Social Dance On-Screen: Things Could Have Been Different

Social Dance in Edison Ballroom

If you are a fan of dancing and movies from the mid-1900s, chances are you have heard of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They did not start out as a dancing pair, though. Fred Astaire originally performed alongside his older sister, Adele Astaire. Fred and Adele began performing professionally when Fred was seven and Adele was nine. They continued to perform together on stage in both the United States and London for more than twenty-five years even bringing their performances to Broadway.

January 22, 1930 was a changing point in the Astaires’ dance partnership. That night, Adele met Lord Charles Cavendish, the second son of the 9th Duke of Devonshire and the man who would eventually become Adele’s husband. Although it was two years before Adele and Charles married, this was the beginning of the end of this dance and singing partnership. Once Adele married, her brother started to go his own way and expanded beyond the stage to the movie business.  Over the years, he had a variety of dance partners and movie co-stars, most famously Ginger Rogers.   

Even after marriage, Adele made a few attempts to make her way back into performing, but post-marriage her focus was on her new duties as part of the aristocracy and as a volunteer for the Red Cross. This leads to a question about how things would have been different for both Adele and Fred if Adele had not gotten married. Would the siblings have continued to perform on stage? Would they have both gone into the film business? Maybe Fred still would have gotten a film career, and his sister still would have gone another direction. Perhaps they both would have established movie careers but separately. We will never know.

What we do know is that you should contact us if you are interested in trying your own hand at social dance. At Quick Quick Slow Dance Studio, we want to create an enjoyable dancing experience for you, and we will tailor your dance lessons to fit your dance needs.