Fascinating Dance Facts

Well if you are like me, I am fascinated by everything dance!  Facts, history, science, personal achievements, records, etc, etc… I could read about it all for hours.  Here are a few fascinating facts and dance trivia that I have enjoyed reading about lately.  Enjoy!

There is a Guinness World Record holder for the “Most Consecutive Pirouettes” held by Alicia Clifton set on Dec 9, 2005!  That is a pretty amazing accomplishment!  Can you guess how many she did?
Read how many Pirouettes here.
  © Guinness World Records 2012. All rights reserved.

Which mega pop star do you think was a straight-A student, cheerleader, and disciplined dancer who graduated from high school a semester earlier than her peers?? Her hard work earned her the attentions of the University of Michigan, which offered her a full scholarship to their dance program. She was also awarded a six-week scholarship to study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City, followed by a rare opportunity to perform with choreographer Pearl Lang in 1978. At the urging of her dance instructor, the budding star dropped out of college after only two years of study in order to move to New York and further her dance career.  (Information from Bio.com)

That star is Madonna! Read about her here.

A prima ballerina can complete 32 fouette turns, while staying in the exact same spot on the floor. After performing the turns, the tip of her pointe shoe will be hot to the touch! Other fun ballet facts here.  I also enjoyed discovering that, one tutu requires 60-90 hours of labor and over 100 yards of ruffle. It brings an entirely new level of respect  for their beauty!

The first ballet dancer to dance en pointe was Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide in 1832. Read more about Marie Taglioni  here.

“Fred Astaire has a great golf swing.  All great golfers and dancers have impeccable timing, balance and coordination.” Read the interesting article on Fred Astaire here. http://www.fredastaireredbank.com/freddiefacts.htm

There is a Guinness World Record holder for the “Most Taps in a Minute” held by Anthony Morigerato set on Jun 23, 2011!
Read how many Taps here.  © Guinness World Records 2012. All rights reserved.  Also fascinating were the results for “Most Dancers on Pointe”, can you stay on pointe for one minute?

Otis Sallid

Otis Sallid choreographed for many well known movies and musicals such as Swing Kids, Malcolm X, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, etc… and one of my top favorite 80’s dance movies, “Girls Just Want  To Have Fun!” His talents go so much farther then choreography.  Check out his reels on his webpage.  http://www.creativeotis.com/

Debbie Allen is not only a Three-time Emmy Award winner for Choreography for the series Fame,  Golden Globe winner, Tony award nominee, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001 as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities BUT she is  also the younger sister of actress/singer Phylicia Rashād. Interesting!  Learn more about Debbie Allen and why she is amazing on her Wikipedia page.

Salary for a new dancer in the Boston Ballet, (pay per week) is $697.52 (lowest pay) and a 3rd year principal dancer makes $1300.56 per week (highest pay).  Also keep in mind that this is only for the “season,” which means that there are numerous weeks per year that dancers are not paid.  Great to think about and plan for if you are seriously considering ballet as a career.  NYCB makes much more, level A corps $956, principal $1743 (rehearsal week), principal $2060 (performance week).  (found this information on a great blog, thanks http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/19842-salaries/)
Also great to note that American Guild of Musical Artists is the union organization that represents ballet dancers and keeps them protected.  http://www.musicalartists.org/

If you are interested more in the Commercial Dance Career,  Answers4Dancers has a great informational page with salaries ranges to compare. http://www.answers4dancers.com/auditions/dancer-salaries.html

One of the many reasons that I love Tyce Diorio  is that his early years he spent dancing with Janet Jackson on her “Velvet Rope” World Tour as well as in her “If,” “Together Again,” and “You” videos.  Also on the American Music Awards, The Oprah Winfrey Show,  Saturday Night Live and throughout Europe with her. Information on Tyce, thanks to the Broadway Dance Center Faculty Bio http://www.broadwaydancecenter.com/faculty/bios/diorio_tyce_keith.shtml … and no he doesn’t have a brother named Keith.  He was born Keith Diorio.

Tyce Diorio in Chicago, Cell Block Tour, September 20, 2004

Hanya Holms labanotation score for Kiss Me, Kate (1948) was the first choreography to be copyrighted in the United States.  Read more about Hanya Holms on Wikipedia.

Did You Know? The dancing that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey do during the love scene was actually the same dance that they did for the screen tests. Dirty Dancing trivia rocks! www.imdb.com/title/tt0092890/trivia Share that fun fact at your next ROMCOM night!

Speaking of Dirty Dancing, it’s famous choreographer is Kenny Ortega.  He is most know for being Michael Jackson’s choreographer for the  Dangerous World Tour 1992-1993 and the HIStory World Tour 1996-1997 as well as This Is It concert tour, movie and memorial services.  In addition, Ortega has directed and choreographed High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and High School Musical 3: Senior Year . Also interesting is that he won an award for his choreography of  Madonna‘s “Material Girl“. Info from his wikipedia page.   Recently, Kenny is set to Direct ABC Family’s ‘Bunheads’ – Read the article from the Hollywood Reporter here.

In the USA, what day was proclaimed as National Tap Dance Day, by a vote of Congress in 1989?
May 25th. May 25th was chosen as it is the birth date of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. You should read more about him on his Wikipedia page!

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson & Shirley Temple

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson & Shirley Temple

The first Capezio Store opened in 1887 by Salvatore Capezio.  Read the Capezio Story here.

Yes folks, before Paula Abdul was on American Idol, she was a force in the dance world.  Paula won a Grammy for “Best Music Video – Short Form” for “Opposites Attract” which featured her tap dancing! Watch her video here.   She choreographed many of Janet Jackson’s most memorable videos and she was the choreographer for one of my favorite movies, “Can’t Buy Me Love!” She won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for both Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and her own “Straight Up” as well as an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for The 17th Annual American Music Awards. Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her for fifth among the female solo performers who have reached #1 there. What I enjoyed reading the most was that Paula Abdul made it as a Los Angeles Lakers Girl when she was a freshman at California State University in Northridge.  After only three months on the team, Paula became head choreographer.   Read more on Paula’s Wikipedia page. 


“There were a couple of times when Michael stood at my side and we looked at the stage together and were just beaming with gladness that we had arrived at this place,” Ortega said. “And he was happy.”
Quote from Kenny Ortega… on  Michael’s last rehearsals, from LA Times

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Lets further the art of dance together… ASK MS. SONYA, I want to help!


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