Well, by now it's no secret, I suppose.
1. Fred Astaire
Favorite solo: "Let's Say It With Firecrackers" in Holiday Inn. [Embedding disabled. Gosh darn it!]
"Don't Let It Bother You" in The Gay Divorcee follows a close second.
Oh, and the hat rack dance is way up there too.
Favorite ever dance: "Pick Yourself Up" in Swing Time (again, this changes all the time)
So, the question remains. Why is Fred Astaire my very favorite male dancer? I'm really quite partial to the top hat and tails man. I love the class. I love his style. What does his photo say in Follow the Fleet? "Genteel dancing and high class patter?" I think. That's what I love. In my opinion, Fred Astaire was pretty sexy in his dancing. But not in the athletic, passionate way. He was quietly intense, gentlemanly, subtle. I love his romantic side, as in "Night and Day" and "Never Gonna Dance." And I love his fun side as in "Drum Crazy" and "Shine On Your Shoes." He had the grace for ballet and the rhythm for tap down to a science. I like the way he curled his fingers in because he thought his hands were too big. I like how, even in a jazz ballet, he retains his class and stature.
He didn't wander too much into the everyday-type character. Follow the Fleet was a rare exception and he manages to find himself in fancy clothes even as a sailor. But even when he's chewing gum, ordering beer, playing the piano with rolled up sleeves and a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, there was something classy about him. I love that!
He wasn't one for grit, but then neither am I. Which is why I think he's my favorite. I love the athleticism and sex appeal of Gene Kelly and Bob Fosse, but Mr. Top Hat and Tails will always have my heart.
So, there you have it. My #1 top favorite male dancer of all time. I hope you've enjoyed this list! I'll post the list in its entirety tomorrow.