2 3 Throwback Thursday and Ursula Cheshire | Ballet Webb

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Ursula Cheshire

Throwback Thursday and Ursula Cheshire

There are scores of dancers  in history who never achieved fame, but had fascinating lives nonetheless. One of these unknown dancers is Ursula Cheshire. Today’s link will take you to a website dedicated to unearthing the intriguing details of her life. The author tells of purchasing an antique album filled with photos and news clippings about the life and career of Ursula Cheshire.

Ursula Cheshire was born on June 9, 1902, the daughter of Alfred Dudley Cheshire and Clara Uphoff Cheshire. She began her dance training with Spanish dancer Senora Matildita, (one source says she was the premiere danseuse to the Court of Spain). Ursula continued her dance and theatre studies at the Egan School in Los Angeles.

By age eleven she was immersed in studying acting, voice, dance – and fencing. Later, she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She then studied in Europe with opera star Emma Calvé. During this period she got married and divorced in quick succession.

During the 1920s, both Ursula and her mother acted in plays including The Sins of David, and Ursula appears to have left dance behind as a secondary pursuit and instead focused on singing and acting. 

She went on to marry Samuel  Bynum Riddick, and they had a daughter, Ursula Virginia Riddick.

Ursula Cheshire died on July 26, 1947, in San Francisco, California. She was 41 years old – her daughter was two.
From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #117  
“Ursula Cheshire was a dancer, singer and actress whose history was discovered in 2013 in an antique photo album.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  1. Hi! I am the author of http://mysterydancer.net/ and just discovered your lovely blog post on Ursula Cheshire. Thank you so much for highlighting her story!

  2. You are welcome! I found her story to be both fascinating and poignant. I'm glad you found her on my blog.