Today’s lesson plan has us reflecting on the life of Sally Rand.
Born in 1904 in Missouri, Hattie Helen Gould Beck began working as a chorus girl at the age of 13. After studying ballet and drama, she moved to Hollywood as a young woman, working her way westward as an acrobat in the Ringling Brother’s Circus and as in actor in summer stock shows.
She worked in silent films during the 1920s, garnering the name “Sally Rand,” from the famed Cecil B. DeMille, inspired by the Rand McNally atlas. At the introduction of sound films, Sally moved on to her iconic fan dance as her performance staple. This fan dance, which was performed at such locations as the Paramount Club in Chicago and the World’s Fair, was responsible for Sally Rand being arrested a record of four times in one day. Ms. Rand also created her famed“bubble dance” to cope with the wind of performing outdoors.
She is famously quoted as saying, “I haven’t been out of work since the day I took my pants off.”