Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Six Hoops at once! Arthur Ward and his assistant Florence Dane. Fifty Years of Juggling

Francisco Alvarez in his book Juggling: It's History and the Greatest Performers mentions Arthur Ward practicing the same 6 hoop trick for hours at Bothner's  Gymnasium on 42nd Street. Whether Florence Dane (below) practiced with him is unknown.  In fact Florence is unknown, period.  But Arthur?  check him out…the "dash of humor" is his facial hair.

They say all press is good press, but not the one below, which I cribbed from the Miami News in 1951, in which Florence is not only referred to only as "a shapely lass clad in black" sucks because Arthur dropped his hoops!  He shoulda practiced a bit longer.

Jeez, cut him some slack.  Arthur is reported doing the same act FIFTY YEARS EARLIER IN 1915, unless there was more than one Arthur Ward, the Hoop Juggler.  Can you imagine being on the vaudeville trail fifty years?  I wonder how many shapely lasses he went through!    He got good, as for quite a while he was the ONLY six hoop performer and held the record.  At that time, his assistant  was referred to as an "eccentric dancer" which makes me think I would have enjoyed the act, then taking place in Canada.  What exactly is an eccentric dancer?  Elaine at the Christmas party on Seinfeld?   

I do see he redeemed himself with a good review in 1935.  Persistence.  In 1950, the LA Times calls him "toothy" but I can't tell if they mention his traveling partner than, as the paper requires a "Pay per View" just like Arthur and Florence.  He WAS clearly using Florence two years later though…in Spokane.  At the time he was traveling with a bill which included "Brats, unicycle and trampoline…monkeys…and sway pole."

Miami showbiz scribe Herb Rau reviews his act briefly that year, but he is far more impressed with a bird which whistles tunes. 

IN 1959 Arthur was still a juggler, comedy dancer and 72 years old according to the American Guild of Variety Artists.  But that's about it I guess, and sadly even his record has been broken.  Some other juggler has mastered SEVEN hoops, I am afraid.

What about Florence Dane?  Well, she's mentioned appearing with Arthur at intermission of the First Annual K.C.  Aviation Ball in 1953…just before the article mentions the door prizes will be an electric toaster and a set of steak knives.  Good gig!

Super sexologist Gloria Brame, who I have been fortunate enough to cyber-acquaint myself with, ran this very picture of Florence, but I think she cribbed it before I bought it on ebay.  Alas, I fear Florence will always be playing second fiddle with the hoops.

Ebooks ($5.99 each) and books by Jim Linderman are HERE

Original Photograph of Florence Dane with press clippings collection Jim Linderman

Photo of Arthur Ward from ebay.

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