Sunday, January 27, 2008

Backwards in High Heels: Ginger Rogers

An occasional series about glamorous, accomplished women.

Ann Richards, the feisty Texas governor, said 20 years ago, "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards in high heels." Her point was that women often don't get credit for their accomplishments, which may be more difficult than they appear.

Rogers got plenty of credit: a 1940 Oscar for Kitty Foyle, the story of a working girl making a difficult romantic choice, and much acclaim for her roles, especially in the 1930s dance-driven hits with Astaire.

The secret to her success, according to Astaire? "She faked it an awful lot. She couldn't tap and she couldn't do this and that... but Ginger had style and talent and improved as she went along."

In other words, no one's born fabulous. So the next time someone hands you a pair of stilettos and asks you to rumba, figure it out. And show the joy, as in this clip from Swing Time:

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