margotfonteyns: “I really had to fight hard fo…


“I really had to fight hard for the part with Fred Astaire in Second Chorus. He didn’t want to dance with an amateur. I took private lessons on the side–even on Sundays. I did all right in the test, and Fred said I could do the dance with him, although I knew he wasn’t too keen about it. When rehearsals began, I started coming in at 1 o’clock. Then I came at noon–then 11, and 10. Finally I was coming in at 8 o’clock. I wasn’t working. I was just watching Fred. My interest got him more interested. Finally he let his own dances go and worked with me. I danced until my feet were blistered and bleeding. But I loved it: I knew that if I put in this servitude something had to come of it.

“We had six weeks of rehearsal and then we did the dance in three takes–in half an hour, although three days are usually allotted for Fred Astaire’s dances. Mrs. Astaire came at noon to see the dance but we had finished it before she got there. Fred Astaire seldom cares to see his rushes, but he went in to see our dance, and he came rushing out to get me. ‘Where is she?’ he cried. ‘Bless her heart–just come and see this kid slap it out!’” –Paulette Goddard