Western History & Genealogy Blog
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This subject came about when I stumbled upon a folder in our undigitized collection. Of course, I was looking for something much more mundane, just a drawing of dancing girls, and behind it noticed a folder for Dances, Exotic. These are truly great images and after showing the photos to some of my coworkers, it was mentioned that one of Burlesque’s queens had passed away earlier this month. Dixie Evans, The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque, passed away at the age of 86. She was loved by one and all. She helped take care of her friend Jennie Lee who had created a burlesque museum with her old memorabilia. She expanded the collection of Jennie Lee’s into the Exotic World Burlesque Museum and Striptease Hall of Fame. This brings us back around to the fabulous photographs I found in the collection. Only one woman is identified out of this group of photos from the Ralph D. Lee collection. Rosita Royce – known as the Doves Dancer – was one of the most popular dancers in the 1930’s. Her act was to fill her mouth with birdseeds and pose while 7 trained doves carried off pieces of her evening gown. She performed her dance at the NY 1939 World’s Fair. She came up with this dance after saying that Sally Rand stole her bubble dance. Hope you enjoy these photos from our undigitized photograph collection.