joan

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.

"The Performance Stage" © 2010

"Old Ballet Barre" © 2010

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.

"Joan" © 2010

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