Dance History

Mary Alice Nelson, aka Molly Spotted Elk

Molly was born on Indian Island, Maine, and she turned to dance to help her family make ends meet. But because audiences and companies in the U.S. pushed her toward stereotypical depictions of Native Americans, she eventually took her dancing to France.

Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hop, Part 2

Once Manning became a professional dancer and choreographer, his work took him all over the world. After WWII derailed his swing dancing, he had a hard time returning to a world where musical tastes had changed. Read the show notes here.

Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hop, Part 1

Frankie Manning grew up loving dance, learning and practicing in ballrooms and private parties in New York. His innovations in creating new moves for the Lindy hop led him from dancing as a hobby to a career as a performer.

Maria Tallchief

This Native American dancer was the first grand ballerina of the United States. Through her partnership with famed choreographer George Balanchine, she helped shape ballet in America and served as an inspiration for artists from all backgrounds.

Marie Taglioni is considered THE ballerina of the Romantic era. She's often credited with revolutionizing, restyling and redefining dance, though her father was a significant part of those achievements.