Shirley Gazelle, Tap Dancer


Regular price $75.00

Meet Shirley Gazelle! Shirley is made in honor of the fabulous tap dancer Shirley Gray, my grandmother! Shirley has been a dancer since she was a little girl. After high school, she became a professional tap dancer who traveled the country with with other dancers, performing in lots of cities, sometimes even with the United Service Organizations, like all the best performers of her time did. Shirley was (and is!) adventurous and brave, ready to try anything, from riding horses trick back to water skiing in news shorts to promote the city of Chattanooga. Her life as a performer was hard. She was cheated by her agent, who stole the dancers money, leaving them barely enough to live on.

Often their meals were coffee and crackers with ketchup. She loved dancing, but eventually Shirley decided to go back and take college classes in her home town, where she ended up meeting Edward Guthmann and getting married and having seven children! As I grew up, I learned over time just how talented my dancing and trick riding grandmother is. It took a while, as she is never one to brag or boast about herself. She was even the one who taught me to sew, and that is a legacy and a gift I will never be able to repay. I hope one day to have half the crazy stories and adventurous memories that my lovely grandmother has!

  • Shirley is made from organic cotton knit fabric that has been hand dyed. The fabric is lined for strength. Her antlers are made from faux leather and she is stuffed with polyfiberfill. Her outfit is made from velour, sheer gauze, and faux pearls. She is not safe for babies (because of the pearls!) and is best for someone who has learned to play gently with their toys, or for a collector.

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