Sunday, April 25, 2010

I hope you don't mind my legs...

As April draws to a close, I approach the end of my list of dancing ladies. We are now going to look at my top 3 favorites. As a warning, this may (will) result in more photos, videos, and gushing.

3. Ann Miller

Favorite solo: "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate, which is probably my favorite dance from her ever. Unfortunately, this number is not available on YouTube. It's a fantastic number, though.

Favorite duet: "Why Can't You Behave?" from Kiss Me Kate

"Prehistoric Man" from On The Town is a definite contender for favorite dance - it's so fun to watch. I love this song. The lyrics are so witty and wacky and Ann Miller sells the silliness - and the sexiness - wonderfully.

Because I was unable to find you my favorite solo, I'm going to post my second favorite below so that you can see her all by herself, being awesome. This one is "Shakin' the Blues Away" from Easter Parade.

I've loved Ann Miller for years. I called her my role model before I really knew what a role model was. Basically, I wanted to be her - I wanted to tap faster than secretaries could type, I wanted to be tall and athletic and beautiful. So, I told people she was my role model and wished fervently I could tap dancing lessons. I really haven't read up on Ann Miller at all, but I'd like to. Amanda Cooper has mentioned how much fun Ann Miller seems to be, and I quite agree. I'd love to know what sort of a person she was. Oftentimes, her persona on film was the spunky secondary character - the brunette bombshell who could potentially lead the leading man astray. I haven't seen very many of her starring roles but I know that in at least one, Eve Knew Her Apples, Ann Miller proved she was more than the sexy side story - she could be tender and genuine. I wish she'd had a chance to do play more leading ladies.

One thing that I've always found interesting is the customary costumes for different dancing ladies. For example, Vera-Ellen often had a dress where the skirt detached so the audience could see her legs. Cyd Charisse wore flowy, fluid skirts that rippled when she moved. Ann Miller wore long skirts, but then she pulled them open as soon as the dancing commenced. There are exceptions, of course. But I think this photo, is pretty typical of an Ann Miller dancing costume. I love it.


  1. You know the amazing thing about the Easter Parade solo is that she did that with a broken back!

  2. I love Ann Miller! My mom and I always comment on her "spinning" style of dancing where she's always twirling! I love that clip of her in Shakin' the Blues Away, and I think my favorite roles of hers are You Can't Take It With You and On the Town.

  3. If Im not mistaken Ann wrote an autobiography at some point too that I think I read a million years ago.

    RE: The skirt thing - sometimes she opened them and sometimes she lifted them up - like a really extended version of her Kiss Me Kate curtsey!

  4. She is so fun and sassy! I love that. She's also very pretty but not one of those delicate beauties - which makes her even more likable.

  5. i love ann miller!! hers was the first star autobiography I ever read and she was one of my first favorite classic film ladies. she's the reason i voted personality as most important, very expressive and fun!


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