Frederic Franklin in Valerie Bettis' A Streetcar Named Desire (1952). Photo courtesy DM Archives

#tbt: Our 10 Favorite Frederic Franklin Photos from the DM Archives

In the June 1974 issue of Dance Magazine, our cover subject was the endlessly charming Frederic Franklin, then 60 years old. After declaring at the age of 4 that he was "going to be in the theater," the Liverpool-born dancer spent a lifetime doing exactly that.


He had his professional debut at 17, bouncing between cabarets, music revues and corps de ballet work before landing first with the Markova-Dolin Ballet and then the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where he formed a famed partnership with Alexandra Danilova. His work as a ballet master and director at companies across the U.S. (notably at Cincinnati Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the now-defunct National Ballet) left an indelible mark on the development of American ballet. "I believe that talent is like a piece of elastic," he told us. "One has to stretch it. And we must always return to our roots, not simply to the barre every morning, but to the true spirit of the dance—to the magical aspect of theater. That magic exists in all great dancers and they sustain each other, with this wisdom and genius." The beloved teacher and performer continued to appear in character roles until the age of 95.

Constantine, Courtesy DM Archives

Alexandra Danilova and Franklin

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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