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Jack Cole and Rita Hayworth dancing

Stage Name

Birth Name

Jack Cole

John Ewing Richter


    American Dancer and Choreographer, today is known as the "Father of Theatrical Jazz Dance"  by giving it a syncopated, cool sense of power and gravity. Cole attended the Columbia University in New York, but after seeing a great performance by the Denishawn dance company soon left school to seek a dance career.

    Eventually landing in Hollywood and choreographed many Musical Films he would start evolving Jazz dance in his musicals to new heights with his unique style of dance, he was not afraid to incorporate sensual movement, bumps and grinds etc. into his choreography plus his use of emphasized isolations, angled foot placements, quick directional changes, and long knee slides.  

    Worked with such stars as Gwen Verdon ( Assistant Choreographer to Cole,) Marilyn Monroe, Gower and Marge Champion, Rita Hayworth, Tommy Tune, Rod Alexander, Ann Miller and Lauren Bacall and many, many others.

    Jack Cole began as a modern dancer with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn and later Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey. Cole had a back ground in East Indian dancing and styled much of his work after another dancer named Bhaskar. He was also an avid devotee of American Vernacular dances such as the Charleston and the American Lindy hop. Many dance Choreographers watched, studied and or copied Cole. He was an absolute inspiration to Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon and many other well known dancers today.

Birth Place

Birth Date



New Brunswick, NJ 4/27/1911 - 2/17/1974 n/a n/a

Jack Cole Quote: " The trouble with choreography is you have to get the person out of the way before you can bring out the dancer."

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Jack Cole Dancers

Ballet Alice Dudley Carol Haney
Ballroom Anna Austin      
Charleston Chita Rivera      
Flamenco Denishawn dance Company      
Jazz Florence Lessing(w/ Cole in Moon Over Miami)      
Ethnic ( East Indian Dance) Gwen Verdon      
Lindy Hop Jack Cole and Company      
Modern Dance Jack Cole Dancers      
Swing Ron Field, Jim Hutchenson, Tom Osteen      


"What Is Jazz" ...with Cole and Chita Rivera


Jack Cole Documentary Trailer

Night Clubs



Chez Paree (1940s) 44th St Theatre (1942) 1933 - The Dream Of Sganarelle (MOLIERE)
Harem Club 46th St Theatre (1961) 1934 - Thumbs Up (danced)
Rainbow Room Adelphi Theatre (1944) 1942 - Keep 'Em Laughing (danced)
Savoy Ballroom Alvin Theatre (1943) 1943 - Something For The Boys (chor)
Slapsy Maxie's Imperial Theatre (1959) 1944 - Allah Be Praised (chor)
      St. James Theatre (1934) 1947 - Bonanza Bound
      Winter Garden Theatre (1950) 1948 - Allah be Praised
      Ziegfeld Theatre (1947) 1948 - Magdalena
            1950 - Alive and Kicking (JC Dancers)
            1953 - Kismet
            1959 - Jamaica
            1958 - Carnival at Flanders
            1961 - Donnybrook
            1962 - A Funny Thing Happened on the way to ...
            1962 - Kean
            1964 - Foxy
            1965 - Man Of La Mancha
            1966 - Chu Chem
            1967 - Mata Hari
            1969 - Bomarzo
        Ziegfeld Follies




$1941 - Moon Over Miami (danced & group) Sid Ceaser Show (What is Jazz #) (clip) 9/1959 - Playboy
1944 - Kismet (Chor)            
1945 - Eadie was a Lady (Dancer)            
$1945 - Tonight and Every Night (Chor)            
$1946 - Al Jolson Story (Chor)            
$1946 - Gilda (Chor)            
1946 - Meet Me on Broadway            
1946 - Tars and Spars            
1946 - Thrill of Brazil (Chor)            
$1947 - Down To Earth (Chor)            
$1951 - David & Bathsheba (Chor)            
1951 - On The Riviera (Chor)            
1951 - Meet Me After The Show            
$1952 - The Merry Widow (Chor)            
1953 - The I Don't Care Girl (Chor)            
$1953 - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes            
$1953 - Farmer Takes a Wife (Chor)            
$1954 - River of no Return (Chor)            
$1955 - Three For The Show            
$1955 - Kismet (Chor)            
1955 - Gentlemen Marry Brunettes            
$1957 - Designing Women (Chor)            
$1957 - Les Girls (Chor)            
1960 - Let's Make Love            
1960 - The Millionaire            
1993 - Rub Down            
Cover Girl        
Some Like It Hot        
There's No Business Like Show Bus.        
Thrill of Brazil        
Jack Cole: Denishawn - Birth Of Modern            

  • NOTE: His style is known by many as the "Cole Style" but Cole called it "urban folk dance."

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