Showgirl Story Time: Bluebell dancers

What are Bluebell Dancers?

Bluebell dancers are part of a world-famous troupe of classically trained dancers that toured the world and embellished Showgirl productions. In this video I am talking about my time as a Bluebell dancer in Jubilee! To learn more about what a Bluebell dancer is, watch the video!


Gazealous Costume:
Crown and body chain by Athena and Phelyx
Feathers, bra, g string, jewelry, shoes, dress by Athena

Welcome back to another showgirl story time. Today I’m going to be talking about the Bluebells, and that was the first role that I got to dance when I first got Jubilee.

So the Bluebells are named after a famous woman who created a troupe of girls called the Bluebells now they were called the Bluebells because her nickname was Miss BLUEBELL, her name is really, Margaret Kelly, and she started this troupe back in 1934. It grew to such an amazing troupe of women that internationally, the name if you said you were a Bluebell dancer, it was quite a prestigious role.

So, Donn Arden wanted the Bluebell girls in Jubilee. And so Miss Bluebell auditioned some new girls, and brought them over from the UK, where she, where she was from. And the bluebells in Jubilee and I believe in most other shows were all covered dancers. They all wore bras and they danced. They really did dance, they were the dancers, the main dancers, of the, of the show. They danced their butts off, so I remember being a BLUEBELL, and just always running pretty much on stage.

The Bluebells are broken out into four lines of women, the A and B line, and C and D line together. So A and B were the short bluebells and those girls ranged in height from five eight to about five ten. And then the tall, Bluebells were about five ten and up. I’m five nine, I don’t know how I made it into the tall Bluebell line but it was, it was where I went. And I’m so happy to have been in that room with all of those beautiful girls.

So they arranged the A B and C and D lines together so AB, usually did similar roles, and then C and D were doing other types of roles in the show. Each line had about six girls, so the tall bluebells had about 12 Girls plus a swing and a captain when I was in the show.

And if you’re curious about what a swing or captain is, make sure to check out the video about captains and swings, so that’s pretty much it about Bluebells.

You will be learning more, if you have not heard the show goes live podcast, please take a listen. You can go to showgirls dot life backslash podcast to find the latest episode. I recommend starting from the beginning, and learning, you know, step by step what it was like to be in Las Vegas showgirl. So check that out, and I will see you next time at the next show real story time. Bye!

Showgirls Life Podcast | A Podcast about Las Vegas Showgirls


Join Athena Patacsil, former principal dancer in Donn Arden’s Jubilee!, as she preserves the history of the Showgirl and the Showgirl production shows through interviews and oral histories in this podcast about Las Vegas Showgirls. Not just for Showgirls!

2 thoughts on “Showgirl Story Time: Bluebell dancers”

  1. Lizzie Plowman

    So, I have recently met a lady who was a Bluebell dancer possibly in the 1950’s. We are trying to understand as much as we can about the Bluebells (particularly in that time frame) in order to offer some emotional support. I would be pleased to be pointed to a source of archive perhaps where I can learn more?

    1. Athena Patacsil

      There is not an archive of the Bluebells publicly available online, but the UNLV library has a number of Miss Bluebell’s scrapbooks that can be viewed in person. I have a couple of resources that you can start with here on my site:

      The Showgirls Life Podcast

      Specifically ep 039 with Janet Kravenko who was a Bluebell from the UK in the 50s-60s

      You can also read Bluebell by George Perry which is an authorized Biography about Miss Bluebell.

      There are a number of Facebook groups frequented by Bluebell dancers and adjacent performers from shows the Bluebells starred. You can also listen to Bluebells Forever Podcast by Sheri Lewis which has been interviewing performers in Bluebell shows for the past 2 years.

      Good luck with your search! It’s unfortunate that there are not more resources available. Many dancers have declined interviews due to fear of losing their current jobs if the world found out about their former Bluebell lives.

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