April 7, 2010
As I began planning my travels for Hello From Across the Decades, I thought it would be relevant to find as many of the June Taylor Dancers possible with whom I danced forty-eight years ago on the Jackie Gleason television show in New York City, circa 1962 -1964.
I have located seven of the dancers as of this writing, and my search continues. Joan was among the first I contacted several months ago. She owns and manages a dance studio in Pompano Beach, Florida, has done so for forty-one years, and is still teaching classes.
Joan is as beautiful today, perhaps more so, than she was at eighteen. And, when we saw one another, I was filled with joy as we embraced in a big, warm hug. Our experiences on the Jackie Gleason show were unique. We are all a part of history but our little fragment took us into millions of homes every Saturday night at eight o’clock. As Joan and I talked for several hours, I realized the humility we shared about doing what we did. It was Joan’s dream to be a June Taylor Dancer. While this was not my dream, I was fortunate to dance on this show and I felt gratitude today as I renewed an old acquaintance.
As we strolled through her vast studio, my two favorite subjects, in addition to Joan, were the performance stage and old ballet barre.
After hours of catching up on our lives in what felt like a continuing conversation from forty-eight years past, I was able to capture Joan in a reflective moment still with her long, thick eyelashes, golden hair, and her sweet button-nose — all of which I remembered of her these many years.
Thank you Joan.