"It was only she[Sadie Bruce] and Sammy, and another dancing school,
of black dancing schools at that time."
Early Dance Training
"We decided what we wanted to do for the group, and we knew each other's strong suits."
The Dyerettes: The only Act of its Kind
tap dance sammy dyer chicago south side bronzeville club de lisa apollo theater clarice white pruitt acrobatics performing chorus line girls black dance school theatre sadie bruce broadway jazz music
Muriel Foster, a Chicago native, studied dance with Sammy Dyer in the 1940s and began touring as one of the original Dyerettes in 1950. With performances spanning the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, she has performed with many famous artists including Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington. After Sammy Dyer passed away in 1960, Foster joined the administration of the Sammy Dyer School of the Theater and became its director in 1998.
February 18, 2018: Muriel Foster recalls her early dance training on the South Side of Chicago and her many years touring as one of the original Dyerettes. She talks about the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre, which she now directs, and discusses its legacy of almost 90 years. Cristin Carole, niece of Shirley Hall Bass, joins at the end.
"We closed with the acrobatics...because they had never seen black girls doing it, and with no mats, and the people they just couldn't believe it."
Dyerettes' Division of Labor
"When I have to look like a little old lady who can't do anything,
then I don't want to dance."