First Negro Classic Ballet
Marion Spencer was a member of Los Angeles’ First Negro Classic Ballet. Along with Bernice Harrison, Theodore Crum, Graham Johnson and others, Spencer appeared in FNCB’s premiere performance at the Danish Auditorium in October 1947.
Spencer was reportedly told early in her training that “black women were not built for ballet.” According to Kenneth H. Marcus’ “Dance Moves: An African American Ballet Company in Postwar Los Angeles,” Spencer recalled “hearing that their bottoms were too large, or that their bodies were otherwise not adapted for the severe demands that classical ballet made on the human body” (Marcus 495).
Vaulted Ambitions: Stories From Where We Were to How We Got Here, Stage Raw
Black L.A 1947: America’s First Black Ballet Company Founded in L.A., The Daily Mirror
Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins
Dance Moves: An African American Ballet Company in Postwar Los Angeles, Kenneth H. Marcus