Sunday, March 15, 2015

School Days: Opal Slater and the Aesthetic Dance

Opal Slater, upper right. Denver Rocky Mountain News.  "Aesthetic Dance Popular Among Athletic Boulder Girls; University Co-eds Back to "Hockey After Wooing Tennis." 8 Dec 1912, Section Three, front page; from 

Opal Slater and some fellow co-eds "who have become enraptured by the "aesthetic dance."

Opal and her family had moved from Severy, Kansas, to Boulder, Colorado, where Opal attended college at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She was listed in the article as a junior representative of the university's the Women's Athletic Association.

Aesthetic dance was a growing dance movement, with such famous dancers as Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Loie Fuller, and schools with female students offered it as part of their athletic program.  The previous year St. Denis had performed in Denver at the "Broadway", including in "her repertoire a number of Egyptian dances depicting the early religious rites of the Egyptians" (12 Mar 1911, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Sec 3, pg. 3).

I wonder if Opal and her friends had gone to see it?
"Ruth St Denis in Egypta 1910" by Otto Sarony - Photograph by Otto Sarony.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. We'll never know if she went to see Ruth St. Denis, but we can imagine she did. I didn't know that this dance movement trickled down into the schools, as it was a bit risque, as were some of he women who performed it.