During the 1950s and 60s musicals were hugely popular on the big screen. Actors like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire tapped their way into the hearts of American film-goers. However, the ones doing the real leg-work (ha, sorry), were the dancing divas. From Ann-Margaret to Cyd Charisse, these women brought entertainment through their nimble footwork that will leave you exhausted just from watching.
Mitzi Gaynor – The I Don’t Care Girl (1953)
If there’s one thing you’ll learn from this video, it’s that Mitzi Gaynor really doesn’t care. Gaynor causes a riot as a vaudeville girl with a whole lot of feathers on her head. This song might become my new mantra.
Ann Margret – Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Ann-Margret blows my mind here. All the shimmying and turning, I think I’d have a crick in my neck- but she’s so charismatic!
Leslie Caron-An American in Paris (1951)
Someone’s been hitting the yoga mat- okay maybe not in this era. Caron reads a book while doing splits, I watch Netfix laying on the couch. We’re basically the same.
Vera Ellen – White Christmas (1954)
Even though she spikes the camera about a hundred times during this sequence, Vera Ellen is so graceful dancing with Danny Kaye. Also, can I please have her pink sparkly ball gown?
Ann Miller – Small Town Girl (1953)
Some of these musical numbers are, well, artistic- bordering on avant-guard. In this one, Ann Miller tap dances around an orchestra coming through the walls and floors.
Cyd Charisse – Silk Stockings (1957)
It’s amazing what the right hosiery can do. Cyd Charisse plays a Russian detective who breaks into a ballet frenzy over some stowed-away apparel. While this one might not make into the the feminist guidebook (or any of these videos, for that matter), it has inspired me to put my bed on a riser.
*Featured image credit: Kate Grabrielle via Flickr