Ted Shawn

modern pioneer of dance (i know him as Teddy :)

His Journey...

Teddy attended the University of Denver. There he caught a serious case of diphtheria. (a communicable bacterial disease that causes inflammation of the nose, throat and windpipe) this disease lead him to take up dance in 1910 to regain his muscle strength. 4 years later he married Ruth St Dennis and they opened the first Denishawn School of dance in Los Angeles, California. Denishawn was designed to bolster body, mind and spirt. Denishawn only lasted until 1931, as long as the couples marriage :P


The name Denishawn is a mix between the couples name. eg Ruth St Dennis, Ted Shawn

How did Teddy contribute to the development of Modern Dance?

After the separation of Ruth and Teddy, Ted went off and formed a group of his own, known as Ted Shawn and his Men dancers. The movement of these male dancers was strong and athletic. Ted and his men dancers slowly started to become more well known as time went on.

This was such a significant thing to happen in the history of dance! why? Well it helped take away the judgements against male dancers. Even though these things still happen today. it is more common to see a male contemporary, ballet dancer, and other forms of dance, preforming on stage or taking dance lessons.

My Opinion...

I think Ted and his dancers where truly remarkable. They where willing to put them selves out there and dance there butts off, not worrying about what people thought of them. Which for many is a really hard thing to do! I admire them as dancers and people.


The most famous piece of advice that Ted shawn gave to his dancer was "when in doubt, twirl."