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Isadora Duncan

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Isadora Duncan

	Isadora Duncan was a famous dancer who brought a new kind of dance to the world. She danced out the feelings from deep in her heart. Unlike other dancers in the late nineteenth century, Isadora Duncan danced with flowing motion. She was not a ballerina, and did not like to watch ballet dancers, with their stiff bodies and unnatural pointe shoes. At first she was not liked, but as time went on, Isadora Duncan became a dance revolutionist people all over the world will never forget.

	Angela Isadora Duncan was born, one of four, on May 26,1877 in San Francisco, California. Her mother, Dora Duncan, was a piano teacher, and her father, Joseph Duncan was a banker, journalist, and poet. Her parents were both well educated, charming, and an altogether happy couple. However, their marriage fell apart soon after Isadora's birth.

	After the divorce, Dora was left with little money to support her four children; Augastin, Raymond, Elizabeth, and Isadora. She gave her music lessons, but still was not bringing in enough money to keep living in the same house. The family began moving from one apartment to another, learning to leave each one a day before the bills came around.

	Isadora started school at the age of five. In the late nineteenth century, students were expected to sit still during school, memorizing and reciting their lessons. To Isadora this was "irritating and meaningless." She hated school. She said later in her autobiography that her real education came on the nights when Isadora and her siblings would dance to her mother's music and learn about what they were interested in -- literature and music.

	Isadora was told as a child that she would have to learn to depend on herself to get what she needed in life. So as Isadora grew older, she began to understand her family's financial condition and was eager to help. She and her sister Elizabeth began baby-sitting to help the family. To keep their charges busy, they taught them how to dance. The dance lessons were mostly just telling them to wave their arms in the air, but it kept them busy and raised money for the family.

	In those days, when dancing was first popular, "nice" women wore clothing from chin to toe, not showing any skin. However, new kinds of dance were surfacing that allowed the "nicest" women to tak...

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...hat trip to Paris, for she died on September 14, 1927 after having dinner with her life-long friend, Mary Desti. After dinner, she hopped into a Bugatti sports car with the agent from the car company. She was wearing a long, elegant, red scarf, and as Mary Desti looked on in horror, that scarf got caught in the axis of the spinning wheel and strangled Isadora Duncan to death.

	More than ten thousand people gathered at the cemetery to watch Isadora Duncan's ashes be place next to her children's in their memorial. Even people who had watched her dance decades before came to the solemn service. To all these people Isadora Duncan meant something. She brought into the world the idea of teaching young children how to dance. Even though she knew they would not all become professional dancers, she felt that a feeling of rhythm and freedom of movement were important for one to have. She was the first to ever express her personal emotions in her public dancing. She always wore revealing clothes, often whatever she could find around her house. If you ever see a young child on a stage twirling and leaping to the words of her own feelings, they are there because Isadora Duncan danced.
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