The two go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly or eggs and bacon or dinner and a movie, but with Mr. Fred Astaire, it's dancing. Throughout all kinds of press, Mr. Astaire is noted for his dancing, and because of this, has made an impact on the world, making him a dancing legend.
We are proud of the dance heritage that lies within our studio's walls, which began in 1947 when Astaire co-founded our company. Considered to be one of the greatest and most cultured dancers who ever hit the dance floor, he wanted to establish a chain of social dance studios under his name to make sure that his techniques would be passed on to future generations.
Mr. Astaire was irreplaceable with everything from the choice of dance curriculum to the instructional techniques of the studio. With the opening of the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Park Avenue in New York City, he brought his immense talent out of the glamour of Hollywood and onto the dance floors of the rest of America and across the globe.
Astaire has always been one to intertwine wisdom and inspiration when speaking with others. He once said: "Some people seem to think that good dancers are born. All the good dancers I've known have been taught or trained. To me, dancing has always been fun. I enjoy every minute of it. I am glad that I can now put my knowledge to use in bringing personal confidence and a feeling of achievement to so many people."
Today, there are Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios all around the world. They are required to maintain the highest standards of excellence through the National Dance Board and Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios curriculum certification. Although Mr. Astaire is no longer with us in person, his social dance studios have produced an immense amount of both amateur and professional dancers who personify and carry on his style and grace.
Fred Astaire was born in 1899 and got involved in show business when he was just 5 years old, starting off by performing on Broadway and in vaudeville with his sister, Adele. He then went to Hollywood and began a successful partnership with Ginger Rogers for nine movies. By 1976, he had made 33 musical films with well-known co-stars like Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse. He also co-starred with Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, and Gene Kelly.
Fred Astaire was not only a great dancer - revolutionizing the American musical - but also an actor in many different dramatic and comedic roles in both movies and on TV. He won multiple Emmys for his TV roles, as well. The Towering Inferno (1974) earned him an Oscar nomination; and he received an honorary Academy Award in 1950 for his "unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures."
Fred Astaire passed away from pneumonia in 1987. That year, the world lost a true dancing legend. His effortless dancing movements and grace may never be seen again. As Mikhail Baryshnikov stated at the time of his death, "No dancer can watch Fred Astaire and not know that we all should have been in another business."
Although he's best known for his magical partnership with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire danced with many other leading ladies of his time, including Cyd Charisse, Lucille Bremer, Joan Leslie, Leslie Caron, Vera Ellen, Barrie Chase, Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell and Rita Hayworth.
"For ballroom dancing, remember that your partners have their own distinctive styles also. Cultivate flexibility. Be able to adapt your style to that of your partner. In doing so, you are not surrendering your individuality, but blending it with that of your partner," Fred Astaire said in "The Fred Astaire Top Hat Dance Album" in 1936.
Fred Astaire starred in 31 musical films. He collaborated with Ginger Rogers in the following films:
Flying Down To Rio (1933)
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Top Hat (1935)
Follow The Fleet (1936)
Swing Time (1936)
Shall We Dance (1937)
The Story Of Vernon & Irene Castle (1939)
The Barkleys Of Broadway (1949)
Fred Astaire introduced many classic songs by famous American composers, including:
Cole Porter's "Night and Day" from The Gay Divorcee (1932)
Jerome Kern's "Nice Work If You Can Get It" from A Damsel In Distress (1937)
"A Fine Romance," "The Way You Look Tonight," and "Never Gonna Dance" from Swing Time (1936)
Irving Berlin's "Cheek To Cheek" and "Isn't This A Lovely Day" from Top Hat (1936)
"Let's Face The Music And Dance" from Follow The Fleet (1936)
Gershwin's "A Foggy Day" from A Damsel In Distress (1937)
"Let's Call The Whole Thing Off," "They All Laughed," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," and "Shall We Dance" from Shall We Dance (1937)