2 3 Throwback Thursday and Dorothy Toy | Ballet Webb

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Dorothy Toy

Throwback Thursday and Dorothy Toy

Dorothy Toy, born Takahashi, was not Chinese but a Japanese American born on May 28, 1917 in San Francisco. She was discovered by a vaudeville theater manager as she danced in front of her parent’s restaurant. She teamed up with Paul Wing, and together they became known as “The Chinese Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers”.Their skill and style is shown in the 1937 short “Deviled Ham”.

Not long after WWII began, Toy’s family was interned in Topaz, Utah. Toy avoided this by moving to New York, although she still couldn’t escape the prejudice.  In 1943 Wing was drafted into the Army. He survived the war, but Toy said it was never quite the same afterwards, although they continued to travel and perform together. Wing died in 1997 at age 85.

Toy taught dance in her own studio until a hip injury sidelined her. A documentary of her life called “Dancing Through Life: The Dorothy Toy Story” premiered December 11, 2016 at the Great Star Theater in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #246:
“ Dorothy Toy was billed as the Chinese Ginger Rogers.”

Links of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
― Charlotte BrontĂ«, Jane Eyre

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