there in a subordinate
part in the Burlesque "In re. Becca" and after appeared
at the Drury Lane Theatre in Pantomime.
Kate, by her own institution
of the long-skirted form of dancing, called the Skirt
Dance, took by storm the hearts of all theatergoers, for the
grace and charm of the new style could not be denied, and the
superiority. On the model of Kate Vaughan's style is built practically
all that is best in the stage dancing of the day, and had it not
been for her happy inspiration a very different type of dancing
might have been in vogue.
In all of these, Kate Vaughan
won her way into the hearts of the people, and no one was more
sorry than her Gaiety audiences when she relinquished her dancing
shoes for the theatre. If it had not been for her dancing prowess
that so completely overshadowed her efforts in this direction,
she might have made a big name for herself as an actress also.
As it was, her rendering of Peg Woffington in 'Masks and Faces'
drew forth the genuine praise of the critics, and in many other
parts she showed that she had the capabilities of a great actress.
Not all of her appearances
were received well. the Era Newspaper stated that ... At the play
la Doda, a three act folie-vaudeville by Edmond M. Gondinent which
was held at the Varieties in Paris on February, 24th, 1876. The
theatre was packed in anticipation of her appearance. She came
on stage and started to dance and was almost booed off stage by
the parisians. For some reason they thought she was going to do
a more familiar gymnastic style of dance, rather than her pantomimes
of the time. The show had to redo the parts for her in subsequent
performances. They thought her to be a very pretty girl and lovely
and graceful dancer and a Pantomime of exquisite perfection, but
not at all what they expected or wanted (citation: 2/27/1876 -
The Era pg.5).
Kate is credited by the English
to have been the first dancer to wear "Lace Petticoats on
the stage, which she did at the Gaiety on 12/24/1880 version of
the "Forty Thieves." She was said to have a dainty voice
that did not project very well and her singing, which sometimes
she insisted to do or wouldn't take the part in the show was bad
if not horrible. It was the Burlesques
that her people loved to see her. They loved her costumes and
her dancing and many recalled the tumultuous applause that greeted
her as Alice in 'Dick Whittington' -- one of her big hits, when
she made her bow, dressed in a lilac-tinted early Victorian costume,
with white furs and a big white muff. Her health failing, she
went to Australia, 1896, and South Africa in 1902, dying at Johannesburg
in 1903. How different was all this to her last days, forgotten
and almost unknown, in far-off Johannesburg!.
Kate married Colonel Hon. Frederick
Arthur Wellesley, son of Henry Richard Charles Wellesley the 1st
Earl Cowley and the grand nephew of the Duke of Wellington. His
mother was the Hon. Olivia Cecilia FitzGerald-de Ros. Kate and
Colonel Hon. Frederick Arthur Wellesley were divorced in 1897
and a huge scandal ensued. She was also known to always wear Long
Black Gloves and carry a lace handkerchief.
NOTE: Some books cited The Skirt dance as the
'Twentieth Century Skirt Dance.'