2 3 Throwback Thursday and Kate Vaughan | Ballet Webb

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Kate Vaughan

Throwback Thursday and Kate Vaughan

Skirt dancing is “A form of ballet-dancing in which the effect is produced by graceful movements of the skirts, which are sufficiently long and full to be waved in the hands of the dancer.”

Skirt dancing is believed to have originated with Kate Vaughan, whose real name was Catherine Alice Candelin. She was born in 1852 in London. In 1873 she appeared with her sister Susie in Orpheus in the Underworld. They were billed as the Vaughan Sisters and they performed a skirt dance which was a more family-friendly version of the can-can.

From 1876 to 1884, Vaughan performed in London, and at the peak of her career was paid the large sum of £72 a week (about $95). By 1885 she had retired from dancing, but continued to perform as a comedy actress. By this time the skirt dance had become so popular that every aspiring dancer had it in their repertoire.

W. J. Lawrence, her biographer, called Vaughan “the greatest dancer of her time”.

She died in 1903 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she had moved for health reasons.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #187:
“Kate Vaughan is said to have originated skirt dancing.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I was the first to dance in skirts reaching the ankles; I never went in for serpentine dances, trailing garments, or movements of the arms and the whole body – mine was genuine dancing and nothing else. I invented the steps myself, and my full-length lace skirts were a novelty in those days, when the ballet was the only style in vogue.”
-         Kate Vaughan

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