No doubt you answered Ginger Rogers, and you would be partially right. However, in my book the correct answer is: Cyd Charisse.

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly - Singin in the Rain

Who? you ask… I had never even heard of her until about a year ago when I was watching Singin’ in the Rain with my Grandma A. Who was that silent, long-legged beauty that Gene Kelly danced with in the dream sequence? Cyd Charisse, Grandma said– she was famous for her legs and dancing ability. After Ginger, there was Cyd.

Cyd Charisse - BandwagonI have since become fascinated by Cyd, and have since come to know her through films such as The Bandwagon and Silk Stockings. I love the slightly gangly way she danced and of course she always looked fabulous.

One of my favorite dance scenes from the golden age of Hollywood musicals is the Dancing in the Dark sequence in The Bandwagon, starring none other than Cyd and Fred Astaire. I love how they seamlessly transition from walking to dancing– you can’t quite figure out where to draw the line. You know when you are walking with someone that you really like and you fall into the same rhythm of walking together, and draw just a little bit closer to each other, without touching? Well, wouldn’t it be great if the two of you happened to be in Central Park, and came to a clearing and just spontaneously broke into an extended ballet sequence? Here’s what happens…

By the way, Cyd Charisse is still around and she is still looking beautiful. In 2006 she was awarded the National Medal of the Arts and Humanities at the White House, honoring her contributions to the world of cinema and dance.

Links: Cyd Charisse on Wikipedia , Cyd Charisse on IMDB