This would have been at the beginning of my dancing "career"--the dress was made of aqua organza. It took a lot of pincurls to achieve that curly hair--it certainly wasn't natural!
We were a two-income family, a rarity back then, I believe. My father, Dan, drove a tow truck at night; my mother, Elva, was an elementary teacher. Neither job probably brought in much money, but they managed to pay for the dance lessons and all the different types of dance shoes. I remember that we bought Capezio brand shoes at a store downtown, which meant getting dressed up (hats and gloves) and taking the streetcar.
|I am surprised at how well I can remember each costume. This one was pale blue. I'm sure that whenever given a choice, I would always pick blue, my favorite color. This was still in my pre-toe shoe days.|
My mother made all my costumes, which sometimes included matching gloves or mitts, hats, and decorations on the shoes. When I eventually acquired a dancing partner, Suzanne, my mother made her costumes as well.
|Suzanne and I had so much fun being cowgirls, of course. These little lariats were reinforced with wire, so we looked all ready to rodeo! We tapped and twirled, and I remember dropping my rope in the middle of the routine at our dance recital.|
When asked what kind of lessons I was taking, I would rattle off, "Ballet, acrobatics, tap, and toe." I differentiated between ballet and toe because we had to take ballet for a long time wearing either regular ballet slippers or some flat, soft, suede shoes; once we had mastered the ballet positions and learned routines that we performed at recitals, we were able graduate to toe shoes. Did you know that the toes of these shoes are stuffed with lamb's wool that is first wrapped around the toes?
|I can't remember a thing about this costume except that it looks like it was a lot of work to make, and that the little vest was made of black velvet|
As you will see in the next post, my mother even made costumes for someone who didn't take dance lessons at all.