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Vintage Burlesque Dancer, Pioneer: "Mabel Santley"

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Mabel Santley ... "Rentz-Santley Novelty company" Vintage Burlesque dancer photo 1

Mabel Santley ... "Rentz-Santley Novelty company."

Vintage Burlesque Dancer: Mabel Santley. Was one of the first stars and pioneer of early Burlesque in the 1870's. Became part owner of the Leavitt's 'Mme. Rentz's Female Minstrels' (1869) to the newer 'Rentz-Santley Novelty company' in the 1879 along with her partnerMichael B. Leavitt (1843-1935) and Sam T. Jacks as manger. Leavett already owned theRentz's Circus (aka: Mme. Rentz's Female Minstrels') and at first Mabel was the star Blackface attraction. The show was later renamed to include Santley.

This traveling show was where the term Burlesque would be defined and be copied by the likes of Florence Ziegfeld and others. Mabel was arrested at least once in her career for indecent exposure during the Can-Can when she lifted her skirt on 3/1879.

Tinted Photo 1: Miss Santley is seen here sitting in a leather chair, arms clasped behind her head and right leg crossed at the ankle/knee wearing white tights.

  • Birth Name: Lida Gardner (Father: W.H. Gardner/Grandfather: Dan Gardner)
  • Birth Date: n/a
  • Birth Place: n/a.
  • Married: n/a
  • Clubs/Theaters: Haverly's Theatre¹ | Star Theatre (Wis.) |
  • Films: n/a

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