Well, I’ve made it to 250 posts! An occasion that, in some respects, demands a special post. So, as you can see, I decided to revisit a once-pondered idea that I mentioned back in my Top 10 Dance Routines post, and give you a list of various dance routines I would love to learn. Of course, considering the subject, a little personal background should precede the list. I will readily admit, it was when I started watching some of the classics (especially the musicals) back when I was a teenager that got me into dance. Watching Gene Kelly, I first got interested in tap dancing one summer. After the summer (and the class) was over, I stopped, but as I started watching digging into some of Fred Astaire’s films, I went back for more! Not only did I resume taking lessons in tap, but I also started took up ballroom dancing (and later threw in some ballet, too). I was lucky in finding some studios where the owners gave me the opportunity, first for my senior solo, and then beyond, to do some small solo and partnered routines to some of the various songs from these movies for the dance recitals. Obviously, we generally did new routines to these songs, which were always fun, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit, I wish I could pull off a lot of the dance routines that some of these classic film stars did. So, here’s a list of the dance routines I wish I could do.
1.”Sluefoot,” Daddy Long Legs (1955), Original dancers: Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron
This is one of those various attempts at a dance craze that Fred Astaire did in some of his films. With its combination of tap and ballroom (and a bit of jitterbug thrown in), this one has always looked like fun! At this point, the biggest reason I never did do this one is mainly because I couldn’t find the music (which is part of the fun) on CD, and I haven’t had the technical know-how to get it any other way.
2.”The Yam,” Carefree (1938), Original dancers: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Another attempted dance craze. Again, the combination of tap and ballroom appeals to me (and I LOVE that song)! Plus, throw in the lifts that they do to end the routine as they go from one table to the next in quick succession, and it’s easy to see why I would love to do this one!
3.”Carioca,” Flying Down To Rio (1933), Original dancers: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, others
With this one, I do have to break with the original idea somewhat. On the rest of these, I wish I could do the actual routine. This one, with it’s changing camera angles and formations, could only really be done as a video. Since I prefer Fred Astaire’s way of doing things, with minimal camera angle changes and focus on the dancers’ full bodies, I would have to do this one with a different routine. Honestly, other than that, my biggest problems with this one, considering the emphasis on the “business with the foreheads” as the movie puts it (one of the film’s pre-Code elements), would be my height (at 6’4″, I’ve tended to tower over most of my partners), not to mention having a partner that would be comfortable with the idea! Still, I can’t deny I’d love to dance to this one!
4.”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” Lovely To Look At (1952), Original dancers: Marge and Gower Champion
Ok, so if I get technical, I have done a partnered dance routine to this song. (Considering how beautiful the music is, can you blame me?) It was, admittedly, far different from what was done in the movie (but still a lot of fun, and, considering I had a talented and beautiful partner to work with, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything). Honestly, the only way I would improve on it would be to do the dance from the film itself (and considering the two romantic kisses, on principle alone, I wouldn’t do it with any gal unless I was at least dating them). But, I can dream, can’t I?
5.”Waltz In Swing Time,” Swing Time (1936), Original dancers: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
More ballroom/tap dancing. I will admit, of the five, this is the slot that is the most likely to change depending on how I feel at the time, but I will still admit, with yet another wonderful tune (and great choreography), I would love to be able to recreate this routine as well!
Well, that’s the list! These dances are ones I would willingly admit I wish I could pull off. Admittedly, especially during this pandemic, I’m dreaming, since these are all partnered dances, and I wouldn’t be willing to do them at the risk of my own health or that of my dance partners. But, I can dream (which is why I decided to do this post for the 250 mark instead of waiting for 300). I hope you enjoyed it, and I’d certainly love to hear what, if any, dance routines from the classics any of you would love to pull off if you had the opportunity!