This International Womens Day, we’re celebrating women’s achievements in Ballroom Dance!
From Fred Astaire Dance Studios to the Dance Floor
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress and achievements of women, and the ballroom dance community is no exception. Throughout history, there have been many female pioneers and innovators in the world of ballroom dance who have made significant contributions to the art form.
One of the most notable female pioneers in ballroom dance is Irene Castle. Along with her husband Vernon, Irene Castle revolutionized the world of ballroom dance in the early 20th century. They introduced new, more natural and relaxed dance styles, and were the first to dance the foxtrot and one-step in an “open hold” position, with partners facing each other. Irene Castle was also known for her fashion sense and popularized the “Castle bob” hairstyle.
Another important female figure in the ballroom dance world is Ginger Rogers. She is best known for her partnership with Fred Astaire in the 1930s, where they appeared in 10 films together and became one of the most iconic dance partnerships in history. However, what is less known is that Ginger Rogers did all of her own dance rehearsals and choreography while also singing and acting in the films. This was a huge accomplishment as it was not common for women to have such a prominent role in dance choreography during that time.
More recently, female dancers such as Karen Hardy, Anton du Beke and Peta Murgatroyd have made their mark on the ballroom dance world. Karen Hardy is a professional ballroom dancer, who has won multiple championships, and is a well-known choreographer and coach. Anton du Beke is a professional ballroom dancer and television personality, who has been a regular on the British version of “Strictly Come Dancing” since its inception in 2004. Peta Murgatroyd is a professional ballroom dancer from New Zealand, Peta Murgatroyd is best known for her appearances on the American version of “Dancing with the Stars” and has won the show twice.
In addition to these dancers, there are also female innovators behind the scenes in the ballroom dance world. One example is Doris Lavelle, who in 1947 opened the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio franchise, and went on to open several more. She was instrumental in popularizing ballroom dance and making it more accessible to the general public. Other examples include Adele Astaire, Eleanor Powell, Mary Murphy, Jo Thompson Szymanski and Jean-Marc Generoux all have helped pave the way for Fred Astaire Dance Studios. They have helped popularize ballroom dance and make it more accessible to the general public through their performances, choreography and instruction.
It’s important to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these female pioneers and innovators in the ballroom dance world, not just on International Women’s Day but year-round. Their legacy continues to inspire future generations of female dancers and choreographers, and their impact on the world of ballroom dance is immeasurable.
In conclusion, International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, and the ballroom dance community is no exception. From Irene Castle to Karen Hardy, female pioneers and innovators have made a significant impact on the art form. Their contributions continue to inspire future generations of female dancers and choreographers, and their impact on the world of ballroom dance is immeasurable.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we encourage you to take a step and start ballroom dancing with Fred Astaire dance studios. Not only will it be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it will also allow you to honor the legacy of these female pioneers and innovators in the ballroom dance world. Join us in celebrating the achievements of women in ballroom dance and book your first class today.