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This is part four of a seven-part series in which I feature guests who are all People of Color who performed in Hallelujah Hollywood!, Jubilee!, and/or Hello, Hollywood, Hello! between 1973-2016. Gayve Littles started much later than usual for a female dancer at the age of 18. With the help of her brother, and some legendary teachers such as Winston Hemsley and Rich Rizzo, she was able to learn enough to get herself into Donn Arden’s Showgirl spectacular, Jubilee!
We discuss her issues with unable to learn the choreography quick enough, her weight notices for being too skinny and being let go and then coming back two years later, as well as her move into being a line captain of the line 4 girls, formerly known as the Ebony line. She remembers those twelve years as a Showgirl as being the best years of her life. Enjoy this story as another Person of Color shares her experience in one of the largest stage shows in history!
Mentioned on the show
The filming of Rocky 4 was a big deal in the Jubilee world. Here is a music video of the scene where the spectacle of Jubilee! was used as the background of a pre-fight show in the movie. Gayve shared her experience of the filming process in a story I saved for the February guests bonus episode.
A family tragedy
Gayve spoke a bit about her little sister Tara Cleveland but did not share specifics about the tragedy that caused her family so much heartache. I did a bit of research to learn more about what happened. According to articles I found online, Tara Cleveland was murdered at the age of 25 on December 17, 1994, by two men that fled the scene but were caught many years later. The story was aired on America’s Most Wanted. It took eleven years to apprehend one of the suspects and the second was caught two years later. RIP Tara Cleveland
ep 035 Diversifying the Narrative: stories from dancers of the line formerly known as the Ebony line and beyond part 7
I had the honor of speaking to dancers from the line formerly known as the Ebony line for this special episode. Make sure to listen to each of their individual episodes in addition to this culmination of this special series. Featuring Pete Menefee, Jakki Ford, Anthony Brown, Gayve Littles, Victor Littles, Frieda Bronfin, Eileen Ryans Scott and Andrew Branche.
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