Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dancing Dolls: The Stars of "Vintage" Dance

On my way to teach my ballet classes yesterday I was thinking of my obsession with all things old when it hit me...Even my job is vintage! What's more vintage than the passing down of an art form that has been around since the 15 century? My life's work seems to be centered around keeping traditions alive. Preserving the art form for future generations.

So this lead to today's blog post. VINTAGE DANCE!!!!!!!! Most of my all time favorite dancers are dancers past. There are some tremendous ones today but... nothing beats old school dancers. They just had something... Watching the dance scenes in "An American in Paris", "West Side Story", "Carmen Jones" or even "White Christmas" gives me chills. So here are some of my favorite female dancers. This is just a few... There are soooo many more. I think I may make this a monthly post and add some of the guys! Can't forget them!!!

1. Margot Fonteyn-  (18 May 1919 – 21 February 1991), My FAVORITE ballerina of all time!!! She was the prima ballerina of The Royal Ballet for almost 40 years. She was said to be the perfect example of the English style of ballet. She was an AMAZING actress in every ballet she was in. You would forget that she was not actually a swan, a fairy or a teen aged Juliet. I'm not even touching on what was really the wonder of Margot Fonteyn but her obituary that was written  in The Telegraph does a beautiful job.

2. Moira Shearer- (17 January 1926 – 31 January 2006), OHH!!! What can I say about Moira?!?!?! She was fabulous! Have you seen "The Red Shoes"???? If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!! Its only one of the best dance movies of alllll time!!! Well in my opinion anyway...

3. Vera-Ellen-(February 16, 1921 – August 30, 1981), Two words... WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!!! LOVE her in White Christmas! This is my favorite dance number from the movie. The famous Mandy number! So much fun! Unfortunately there was (and still is) a rumor that Vera-Ellen suffered from anorexia. She was quite thin, but most dancers are, so no one really knows. An urban legend says that if you watch White Christmas you may notice that she keeps her neck covered through the whole movie. Supposedly because anorexia speeds aging and the aging could be seen around her neck. Not sure if I believe that but it's possible. Doesn't chance the fact that her dancing was impeccable

Leslie Caron- ( 1 July 1931-), starred in three of my favorite films: "An American in Paris", "Daddy Long Legs" and "Gigi".  A little trivia, her first husband was George Hormell III (the grandson of, you got it, the founder of the Hormell meat corporation) and she had an affair with Warren Beatty while she was married to her second husband!

HERE she is in "An American in Paris". I use the instrumental version of this song in my ballet classes every week. Dreamy...

Chita Rivera-( January 23, 1933 )LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her in "West Side Story" and "Sweet Charity"!!! She's a saucy little thing! She was the first Hispanic woman to ever receive a Kennedy Center Honors award! If you have time google her and see how many Broadway shows she's been in. The list is CRAZY!!!!

Here she is in Gym Mambo from "West Side Story"!!!!

So there it is!! The beginning of my "Dancing Dolls" series. Like I said. There are MANY more where that came from. Ginger Rogers, Cyd Charrise, Debbie Reynolds, Carmen de Lavallade, Shirley Maclaine, Elenor Powell! The list goes on and on And I can't forget my "Dancing Guys".

Hope you enjoyed!! xoxo


  1. What a great post! Although I will never be able to dance in the ways these women have I have loved dance since I was a child. Now I just dance in my head heheh But out of the list I have to say I love Vera-Ellen and Chita the best. Vera-Ellen did indeed have an eating disorder and they had to make all of her costumes with a high neck in order to cover the appearance of extreme wrinkles-even the pjs she wears in the film has them! Chita is till dancing in her golden years-that ladies has legs of steal-bless her! I love this post-keep writing more!!!! xox

    1. I wasn't sure if the Vera -Ellen thing was true or not. I had always heard it but thought it could have just been a rumor. Kind of sad but she was an amazing dancer. I could rewatch her dance scenes all day!

  2. Oh my I am in love with Moira Shearer's red pointe shoes!

    You teach ballet? I am completely impressed!!


    1. LOL! Thanks! I've been dancing since I could walk... literally. My mom was a dancer!!! LOVE your blog by the way!!


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