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Portrait of Ulysses Thompson

Stage Name

Birth Name

" Slow Kid "

Ulysses Thompson

U.S. Thompson
" the Black Sousa "

     Thompson ran away from home at the age of fourteen. After working as a cook in the Mighty Hagg Circus found a job dancing in a medicine show. Thompson started his career in the traveling Gillie and Medicine shows in the 1910's and eventually worked his way up to the Keith Vaudeville shows in the 1920s.

   Thompson got his nickname by doing a remarkable slow motion dance routine. He was an excellent Tap and Acrobatic dancer as well. The New York Times called him 'Jumpin Jack' in their critic of the Plantation Revue. Thompson met a young singer and dancer named Florence Mills (1895-1927) while he was the dance director of the show 'The Tennessee Ten'.

   In 1918 Thompson was drafted by the U.S. military in W.W. I. and served overseas in France. After his return home, he rejoined with the Tennessee Ten and Mills. The two later married in 1921 ( Mills 2nd Marriage) and Thompson became a very devoted husband and manager until her tuberculosis related death in 1927. He later married Curtis who was the widow of Cecil Mack. Thompson died in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1990.

Birth Place

Birth Date



Prescott, Arizona 1888-1990 Florence Mills n/a
    Dr. Gertrude Curtis  

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Acrobatic Tap Lou Keane Swanee River (w/Keane)
Baltimore Buzz            
Legomania (Rubberlegs)            
Slow Drag            
Soft Shoe            
Tap Dance            

Night Clubs



Plantation Club (1921) n/a (Many Carnivals, Medicine Shows, Circus & Gillies)
    1902 - Mighty Hagg Circus
        1920 - Folly Town (with Mills)
        1920s - Keith Vaudeville Circuit
        1921 - Palnatation Revue (with Mills)
        1921 - Shuffle Along
        1924 - Dixie to Broadway
        1929 - Woof, Woof (1929)
        1930 - Plantation Revue (1930)
        George J. Loose's Carnival (Florida)
        Pa Patterson Medicine Show  (Texas)
        Parkers Mighty Show (Kansas)  
        The Tennessee Ten' (Director)




n/a n/a 1921 - Womens Wear Magazine
            $ Jazz Dance (Marshall Stearns)