Ann Dvorak Does the Hoosier Hop
I love YouTube and am so grateful to the handful of individuals who routinely post clips of bizarre numbers from early sound musicals. Ann Dvorak was an MGM chorine and assistant choreographer to Sammy Lee from 1929-1931 and shows up in many features and shorts. Despite the flailing arms and sometimes clumsy footwork (which apparently was the style at the time), Ann is usually the enthusiastic standout in the musical numbers. In scene stills, she is usually (as my husband calls it) spiking the camera with her goofy but adorable 17-year-old grin.
This clip is from 1929’s It’s a Great Life starring vaudevillians Vivian and Rosetta Duncan, aka the Duncan Sisters. Ann is just to the left of Vivian (the Duncan sister on the left) and takes center stage with another gal when the sisters exit. Apparently, Ann was responsible for coming up with these dance steps, called the “Hoosier Hop” which may explain why she looks especially exited during this number.
I love this clip not only because a teen-aged Ann is featured dancing her little heart out to her own choreographic creation, but also because it is in two-strip Technicolor. These early MGM musicals marked the only time is her career that Ann was filmed in color.
Nothing like a little Hoosier Hoppin’ to start the New Year!