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 PRESERVING THE HERITAGE OF ARENAC COUNTY, MICHIGAN
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Arenac County Historical Album - Page 16a

Click on the photo to view a larger version.

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Miss_Ruth.jpg Does anyone remember Miss Ruth who taught dance lessons in or around Twining? We would be interested in any information anyone might have. We would also be interested in any information about the piano player that accompanied Miss Ruth.

Noreen from AuGres gave us this picture, and we received a number of responses from website visitors:

  • Neil in East Tawas told us that Miss Ruth operated a dance studio in East Tawas for 30 or more years and she went to the various towns in the two counties and had dance classes.
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  • Elaine from Florida wrote to say that she took tap dancing lessons from Miss Ruth. She remembers having a dance recital in Omer at the Community Hall. Miss Ruth also taught her baton twirling and acrobatics, cartwheels, handstands, headstands, etc.   This was in 1947 and 1948.  Below is Elaine's picture:

 

Miss_Ruth_student.jpg (58398 bytes)

  • Delores in Kalamazoo wrote when she saw Miss Ruth and the unknown piano player picture on our web site.   She wrote that Miss Ruth's piano accompanist was her Aunt Erma Burnside Bellville. She played for Miss Ruth's classes, recitals and benefits for over 20 years. Aunt Erma, though, couldn't read music. She played by ear. Near the end of their working together, Aunt Erma was making records of the music for Miss Ruth to use.    Delores took lessons from Miss Ruth at the Normal School in Standish and can remember recitals at the high school. She recalled that she also had students do acrobatics and that Eileen from Standish was the best at back bends.  Delores still has her baton.
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  • Erma's daughter Carol provided the following:  Miss Ruth Klish, before moving to the Tawas area, had been in vaudeville and personally knew Irving Berlin. She gave Erma sheet music signed by him.  Carol thought Miss Ruth had also been in the circus and after being hurt, turned to teaching dance. The picture on page 16 of the album was taken at Miss Ruth's home. These were sent out as Christmas cards.
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  • Gene from Standish writes: I took lessons from Miss Ruth 5-6 years in the late 40's, tap dancing and baton and gymnastics. I hated the gymnastics because I was never very flexible and every time I had to do a backbend, I'd fall backward on the floor. My friend Betty could tie herself in knots so that didn't help my self esteem either! Actually the whole thing was pretty hard to swallow for an 8 year old boy, but my mother was determined that I was to be "cultured"! Every spring we had to do the recitals. My mother had to make 2 or 3 costumes for me and my little sister, and had to sew on several hundred sequins by hand on each costume. Not only did we do the recital in Standish, but for 3-4 years I also took part in the recitals in Omer, Twining, Whittemore and Tawas. I guess I lived through the whole think ok and actually can still remember some of the tap dances, although it's not a talent that I get a lot of requests for!
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    ruths_dancing_1.jpg (180565 bytes)

    ruths_dancing_2.jpg (163969 bytes)

    A recital

    Gene and Carolea

     

  • Betty from Standish - 1953:

Miss_Ruth-Betty.jpg (179923 bytes)

  • Click here to view a program from the late 1940's.
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  • A picture of Brenda and Berma from Standish:



brenda_and_berma_from_standish.jpg (46474 bytes)
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  • Another photo:

ruths_students.jpg (33753 bytes)

  • Marie in Washington writes, "Miss Ruth was not only my dancing teacher, but a friend and second Mom for 9 years. I can still remember the many times when we climbed up on the flat roof above the dance studio, and just talked, and laid in the sun. We kept in touch over the years until her passing. She was one in a million!"
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ruth_1.jpg (21301 bytes)

ruth_2.jpg (42378 bytes)

  • A program:

ruths_program.jpg (400659 bytes)

  • We were able to locate a copy of her obituary from the Iosco County News Herald,   January 21, 1987:

Miss_Ruth_obituary.jpg (72096 bytes)

The ACHS appreciates everyone sending their memories and pictures after seeing the Miss Ruth picture on our website with our comment.  Its nice to know so many people are enjoying our website.

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Arenac County Historical Society; 304 East Michigan Avenue; P. O. Box 272; Au Gres, Michigan  48703-0272;  989-876-6399

Last updated:  05/16/2010.   Content 2005-2010 by the Arenac County Historical Society