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DORIS HUMPHRIES

"We came out and did the Caledonia and we created the dance so that he could do it with us."

black woman in wide brimmed hat and wearing a broach

Chicago native, Doris Humphries, began taking dance classes from Sadie Bruce and joined a rhythm skating group at age 14. She performed in a duo, The Manhattan Debs, and toured throughout the country with Louis Jordan, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, and other musicians. After raising her family, Doris became a Latin ballroom dancer and is largely credited with introducing ballroom to the South Side. She continues to teach tap dance and ballroom in Beverly.

November 11, 2017: Doris Humphries shared memories of dancing all over the country as one half of the Manhattan Debs. She listed many performers she was able to work with and also described the segregated conditions she encountered while touring in the south. She discussed her love of ballroom dance and chronicled performances with her partner as Tony and Tanya Belle. Her amateur performance group, the Closet Performers, was described and she talked about what she still loves about teaching dance at age 93.

"We couldn't do the show because the star said she wouldn't dance if we were going to be on the show with her."

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