Ballroom Dance > Ballroom Icons

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by CANI, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    In another thread, hereKittyKitty mentioned the book Ballroom Icons. I haven’t seen the book, but it certainly looks interesting from reading the pages and information available on the author’s website www. (delete the space).

    I thought it would be nice to have a Ballroom Icons thread! A place to pay tribute to the people who helped create the art/sport that we enjoy today. It could be a general thank you to those who came before us, or a personal thought about how you were touched by someone you consider to be a Ballroom Icon, a sharing about someone who has inspired your dancing, or sharing something interesting you’ve learned about the people who helped make ballroom dancing what it is today. I look forward to your shares – enjoy!
  2. pnoisette

    pnoisette New Member

    Really Surprised

    nay . . .shocked by the deathly silence in response to this thread!
  3. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Hi pnoisette! I’ll mention two of mine to get us started. :D
  4. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thank you to Philip J.S. Richardson! When reading A History of English Ballroom Dancing (1910-1945): The Story of the Development of the Modern English Style, I was struck by the role Philip Richardson played in getting the English ballroom teachers together. He was instrumental in getting the first “Informal Conference” of ballroom dance teachers, called by The Dancing Times, that was held May 12th, 1920.

    It appears it was a time of great change with the dancing, and it afforded the teachers an opportunity to discuss, for example, what steps they could agree were in dances such as the Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot. One of the speakers at the first conference, M. Maurice, suggested that “the basic steps of these dances should be standardized and that all teachers should teach the same. Then it could be left to the whim of the dancer to mix these steps as he pleased.” :D

    Through this conference and two subsequent ones, including sub-committee work, they agreed on a number of things. One was the following about the Waltz.
    Philip noted that while this seems so underdeveloped a description, that it went a long way to stop the habit at the time of dancing foxtrot to waltz music!! How interesting!

    He also noted that one of the outcomes of these conferences was the first notation of a basic technique.

    Had it not been for Philip Richardson and the rest of the members, we would likely not have ballroom dancing in the form we have today, nor perhaps the concept of having standardized steps with names within the dances.

    Thank you Philip J.S. Richardson!
  5. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thank you to Bill and Bobbie Irvine! I have only really become aware, within the past year, of the impact Bill and Bobbie have had on ballroom dancing. I’ll just say on a personal note that I have been tremendously inspired by their approach to dancing, their passion for teaching and I look forward to continuing to learn more about them. I am sorry I never got to meet them.

    Thank you Bill and Bobbie Irvine!
  6. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    If anyone wants to see who this author included in her list of Ballroom Icons -- once on her site www. (delete the space), click on About the Book, and then click on Table of Contents.

    However, please don’t feel restricted to this list!:D
  7. Linda J Schlensker

    Linda J Schlensker New Member

    Robert Mitchell was not known as a great competitive dancer, but he is one of the great teachers and coaches. You probably won't see a history on him. He was the first to get dual fellowships in the U.S.. Champion dancers trained under him, and one of his dance teams ousted Roy Mavor's team. Roy Mavor was another great. Bob is still living and quietly teaching in Asheville, NC., Atlanta and South Carolina. Roy's wife June is still alive and associated with a studio in Texas. We remember the great competitive dancers because they captured our hearts with their dancing. Some of the master teachers never had the competition career. Without them, we never would have had the great dancers. The history of Ballroom is rich and full of characters, thugs, and truly decent people. I am glad to see a few people are interested in remembering it.
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Actually, I believe the first was Larry Silvers (one of my protoges ). I worked with Bob, and that time he was studying for his Members ( Larry was an Examiner at that same period )...
  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    .. another for consideration is Frank Regan..
  10. hereKittyKitty

    hereKittyKitty Administrator Staff Member

    What about Michael and Valerie Houseman? We had a coach in Atlanta that studied with them...
  11. Another Elizabeth

    Another Elizabeth Active Member

    I think one of the greatest recent influences on the development of ballroom in America was John Kimmins. Going back a little farther, we must all of course acknowledge the influence of Arthur Murray, without whom we would be unable to enjoy all those International vs. American style threads. :)
  12. Linda J Schlensker

    Linda J Schlensker New Member

    Thank you for the correction.
  13. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thank you Linda! I just did a :google: search and there is at least a little info about Robert Mitchell, which I enjoyed reading. I also saw a nice write-up on Roy Mavor and his wife June. I have heard, at least a little bit, about the Brigham Young College program - and it sounds like Roy and June played an instrumental role in getting that program started. Going from 8 couples to 400 students in the first year is quite an accomplishment! Coaching the first American Student formation team to win the British Formation Championships at Blackpool -- wow!
  14. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thanks tangotime! I'll have to do a bit more searching on Larry Silvers. Very nice to hear that you worked with both Bob and Larry!:D
  15. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thanks tangotime! :google: search produced a nice summary about Frank Regan --www. (delete the space) -- very interesting!
  16. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thanks hereKittyKitty! I have heard of them, but know very little. I found a little bit about them through goggle search and will look for more.

    When seaching on their names, I found this very nice history on Blackpool -- a wonderful read -- mostly written by the same author as the Ballroom Icons book!
    www. (delete the space)
  17. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thanks Another Elizabeth! I'll will look into John Kimmins. I certainly have heard of the Arthur Murray schools! :DYes, those theads can be fun -- lol
  18. CANI

    CANI Active Member

    Thank you to Henry Jacques! The author of Ballroom Icons mentions Henry Jacques in the table of contents as a "the pioneer in ballroom dancing notation."

    I know Warren Dew has mentioned in the "list of dance books" thread that his book is back in print.

    For me, while I still know so little about him, I have found this statement about him, from Philip J.S. Richardson's book, to be inspirational:

    (emphasis is mine):D

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