ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

One Hour With Astaire

Updated on July 11, 2015

With all the senselessness and hardships of this day and age, there is an old game which is becoming more and more popular. It’s a great game. It can provide hours of entertainment, and it’s a game everyone knows how to play, because everyone has played it at least once in their life. There are no rules to the game. It can be played in groups. It can be played alone. One can play it when relaxing in the tub after a long hard day. One can play it after paying bills and looking at the leftovers in their checking account. Or, after meeting someone through a dating site and realizing the other person has exaggerated about their appearance, height—or gender.

It’s a wonderful game. It makes one think; it makes one dream-- and it’s absolutely free

The game-- If one had an Aladdin’s lamp or a time machine—what would be one’s ultimate one fairytale wish?

Would it be a platter full of diamonds and rubies? Would it be sitting beside Da Vinci as he paints the Mona Lisa revealing her mystery? Placing a bet on the Derby winner or scaling the highest mountain? Would it be having dinner and conversation with someone like Einstein or Meir, or watching a Gershwin compose? Would it be finding a cure for ignorance, or a flight into space? Would it be watching Imelda Marcos shoe shop or being in next room, eavesdropping, as E. Taylor and R. Burton have one of their famously passionate and fiery spats?

I dedicate this article to my little sister. Who, if given a chance to experience all of the above, would set all aside-- for just one hour in a ballroom with Fred Astaire.

It is a little known fact that the man who dances will always get the girl. In fact, when it comes to wooing the girl, a guy could save himself a lot of money on dinners and jewelry if he’d only learn to dance well. This is a secret women have kept to themselves for centuries—especially the ones who really like jewelry.

Fred and Adele Astaire
Fred and Adele Astaire
Fred and Claire Luce
Fred and Claire Luce

Astaire’s first professional dance partner was his older sister, Adele. He was five years old, she was eight, and the brother and sister team would have a successful career in Vaudeville and on stage (including London stages) for over twenty years. Their act dissolved when she married.

His next professional dance partner was a woman, who apparently, the dance world and people like my sister owe a great debt of gratitude. She was a theatrical actress and dancer named Claire Luce. Astaire would co-star with her in the Broadway production of “Gay Divorce”, a play famous for the Cole Porter tune “Night and Day” and the romantic dance routine it involved. It is believed Claire Luce pushed Astaire into being more seductive when he danced by telling him, “Come on, Fred, I’m not your sister.”

The man who dances doesn’t even need to be classically handsome. Look at Fred, not very tall, kind of skinny, not even sporting a good head of hair, yet he always got the girl and not just Ginger Rogers, but girls such as Cyd Charisse and Rita Hayworth.

Yes, it was written in the script that way, but there’s still a point.

Cyd Charisse
Cyd Charisse
Fred and Cyd
Fred and Cyd

Cyd Charisse (an amazingly graceful dancer in her own right) was once asked to compare dancing with Fred Astaire to Gene Kelly (another man who’s famous for dancing extremely well) She said, Fred was naturally more graceful and “moved like glass.”

Gene and Cyd
Gene and Cyd

She then went on to say that Gene was stronger and, “when he lifts you, a girl knows she’s being lifted.”

Fred and Gene
Fred and Gene

She ended by saying, “It’s like comparing apples and oranges. They’re both delicious.”

Gliding with Astaire or being lifted by Gene Kelly? I wonder if that choice would make my sister debate?

Either way, if Turner Classic Movies is running a Fred and Ginger marathon or showing An American in Paris, don’t bother to call her; she won’t answer the phone.

Fred and Barrie Chase
Fred and Barrie Chase

Fred Astaire was still dancing professionally well into his late sixties, and in the 1960’s his professional partner of choice was a talented young dancer named Barrie Chase who was many years his junior. Fred was still skinny, never lost or gained an ounce; nor grew more hair, and the man could still moved like glass. It is said for a while their relationship was more personal than professional.


The man who dances…

Fred and Lucille Ball
Fred and Lucille Ball
Fred and Judy Garland
Fred and Judy Garland

Though I really could use a platter full of diamonds and rubies right now, and this world is in desperate need of a cure for ignorance, and though truly comprehending the meaning of E=mc2 would be kind of cool, and shoe shopping with Imelda would certainly be a kick—placing a right hand into Fred’s left might just be the way to go. It’s innocent, it’s sensual, it’s sexy, it’s seductive, it’s a woman making a man feel like a man, a man making a woman feel like a woman and it’s the perfect escape from the reality of this day and age.

Fred and Adele
Fred and Adele
Fred and Ginger
Fred and Ginger
Fred and Cyd
Fred and Cyd
Fred and Rita
Fred and Rita
Fred and Barrie
Fred and Barrie

Also-- though Gene Kelly may be the lifter-- no one dips a girl like Fred Astaire.

My sister has been keeping that one to herself for years; I’m on to her now.

Some people may think this game is a silly waste of time. Some may say one simply needs to face reality head on—and part of this is true. For there will not be change until people stand together and say enough is enough. At times people do need to get angry, but they also need to dream. Otherwise they will simply be angry all the time—that’s becoming more and more evident.

It’s a great game having an Aladdin’s Lamp or a time machine. It lowers one’s heartbeat, gives one a feeling of peace. It makes one smile even when they’re not aware they’re smiling.

One can even fantasize about world peace—but then that might be too farfetched.


Fred can even dance on the ceiling.

Yes, it is a movie trick.

But, even if you know how the trick is done—it's so much more fun when you pretend you don’t.

After all, that’s the best part of the game.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)