"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #65, Thursday, August 23, 2001
The World of Phyllis Haylor
By no means I am British nor I am a part of Blackpool or British Dance
hierarchy. So this letter is regarding the Book "The World of Phyllis Haylor"
rather than my personal glimpses of her dancing years. This book, published
by ISTD 1984, reflects the evolution and development of Modern Ballroom
dancing in a very beautiful and pragmatic way, with lots of learning through
its reading. Edited by Bryan Allen with introductory line "We believe it to
be a technical book of enduring interest to the true lover of ballroom
dancing." I understand this a synopsis of many articles written by Phyllis
Haylor on evolving technique of ballroom dancing and these were published in
"Dancing Times". Besides Nerina Shute and Mary Clarke other famous names that
appear in the book are Josephine Bradley, Frank Ford, Victor Sylvester,
However of most practical interest to the Dancing Student are the pages that are full of Pictures of dance jewels like, Wally Fryer and Violet Barnes, Victor Barret and Doreen Freeman, Len Scrivener and Nellie Duggan, Len Colyer and Doris Brace, Henry Kingston and Joy Tolhurst, Bob Burgess and Doreen Freeman, from 40's and 50s. It goes on to 70's and 80's to cover other great giants of dancing such as Desmond Ellison and Brenda Winslade, Peter Eggleton and Brenda Winslade, Bobby and Bill Irvine, Michael Houseman and Valerie Waite, Richard and Janet Gleave and perhaps many others. I mentions all these names because I feel that as dedicated students we should become familiar the historical personalities.
After reading this book a student gets a deep insight into the development of ballroom dancing and really it is wonderful to realize that Ballroom Dancing today is no different from what it was proposed to be by these scholars.
It is a very pretty looking book that belongs in every dancers bookshelf and we will scan some pages of Technique of some figures in the coming weeks. For the sake of brevity I will end here and see if you can get your hands on this book and tell me what you think.
Best Wishes, Max
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.