Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dot Reid's Dance Stunt

Back when we were in Monroe, Michigan to teach a class at the River Raisin Center, I mentioned the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.

I had come across a history of the bridge that noted that a "toe dancer" had made her way across the span in its early history. With a little research, I've managed to find some more information on this moment from dance history.

In 1929, Dot Reid, the 16 year-old pictured on th left established a long-distance toe-dancing record, according to the Olean Evening News. Reid billed herself as the "niece of Wallace Reid, late matinee idol." and performed her achievement to the tune of a jazz band which rode along beside her on a truck as she tippy-toed the two mile span and then continued on her toes to the Windsor City Hall to pass a letter from Congressman Robert H. Clancy to the Windsor mayor.

It took her 36 minutes and 40 seconds and she won $250 for the stunt. (How much would they have to pay you to toe-dance for two miles?)

Tip Toe Through the Tulips - Eydie Gormé