Candace Caldwell, a native New Yorker, was a student at New York’s Ballet Theatre and an original member of Ward Fleming’s New York Negro Ballet. She toured with the company through England, Scotland, and Wales. New York’s Daily News reported in 1957 that Caldwell acted as “Mount Vernon’s unofficial ambassador of good will” on the tour, visiting the mayors of London and Dublin.
At 20 years old, Caldwell appeared on the cover of the April 1958 issue of Jet Magazine, featured as one of the up-and-coming Black ballet dancers finding work in interracial companies. She appeared with Talley Beatty and Company in The Road of the Phoebe Show at Jacob’s Pillow in 1960 and in the original Broadway cast of The Happiest Girl in the World in 1961. Caldwell was said to be “very pretty and [to have] a ‘spirited attack.’”