Museum logo
Museum logo

Photo Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number WF 0746.001
Caption Gordon Showalter
Description Gordon Lyle Showalter in costume, possibly the coolie role he created for "Lute Song". Showalter, a well-known dancer, was born in Anacortes on February 10, 1922, and grew up on Guemes Island. Showalter's parents moved to Guemes during the Great Depression (1929-1942) where they purchased land with the intent of raising chickens and strawberries. Gordon attended the Guemes School with Bud and Olive Strom. He often performed dance routines in school performances there, and later, at Anacortes High School. Wallie Funk recalled him as "a heckuva tap dancer." By the 1950s he was performing in New York, where he became a dance soloist at Radio City Music Hall. He was a soloist in the National Orchestral Society under George Balanchine, performed on Broadway with Mary Martin and Yul Brynner in "Lute Song", and organized the "Showalter Dancers" which performed in nightclubs and on television. He later began choreographing productions and ethnic dance productions, including the Folies Philippa in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He choreographed summer workshops for the San Francisco Ballet and started The Ballet Workshop Company, "one of the first serious academic ballet schools in California." He finally sold the school due to ill health. From 1958 on, he and his wife Hannelore lived in San Francisco, occasionally coming back to Guemes Island for visits. He died at Mt. Diablo Hospital, Concord, CA, on 10-10-1999. See also WF 0659, 0660 for photos of Showalter in Guemes School, and WF 4699-4702 for Brady portraits. See Wallie Funk article in the 11-10-1999 ANACORTES AMERICAN, "Guemes Island was home to respected dancer."
Date 1950s c.
Photographer Unknown
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects People
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
People SHOWALTER, Gordon Lyle
Search Terms dancer
Guemes Island
Guemes School
tap dancer
Radio City Music Hall
National Orchestral Society
Lute Song
Showalter Dancers
Folies Philippa
San Francisco Ballet
The Ballet Workshop Company
Object Name Print, Photographic