VIDEO: Sally Rand’s Fan Dance at the Chicago World’s Fair (1934)

June 1, 1934

Sally Rand and her famous fan dance. She toyed with the indecency laws of the 1930s by appearing to dance in the nude behind feather plumes. According to Joanne Perez, Sally Rand was wearing an invisible sheer leotard, so was technically “clothed.”

Sally Rand’s Fan Dance at the Italian Village, Chicago World’s Fair, 1934.  Sally Rand was infamous for performing a “nude” fan dance outdoors at the Fair. According to Joanne, Sally wasn’t completely nude; rather she was wearing a very sheer leotard, which helped her to get around the laws against public nudity and indecency of that time period.

Pepito and Joanne also worked at the Italian Village. Joanne strolled about and played the accordion. Sally Rand of course didn’t dance all day long in the hot sun. In between her performances, Pepito would perform his own comic “travesty” version of Sally’s fan dance, using his own set of feather fans and wearing a pair of toilet plungers for a bra.

A “travesty” is an old vaudeville term for a “send-up” or parody of another person’s act.

And for your viewing pleasure, a version of her famous “Bubble Dance”, date unknown.

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