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One student punched Hallburn. The teacher immediately dropped the boy from his program. But many troubled teens turned around their lives. Of his successes, Hallburn allows, “I treated everyone with respect.”. The retired teacher recalls one 12-year-old boy who saw a man stab his mother to death. “He vowed to kill the guy when he got out of jail.”. Certain the boy meant to carry out his promise, Hallburn mentored the teenager. After the student graduated high school, the teacher helped him find a job. The young man, Hallburn reports, provided for his family working as a custodian until retirement.
Some may call Hallburn’s work as a teacher and mentor typical, and they would be correct, Teachers are the fuel for America’s future, Still, Hallburn points out it’s way more fun to talk entertainment, Ninety years ago, a former Ziegfeld chorus dancer named Ethel Meglin launched a ballet shoes black studio for children up to 16 years old, Her crew went by a number of names, but what stuck most was the moniker, “Meglin’s Kiddies.”, Her constellation of actors included a dream collection of super stars: Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney – and a young Sid Hallburn..
It turned out Hallburn was a solid singer and actor, but not great. Instead of star billing, he was happy filling in as backup in the “Our Gang” short films that later became known as the “Little Rascals.”. But few could match Hallburn in tap dance. He practically burned through floors with his shoes of steel. “The whole thing was built on fun,” Hallburn recalls. There was plenty of ice cream and cookies and lots of play. Producer Hal Roach even had pool parties at his house. No worries, Rouch’s pool was only two-feet deep. “If you can’t swim,” the producer told the child actors, “just stand up.”.
Hallburn’s favorite star was Gene Kelly, “He was one in 10 million,” the retired teacher recalls, “He had looks, charm, he was friendy with everyone, Even the men were stunned.”, Not a tall man, Hallburn nearly became Mickey Rooney’s backup when both ballet shoes black were about 15 years old, But it wasn’t to be and over time, Hallburn had fewer and fewer roles, Still, Hallburn struck up a friendship with bodybuilder Jack LaLanne after Hallburn taught one of Lalanne’s children how to swim, In 1984, for LaLanne’s 70th birthday, the fitness buff towed 70 rowboats across Long Beach Harbor..
Hallburn rode in the fourth boat. The tap dancer attributes his own health to martial arts, stretching, eating yogurt, salmon, turkey, fruit and, of course, dancing every day. Just a few years ago, Hallburn got his second shot at stardom. This time the name of the company was – and remains – “Forever Young, America’s Oldest Act of Professional Entertainers.”. Tellingly, during a performance last week outside St. Wilfrid’s Church in Huntington Beach, the menu included corn on the cob.
In a good way, Forever Young is a little corny, It’s also very cool, Ten musicians ballet shoes black rip into an up-tempo version of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The blend of trumpet, dueling banjos and 92-year-old Jimmy Noon’s saxophone swings, “Precious” Jade Teo brings singer Peggy Lee to mind when Teo croons a sexy, “Fever,” and successfully coaxes couples to snuggle under her sizzle, Marlys Pearson, now 83 and a veteran Las Vegas showgirl, asks a columnist if he wouldn’t mind dancing, He quickly agrees – so long as they both understand what plays at St, Wilfrid’s stays at St, Wilfrid’s..
Hillburn finally returns to the concrete, er, stage and tells the gathering of about 100 people, “My mind says, ‘Go for a super fast finish. But my feet say otherwise. “Let’s try this,” he announces, “You yell, ‘Go feet.’”. The crowd responds and so do Hillburn’s feet. His shoes become a dizzying blur, heels clicking like crazy, toes tapping a torrent of time-steps. Hillburn takes a small bow, the crowd claps and the entertainer beams. His body whispers an old Frank Sinatra tune, “Thanks for the memories.”.
Today my 11-year-old niece emailed me from Berkeley to ask me to buy raffle tickets “to win $300 cash, an Amazon Echo, a Fitbit and more.”, She said this was “to raise money for things like art, science, P.E., dance and drama.”, What kind of world do we live in when even “the most liberal town in America” can’t fund essential programs in its public schools with taxpayer dollars? Instead, they teach ballet shoes black kids that gambling on a lottery win is a fine fun habit?..