organization, a nonprofit providing support and entertainment to US troops across the country. Her father died of cancer a month before her first show. A tragedy which "made her want to cure cancer with her dance," says Casey.

As for performances to come? Neistat says she has every intention of continuing her tap tradition: "At this stage in my life, I live from one year to the next...But I'd like to do a lot more," she says.


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Filed by Anna Bahr  |