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Ted Shawn in a picture pose while dancing with Ruth St. Denis

Stage Name

Birth Name

Ted Shawn

Edwin M. Shawn

    Ted Shawn had Diphtheria as a college student that left him Paralyzed for about a year and used dancing as a form of therapy. Ted was over six feet tall and weighed 175lbs. Moving to Los Angeles he opened a dance studio and joined forces with Norma Gould, here he would make one of the first dance motion pictures 'Dancing of the Ages'. During a tour in New York he met Ruth St. Denis (1878-1968) and married her almost immediately on August 13, 1914. Together they formed the Denishawn studios and dancers.

    He was very much into church related dances and dancing ( Studied to be a minister in college,) and being over six feet tall and 175 lbs. was not your typical ballet dancer, so he made many changes in dancing for church purposes as well as a more masculine form of dancing for large men. Shawn created many dance works including 'Job, Xochitl, Cuadro Flamenco' and more.

    He started a all Men's dance troupe that lasted for seven years ( Till 1933,) which did a great deal to change Americans minds on Men Dancing and purchased 'Jacobs Pillow' ( Dance retreat) in Lee, Mass. During world war I, served in the United States Army, first as an enlisted man, then an Officer. Also published many articles and books on dance.
| More Photos |

Birth Place

Birth Date



Kansas City, MI 10/21/1891 - 1/9/1972 Ruth St. Denis (1914-1931) n/a

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballroom Norma Gould n/a
Ballet Ruth St. Denis      
Ethnic Dance

Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers

Flamenco Barton Mumaw      
Modern Dennis Landers      
Thematic Dance Frank Overlees      
      Fred Hearn      
      Foster Fitz-Simmons      
      Wilbur Mc Cormack      

Night Clubs, etc.



Jacobs Pillow Belasco Theater** (1942) Cosmic Dances of Shiva
      Carnegie Hall* (1934) Cuadro Flamenco
            Death Of Adonis
            Divine Idiot, The
            Dome, The (dancers)
            Doodle Dandy of the USA** (1942)
            Feather of The Dawn
            Flamenco Dances ( Cuadro Flamenco )
            Four American Folk Dances
            Invocation to the Thunderbird
            Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
            Kenitec Molpai
            Mevlevi Dervish
            O Libertad (dancers)
            Prometheus Bound
            St. Francis
            Ted Shawn and his Male Dancers*




$ 1988 - Denishawn - Birth of... n/a 1928 - Ted Shwan: Havelock Ellis
1912 - Dancing Of The Ages       1948 - Whitman: His Immortal Leaves
            1949 - Dance Encyclopedia ( Chujoy)
            $1974 - Dance We Must ( Studies in Music)
            $1976- Soaring: Dairy of a Denishawn
            $1979 - Drama of Denishawn Dance
            $1979 - 1000 One Night Stands
            $1985 - Every Little Movement
            $1985 - Sixteen Dances in Sixteen Rhythms
            $1988 - Shawn's Fundamentals of Dance
            $Ted Shawn - Father of American Dance
            Many Dance Magazine Articles
            7/1930 - The Dance (Magazine)
            American Ballet, the
            Beautiful upon the Mountain
            Dance We Must
            $1985 - Every Little Movement
            $1988 - Shawn's Fundamentals of Dance
            Gods who dance
            How Beautiful Upon the Mtn.
            Ruth St. Denis - Pioneer & Prophet
            Thirty-three years of American Dance