Born in 1942 in Washington D.C., LaVerne Ligon started dancing at age nine at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet. At 18, Ligon joined the Capitol Ballet. On May 29, 1964, she performed with company in Doris Jones’ Color, Bach for Six, and Flair for Movement, but her time at Capitol Ballet did not last long. After she missed a class observed by George Balanchine (instead opting to attend an ROTC ball with her boyfriend), Ligon was dismissed from the company. She then worked extensively in Las Vegas and in Hollywood. She appeared in the all-Black production of Hello Dolly, on Joan Rivers’ tour as a backup dancer, and Hallelujah Hollywood at the MGM Grand Hotel, among other productions.
In 1982, Ligon had to end her dance career due to an injury. She then established the Simba Talent Development Center, exposing at-risk youth to the arts.
Voices: an exploration of Black Las Vegas through the resources in UNLV Special Collections and Archives: LaVerne Ligon, UNLV University Libraries
Transcript of interview with LaVerne Ligon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The Washington Post, 7th June 1964, p. G4