Idols in Dance: Gene Kelly

 Gene Kelly's handprints and shoe prints outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Gene Kelly's handprints and shoe prints outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

Idols in Dance: Gene Kelly

The spectrum of dance is incredibly wide and varied. From ballroom to tap dancing, modern to hip-hip, we love every presentation of the form. In this week's "Idols in Dance" post we'll be covering one of the great multi-faceted dancers of the 20th century: Gene Kelly.   

Gene Kelly may not be known for ballroom dance, but he's still one of our favorite dancers. His infectious love of dance is clear in every one of his performances, and his approach to hybrid dancing makes every piece of choreography exciting and extraordinary. Kelly also had a distinctly masculine approach to dance: grounded and athletic, Gene Kelly made dancing sexy.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kelly was enrolled in dance classes at the age of 8, but didn't develop a true love until the age of 15. As a boy he found himself fighting neighborhood kids who called him a "sissy", and spent the better part of his youth involved in sports instead. After the crash of 1929, Gene and his brother choreographed routines to enter in dance contests and also performed in nightclubs. Although Kelly would study journalism, economics, and eventually law, he decided to pursue a career as a dance teacher and entertainer.

Gene Kelly would go on to choreograph and appear in Broadway musicals before breaking into the film industry. His style of dance is eclectic, drawing from every genre under the sun. He once said: "I don't believe in conformity to any school of dancing. I create what the drama and the music demand." This is perfectly apparent in all his choreography, from Singin' in the Rain to Anchors Away.

Like many of our dancing idols, Kelly was famous for his dedication, often rehearsing well beyond scheduled hours and rarely satisfied.

Dance is our obsession at Quick Quick Slow and we love having the opportunity to share our knowledge. If you would like to find out more about our adult ballroom dance classes, please contact us for further information.