Sign in to follow this  
LynnBlake

Gene Kelly - I just have to share.....

10 posts in this topic

I just wanted to share (I truly apologize if this feels like name dropping) that in the mid 1970s I took tap classes from Gene's Kelly's brother, Fred in Oradell, NJ. One evening, quite to our surprise, Gene showed up at the studio and watched us dance. Talk about intimidating. When we finished - he danced for us. 40+ years later I can still feel the swoon and passion. It was wonderful.

He was very generous with not only his time but his feedback and advice.

 

  • Like 14
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, LynnBlake said:

I just wanted to share (I truly apologize if this feels like name dropping) that in the mid 1970s I took tap classes from Gene's Kelly's brother, Fred in Oradell, NJ. One evening, quite to our surprise, Gene showed up at the studio and watched us dance. Talk about intimidating. When we finished - he danced for us. 40+ years later I can still feel the swoon and passion. It was wonderful.

He was very generous with not only his time but his feedback and advice.

 

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story.

You had the dream come true of every tap dance student.

I had heard that Fred taught tap dancing for many years in his dance studio.

I'd be curious, and I'm sure others would as well, to hear more about what it was like to take tap dancing with Fred Kelly. 

Many of us have enjoyed him dancing with his brother in the movie, " Deep in My Heart ".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was like Fred never left Vaudeville. He was completely full of life, many times very silly - yet encouraging, serious and tough. I always left there completely exhausted. As did the accompanist - Imagine that? a live piano player at every class. Those were the days. He was an incredible dancer but after Gene showed up you could feel the difference between them. They actually looked very similar - but their talents were definitely individual to their personalities. 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, LynnBlake said:

It was like Fred never left Vaudeville. He was completely full of life, many times very silly - yet encouraging, serious and tough. I always left there completely exhausted. As did the accompanist - Imagine that? a live piano player at every class. Those were the days. He was an incredible dancer but after Gene showed up you could feel the difference between them. They actually looked very similar but their talent definitely differed.

Ballet classes I took in several cities usually had piano accompanists. I always found that thrilling because it made you feel like you were a real artist and not just a student. LOL

I can just imagine that Fred must have trained a number of students who went on to become professional dancers, choreographers and dance teachers.

 Lynn, I can also imagine that you can still do a very nice traveling time step, or any other tap step you set your mind to.

Thanks again for your generous contribution.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LynnBlake said:

I just wanted to share (I truly apologize if this feels like name dropping) that in the mid 1970s I took tap classes from Gene's Kelly's brother, Fred in Oradell, NJ. One evening, quite to our surprise, Gene showed up at the studio and watched us dance. Talk about intimidating. When we finished - he danced for us. 40+ years later I can still feel the swoon and passion. It was wonderful.

He was very generous with not only his time but his feedback and advice.

 

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/23/2018 at 6:58 PM, Princess of Tap said:

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story.

You had the dream come true of every tap dance student.

I had heard that Fred taught tap dancing for many years in his dance studio.

I'd be curious, and I'm sure others would as well, to hear more about what it was like to take tap dancing with Fred Kelly. 

Many of us have enjoyed him dancing with his brother in the movie, " Deep in My Heart ".

I just saw Deep in My Heart, and I very much enjoyed seeing Fred dance with his brother Gene. In fact, the dance routines, including theirs, were the highlights of an otherwise uneven film. I think Fred Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers could give Gene a run for his money: They could match his athletic talents!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Marianne said:

I think Fred Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers could give Gene a run for his money: They could match his athletic talents!

Thank you so much for the tip! I really need to add this movie to my list of Must Sees!!

Interestingly enough my last tap teacher (who was also amazing) about 10 years ago studied with the Nicholas Brothers. She reported one of them was pretty lecherous - to the extent that he hid her tap shoes so she had to go back to his apartment to get them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, LynnBlake said:

Thank you so much for the tip! I really need to add this movie to my list of Must Sees!!

Interestingly enough my last tap teacher (who was also amazing) about 10 years ago studied with the Nicholas Brothers. She reported one of them was pretty lecherous - to the extent that he hid her tap shoes so she had to go back to his apartment to get them!

I've heard this about the older one, Fayard Nicholas. I saw an A&E Biography episode about Dorothy Dandridge (you can find it on YouTube), who was married to Fayard. She divorced him because of his womanizing.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us