Dance History

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

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

Rant & Rave
Dorfman in his Come, and Back Again. Ian Douglas, Courtesy Dorfman

I hate asking for money. I am tired of feeling like we, as dance practitioners, are constantly begging for every morsel of sustenance. We are often seen as the poor stepchildren of the arts, usually thought of as having nothing tangible to sell.

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Career Advice
Tarkan Seregül Photography, Courtesy Smyth

I have to admit, I've had a wonderful career. I've danced with The Royal Ballet and The Joffrey Ballet, done a stint on the West End in An American in Paris, played the Snow Cavalier in Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with Misty Copeland, and will soon be performing as Older Billy in the Australian tour of Billy Elliot: The Musical.

How did I get in this position? Through the eight international ballet competitions I've entered.

If you want to travel the world performing and doing what you love, competitions are your ticket to finding the freedom to dance wherever you want to go.

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Advice for Dancers
Getty Images

How do I get rid of seasonal depression? I fall into a funk as soon as the weather gets warmer, and I should be happy.

—Warm Weather Blues, New York, NY

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Dance Training
Getty Images

By the Sunday evening of a long convention weekend, you can expect to be thoroughly exhausted and a little sore. But you shouldn't leave the hotel ballroom actually hurt. Although conventions can be filled with magical opportunities, the potential for injury is higher than usual.

Keep your body safe: Watch out for these four common hazards.

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