Masterclass Monday: Dancer Vera Ellen Partnering With Danny Kaye In White Christmas

Vera-Ellen was never given enough credit for her phenomenal gift of dance during her all too brief film career. I could watch her performances in White Christmas over and over, again and again!

Her timing, her grace, her poise and singular charisma are exceptional and cannot be cloned. She stands alone and, for this reason, became a star in her field.

She exudes class and professionalism and, although she retired from the spotlight at a very early age, her extraordinary dancing ability will remain timeless and unforgettable.

Together with the legendary Danny Kaye, she created this memorable moment from the classic film, White Christmas

“The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”, choreographed by a then unknown Bob Fosse, is undoubtedly one of the greatest dancing segments in the film world. In fact, every move Vera Ellen made in this film was pure magic.

Considering that this dancing segment was filmed without the luxury of cut and paste editing, it is a Dancing Masterclass of the highest order.

Which dancing segments from the Hollywood Musicals’ era do you enjoy watching time and again?

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

10 Responses to “Masterclass Monday: Dancer Vera Ellen Partnering With Danny Kaye In White Christmas”

  1. Oh, that’s just lovely–thank you for a Monday morning happy!

    As for what musical segments I can watch and rewatch–Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain!

    (I hope I did that link correctly. 🙂 )


  2. White Christmas is an Anniversary watch each holiday season! Love the entire group of artists, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye.

    Not at well known but equally exciting to watch was Yankie Doodle Dandy, a film with James Cagney portraying composure George M. Cohan with a brilliant dance off with Eddie Foy Jr.

    Tap-dancer Ann Miller in Easter Parade and any Fred Astaire vehicle!

    Sorry but I get carried away with Musicals


  3. Typing too fast should be (Composer) Sorry!


  4. Awww ya beat me to it ReReader. Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ In The Rain” was going to be featured at a later date. But it deserves as many mentions as possible. His performance is contagiously inspiring. Passionate dancing at it’s best! Thanks for including it here.


  5. Couldn’t agree more! Adolph Green (who wrote the book with Betty Comden) used to tell the story of showing that scene to Leonard Bernstein, and being afraid of what he’d think, but after the dance finished, Bernstein turned to him and said, “That’s just the pure joy of life!”


  6. I adore the dance sequences with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse from Singin’ in the Rain.


  7. Here’s another pairing of the two from Singin’ in the Rain:


  8. This is my all time fave, Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds “Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain,


  9. Janey – I will be featuring this video very soon. I love it as well!!


  10. MCL..*high 5!*


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