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Portrait of Harriet Hoctor

Stage Name

Birth Name

Harriet Hoctor Harriet Hoctor

    Hoctor did many dances as well as some Keith/Orpheum Vaudeville Circuit, Minstrel shows and Burlesque shows at the Palace Theater. She would soon become a featured dancer in the 1929 Ziegfeld Follies. She also appeared in her hometown with the Walter A. Wood Company Minstrels. When she left to New York to study dance more seriously her Aunt Annie Kearney would act as her chaperone in her travels.

    Hoctor had her Broadway debut in 1920 as a chorus dancer in Jerome Kern's musical “Sally.” By 1923 she would be dancing in the Topsy and Eva show. Later, Hoctor left the stage and danced in a few movies which portrayed her famous double-jointed "Backbend" dance ( See pic) which brought her the title of "America's Most Cleverest Ballerina." She danced in such films as "The Great Ziegfeld," "Casa Manaña Review" and   “Shall We Dance,” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Hoctor opened her own school in 1941 called the "Harriet Hoctor's Boston Ballet School."

Harriet Hoctor Autograph
| More Photos |

   Hoctor danced with a cheerfulness and energy but rarely smiled, this would get her dubbed as "The Lady Who Never Smiles." When asked about it, she didn't care if anyone wanted her to smile, she was dancing for herself, not what anyone thought. Harriet loved to dance and danced only for the feeling it gave her. Every one loved Harriet as a person and dancer. In 1974 she retired, sold her studio and moved to Lorton, Virginia where she past away on June 11, 1977

Birth Place

Birth Date



Hosick Falls, NY 9/25/1903 - 6/9/77 not married n/a

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballet ( Her main form of dance) Chalif n/a
Ballroom Duncan Sisters      
Bird Dance (in Topsy and Eva) Tarasoff      
Contemporary Dance William Holbrook    
Fairy Doll Dance            
Toe-Tapping (en Pointe)            

Night Clubs



Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe (40's) 1927/30 - Ziegfeld Theater 1923/26 - Topsy and Eva
      1927/30 - Palace Theater 1927 - A la Carte
      1931 - Roxy Theater 1928 - Three Musketeers
      1931/32 - N.Y. Hippodrome 1929 - Ziegfeld Follies
    1932 - Rockefeller Center 1930 - Simple Simon
            1932 - Dying Swan
            Various Ziegfeld Revues
            1932 - Earl Carroll Vanities
            1933 - Hold Your Horses
            1942 - Diamond Horseshoe
            1972 - Reigner




$1936 - The Great Ziegfeld n/a 11/1927 - Dance Magazine
1937 - Billy Rose Casa Manaña       12/1927 - Dance Magazine
1937 - Hollywood       1936 - Ballet is Magic (book)
$1937 - Shall We Dance            
1938 - Casa Manaña Review            
1942 - Diamond Horseshoe            


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