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I'll ask the same question I asked elsewhere - did dancers like Gene Kelly wear any sort of protective gear while they were dancing? I see so many scenes when he drops to his knees and shins and slides along the floor. Seems to me that would ruin your knees pretty quickly.

Can someone comment on this?

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3 hours ago, liberalnlovinit said:

I'll ask the same question I asked elsewhere - did dancers like Gene Kelly wear any sort of protective gear while they were dancing? I see so many scenes when he drops to his knees and shins and slides along the floor. Seems to me that would ruin your knees pretty quickly.

Can someone comment on this?

Knee work came more into popularity in the 1950s with the popularity of jazz dance. Men did wear those knee pads but I don't know how some of the women were able to or not considering their costumes.

FYI-- Men who dance wear a kind of artistic jockstrap that dancers call a dance belt.

Women are generally advised or told to wear bras, considering their makeup and size.

Women who do pas de deux-- that is who partner with a man--are told to wear dance girdles or some kind ceinture/belt to give their partner an idea of where their center is.

Aside from that, in dance you're on your own and it can be rather dicey when you're out there and somebody is turning in the wrong direction or somebody kicks when they shouldn't, especially if they have Capezio tap shoes on.

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47 minutes ago, liberalnlovinit said:

So, did Gene Kelly have physical ailments later in life due to dance stresses and injuries?

 

(Princess, thanks for the info on the "dance belt.")

I don't know about Gene Kelly - - but I did hear that a number of famous ballet dancers like Edward Villella, who was one of the first Great American male ballet dancers for Balanchine's New York City Ballet, had very serious back problems and always had to wear a brace after retirement--in fact a number of braces for different activities.  Some also had numerous back surgeries.  I expect the back problems came from the pas de deux work.

But unless you completely break the Achilles tendon during a performance - - which one famous ABT dancer, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, did-- you probably have the ability to do limited dancing for the rest of your life.

At the end of his ballet career, Baryshnikov went into contemporary dance professionally

Did everybody see Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in "That's Entertainment 2"?  At that time Fred Astaire was 77 years-old and Gene Kelly was around 64 years- old. Weren't they simply amazing?

 

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I just watched PBS's American Masters episode about Gene Kelly on DVD, and the only injury the program mentions for Gene Kelly is his broken ankle, which he broke playing volleyball at home. It's a great "biopic" of one of my favorites, and you get to "meet" family members, which I always enjoy. I recommend the program to anyone who is a fan of Gene Kelly's.

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