Fred Astaire’s Lady Dance Partners

I have always enjoyed the Fred and Ginger movies which were captivating entertainment – the music, the dancing, and the hilarious situation comedy. My parents grew up during the era of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, and they enjoyed reliving those parts of their youth. As I grew up, my parents shared their appreciation of Berlin-Porter-Gershwin-Kern musicals, as well as, swing and big band music—this included watching Astaire and Rogers movies on TV. Many years later, when I got interested in Swing, Latin, and Ballroom dancing, I instinctively watched the Astaire and Rogers films to study their dance moves and style. It wasn’t easy; I gained a whole new appreciation of just how sophisticated their dancing was, or still is, in our collective memory.

The iconic Golden Age of Hollywood dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers is legendary and well known from their ten musical films. After his partnership with Rogers, Astaire continued to dance in many films with different lady dancers.

Fred Astaire (1899-1987) is widely regarded as the greatest popular music dancer of all time. He was a dancer, actor, singer, and choreographer. He began his career in 10 Broadway and London Westend musicals and performed in 31 movie musicals. He achieved many awards, including a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Emmy, Grammy, and an Oscar nomination.

Eleanor Powell

MGM Blogathon - Six Fun Eleanor Powell Dancing Numbers — the Story Enthusiast

Eleanor Powell (1912-1982) was the greatest female dancer of the 1930s and 40s Golden Age of Hollywood. She was an actress and dancer of film, TV, Vaudeville, and Broadway. She acted with Hollywood leading men such as James Stewart, Robert Taylor, George Murphy, Nelson Eddy, Robert Young, and others.

The Astaire and Powell dance of “Begin the Beguine” is considered the best tap dance number in film history. The “Begin the Beguine” dance scene from Broadway Melody of 1940, song composed by Cole Porter.

Ginger Rogers

Born To Move Dance Studio - "CELEBRATING THE ICONS OF DANCE Ginger Rogers Best known for her film performances with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers was an Academy Award-winning actress and dancer who


Ginger Rogers (1911-1995) was an actress, dancer, and singer in film, TV, and stage. She is famous as the dance partner with Fred Astaire in 10 musical films, including Top Hat, Roberta, The Gay Divorcee, Follow the Fleet, Swing Time, and Shall We Dance. She began dancing in Vaudeville and Broadway. She made 73 films in her distinguished career and best known for non-Astaire films 42nd Street 1933, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Kitty Foyle 1940. She acted with Ruby Keeler, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, David Niven, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Joseph Cotton, Clifton Webb, and others.

I believe the best Astaire and Rogers dance together is “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” from Follow the Fleet, 1936, song by Irving Berlin.

Rita Hayworth

RITA HAYWORTH in SALOME THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS -1953- -Original title SALOME-. Photograph by Album - Pixels

Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) an actress, dancer, and singer in 61 films and best known for Gilda 1946, The Lady From Shanghai 1947, and Pal Joey 1957. She was the most popular “pin-up girl“ of GIs during World War Two. She acted with Hollywood’s leading men Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles, Glenn Ford, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, David Niven, Burt Lancaster, James Cagney, and others. She danced with Astaire in two films, You’ll Never Get Rich 1941 and You Were Never Lovelier 1942. She also danced with Gene Kelly in Cover Girl 1944.

Astaire and Hayworth dance number “So Near and Yet So Far” from You’ll Never Get Rich, 1941, song by Cole Porter.

Virginia Dale

Virginia Dale

Virginia Dale (1917-1994) actress and dancer of film and TV. She danced with Astaire in the movie Holiday Inn, 1942. She acted with Clark Gable, Bing Cosby, Donald ‘Connor, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Gene Autry, Don Ameche, and others.

“Easy to Dance With” dance number from Holiday Inn, song by Irving Berlin.

Cyd Charisse

40 Gorgeous Photos of Cyd Charisse in the 1940s and 1950s ~ Vintage Everyday

Cyd Charisse (1922-2008) dancer and actress in film, TV, ballet, and Broadway. She danced with Astaire in two movies The Bandwagon 1953 and Silk Stockings 1957. She also danced with Gene Kelly in Singin’ In the Rain 1952 and Brigadoon 1954, with Gower Champion in Till the Clouds Roll By 1946, and with Dan Daily in Meet Me In Las Vegas 1956.

The iconic dance of Astaire and Charisse “Dancing In the Dark” from The Bandwagon, 1953, music by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Deitz.

Jane Powel

Dancer, Singer, Actress JANE POWELL - Photo Signed - The Written Word Autographs

Jane Powell (1929-2021) was an actress, singer, and dancer in film, TV, radio, and Broadway. She is best known for the musical films Seven Brides For Seven Brothers 1954 and Hit the Deck 1955. Astaire and Powell danced to “Open Your Eyes” from Royal Wedding, 1951, song by Burton Lane and Alan Lerner.

Leslie Caron

'An American in Paris, Leslie Caron, 1951' Photo |

Leslie Caron (born 1931) French dancer and actress in film, ballet, stage, and TV. She was awarded a Golden Globe, 2 BAFTAs, Emmy, and an Oscar nomination. She danced with Gene Kelly in An American In Paris, 1951. Caron is also known for her roles in Gigi 1958, Fanny 1961, The L-Shaped Room 1962, and Lilli 1953. She acted with leading men Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Boyer, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, David Niven, Orson Welles, Mel Ferrer, Joseph Cotton, Dirk Bogarde, Kirk Douglas, and others.

Astaire and Caron danced to “Somethings Gotta Give” from the movie Daddy Long Legs, 1955, song by Johnny Mercer.

Vera Ellen

Vera Ellen (1921-1981) dancer and actress in film, TV, and Broadway, best known for On the Town 1949 and White Christmas 1954. She danced with Astaire in two movies: Three Little Words 1950 and Belle of New York 1952. She danced with Gene Kelly in On The Town 1949 and Donald O’Conner in Call Me Madam 1953. Actors she worked with include Danny Kaye, Cesar Romaro, Bing Crosby, Ann Miller, Ethel Merman, Red Skelton, the Marx Brothers, Tony Martin, Rosemary Clooney, and others.

The Astaire and Vera Ellen dance number “Thinking Of You” from Three Little Words, 1950.

Joan Leslie

ALL GOOD THINGS: Happy Birthday Joan Leslie (1925 - present)

Joan Leslie (1925-2015) was an actress and dancer on Vaudeville, film, TV, and radio. She is best known for High Sierra 1941, Sergeant York 1941, and Yankee Doodle Dandy 1942. Astaire and Leslie danced to “My Shining Hour” from The Sky’s the Limit, 1943, song by Johnny Mercer.

Others that Astaire danced with in films:

Rate the Dress: Shakin' the Blues Away in bright yellow - The Dreamstress

Ann Miller

  • Joan Fontaine in A Damsel in Distress, 1937
  • Paulette Goddard in Second Chorus, 1940
  • Ann Miller in Easter Parade, 1948
  • Judy Garland in Easter Parade, 1948
  • Betty Hutton in Let’s Dance, 1950
  • Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, 1957
  • Petula Clark in Finnian’s Rainbow, 1968

8 essential Judy Garland movies that aren't The Wizard of Oz |

Judy Garland



Rotten Tomatoes


Fred Astaire: An Illustrated Biography, Michael Freedland, Grosset & Dunlap, NY, 1976.

Fred Astaire: The Musical Films of Fred Astaire, John Mueller, Knopf, NY, 1985.


Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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