Sally Rand: Peacocking with Ostrich Feathers

Having previously discussed how Birds of Paradise have the best moves in the animal kingdom; it feels natural to have a follow up entry. So continuing on the themes of feathers and performing, here is Sally Rand.

This legendary performer is most famous for popularising the feather fan dance. (Contrary to popular belief, miss Rand did not invent the fan dance, that honour goes to Faith Bacon), she also performed with a balloon bubble dance (see second pictures down).  Now in almost every modern burlesque performance there is at least one Ostrich feather fan dance. A truly gifted performer can turn any innocuous object like a balloon and create a glorious and graceful art form. Initially she hoped to have a career in Hollywood. She spent much of the 1920’s performing in silent films and on the stage. However the calling of burlesque was too strong to ignore and thankfully she succumbed. She even performed in the 1934 film Bolero staring George Raft and Carole Lombard.

Rand was not without controversy, she was arrested more times than any of today’s starlets for nudity (Even when she was not even nude). Rand even recreated her own version of Lady Godiva’s ride at the Chicago World Fair earning herself another arrest. She later purchased The Music Box theatre in San Fransisco which later became Great American Music Hall. She left behind a fabulous legacy of sauciness and grace, you will never look at Ostriches in the light way again.

Sally rand

Sally Rand Peacock

sally Rand nude ball



  1. The era of fan dances, women swimming in fish tanks at restaurants,etc. Titillating entertainment and beautiful.

    1. True, plus they actually got arrested for their art. More than the Kim Kardashian et al would ever be willing to do.

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