2 3 Throwback Thursday and Sammy Berk | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Sammy Berk

Throwback Thursday and Sammy Berk

Born in Russia in 1894, Sammy Berk was a vaudeville performer. He is best known as part of the dancing team of Berk and Suan (Juanita Suan was his wife).

He was born into a performing family, and became part of his family’s acrobatic dance act early in life. His family moved to New York where he performed as a member of the Sokoloff Troupe, a group directed by his uncle. His participation in a talent contest led to a role in the Broadway show “Lilac Domino”.

In World War I he enlisted in the Navy, and after the war he teamed up with a ballet dancer named Valda. But Berk injured his knee and that ended the partnership. Later, after his knee healed, he met Juanita Suan and they developed an act that combined acrobatics, tap and ballroom. They married in 1920, and toured Europe in 1926.

Later, as vaudeville declined, Berk became a talent agent and Juanita retired.

Sammy Berk died on August 5, 1983

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #196:
“Sammy Berk and his wife Juanita combined ballroom, tap, and acrobatics.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces between them.”
Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller

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