Susanne Carmina Cansino, the Last Original Member of the Dancing Cansinos, Is Dead at 90

April 20, 2021

Susanne Carmina Cansino was born on April 21, 1930, and passed on April 10, 2021, at the age of 90. She was born at the Carnegie Hall Studio apartments, to ballet dancer Susita Rossi and Spanish dancer Angel Cansino, an original member of the Dancing Cansino family.

Cansino was introduced to her first audience over the New York radio waves to advertise her recent appearance in the movie short Starlets; she was 7 years old and was featured as the youngest Spanish dance member of the Dancing Cansinos.

Her roles as a dancer on Broadway included Aries Is Rising (1939), Sally (1948), As the Girls Go (1948) and Dance Me a Song (1950), alongside Bob Fosse. Cansino carried her musical theater talent over to summer stock, touring in countless national productions.

With encouragement from family members, as well as from her first cousin Margarita Cansino, aka Rita Hayworth, Cansino proceeded to tour in her own nightclub act, performing as Susanne and the Escorts. The ensemble performed at major venues, including the Copacabana in New York City and Palmer House in Chicago. In the 1950s she appeared on various television shows, including “The Red Skelton Show,” “All Star Revue,” “Your Hit Parade” and “I’ve Got a Secret.” She finally met and worked with a new partner, American Ballet Theatre and Broadway dancer Jack Beaber, who died in 2013. They married in 1960, and each developed their own careers; Beaber became a musical theater choreographer.

Cansino last appeared on Broadway in No Strings (1962) and assisted in a tango scene for the film The Cardinal (1963). The couple then toured for 10 years in major cities of Europe and Australia, dancing in Monte Carlo, Rome, Sydney and Melbourne with their own ensemble of American songs and dances. Both finally moved to France in 1974, eventually settling in Caixas, where they spent their remaining years. —Michael Miguel Bernal, author of The Golden Age of the Spanish Dance