2 3 Throwback Thursday and Lottie Collins | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Lottie Collins

Throwback Thursday and Lottie Collins

Charlotte Louis Collins was born in England in 1866 and began her career performing in an act where she skipped rope. She was ten years old. Her two sisters, Marie and Lizzie soon joined her and they formed an act called The Three Sisters Collins where they performed an act called Skiptomania.

By 1887 Lottie Collins had made a name for herself as a step dancer according to the publication, The Era: “As a step-dancer Miss Lottie Collins occupies a prominent position on the music hall stage. Mr. Sam Adams has wisely secured her services here, and she is already a great favourite.”  Also in the article is the following: “…when Miss Collins remarked that a dancer’s limb should hang loosely from the hip, or words to that effect, she allowed her limb to travel towards the chandelier in an absent-minded sort of way that seemed to surprise her very much when she suddenly remembered where she was.”

She went on to perform as a regular in many theaters in Britain and in the United States. She was in the U.S. when she heard the song Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay, (lyrics by Richard Morton), and brought it with her when she returned to England. She performed it at the Tivoli Theater in 1891 to such acclaim that the song is now forever associated with her.

Lottie Collins continued to perform in music halls and theaters in Britain throughout the 1890s. She was married three times, her third husband being a fellow music hall artist, James W. Tate.

She died on May 3, 1910 when she was only 44 years old. She is buried in London at the Saint Pancras and Islington Cemetery.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Secret #197:
“Lottie Collins introduced the song Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.”

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