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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Legomania / Rubberlegs
Legomania !

                    Legomania is a specialty dance done as a limited eccentric type of dancing. It is often times known as Rubberlegs or Rubberlegging. Legomania also became a trademark of male and female impersonators who would perform a variety of 'High Kicks'. Male impersonator such as Alberta Whitman of the Whitman Sisters, and female impersonators Julian Eltinge and Julian Costello.

        Henry "Rubberlegs" Williams used a variety in his acts. He combined eccentric dancing with high Kicks, wiggles and shimmies along with the Camel Walk, The Grind, Buck, Breakdown, the Boogie Woogie, The Strut, Truckin' etc. Many chorus lines of the day would also used the style of Williams. Just about al leg and hip mpvements woud be thrown at this dance over time.

      Russian / Hungarian dancing was popular in the States especially in American Vaudeville as early as 1900, but Ida Forsyne brought it to the forefront up until Tap dancers started to control the stages. Ida Forsyne, Greenlee and Drayton, U.S. Thompson, Willie Covan, Dewey Weinglass and others would excel in these quote "Russian Dances," often times calling it Legomania and sometimes a mixture these and other dances were called Eccentric dancing after WWI (see below).

       In America, the Russian dance was usually performed with what is called 'Kazotskys', where the dancer squats down, crosses their arms across their chest and kicks their legs out alternately while in this squatted position. Altho this was an already prior established Hungarian dance called Czardas and it was not and is not Russian, most Americans would not know the difference and still today see it as Russian dancing.

       Ida Forsyne was one of the first American woman to do these 'Kazotsky's' at the end of her Vaudeville performance in her Moscow program. These "Kazotsky's where done long before her but after this one performance, and her improvisations of it, she would be hailed (incorrectly) as the greatest Russian dancer of all time. For about 15 years this style Ida started would be done by many dancers on the American Vaudeville and Broadway stages from 1911 to 1925.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

USA ?1890s? African-Americans Eccentric

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Music preview clip

Music Titles

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Rubberlegs (Gayla Peevey) 1955
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Rubberlegs (Gene Smith) 1961

Night Clubs



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Video Clips (pop-up)

Films / Movies

Ballets / Stage

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1930 - Dancing to Save Your Soul (Al "Rubberlegs" Norman & Nancy Carroll) n/a
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1930 - Good News (Al "Rubberlegs" Norman)      
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1930 - Pardon My Gun(Al "Rubberlegs" Norman)      
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1933 - Smash Your Baggage      
Video Clip not available at this time 1937 - The Singing Marine (In Legomania)      
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1944 - Demobbed (watch for Moonwalk)      
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Earl "Snakehips" Tucker (Snakehips dance)      



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Other Related Dances of the time...

Apple Jacks Cakewalk Jazz Dance Truckin'  
Boogaloo Camel Walk Shake, Shimmie dances    
Breakdown Charleston Suzy-Q    
Buck dance Eccentric Tap dance    

Dancers, Choreographers etc.


Al "Rubberlegs" Norman Majiltons, the (Europe)  
Buddy Ebsen Nancy Carroll n/a
Charles Troy & Carol Lynne (in Singing Marine) 'Rubberlegs' Ray Bolger (Time Mag. 12/3/1956)  
Henry "Rubberlegs" Williams (1920s also a musician) The Three Eddies (the 3 Eddies)  
James Walker (Slim & Shorty ... aka Chuck & Chuckles)    

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...



Date Published


$ Jazz Dance: The Story of American ... Stearns, Marshall 1994 Da Capo Press




Poets / Writers

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Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Eccentric Dancing      
Tap Dancer