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Dickerson, Betsy, 1978 November 7

 Item — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

Dancer Betsy Dickerson lectured on 11/7/1978 (2015-0002/RR139). Dickerson was one of the first Black dancers at Radio City Ballet and had a career in musical theater.

RR 139 Hale Smith provides some persoanl back ground and introduces Ms. Dickerson who speaks on her experience in Black musical theatre. Ms. Dickerson starts with her personal history and background with dance and writing.


  • 1978 November 7

Conditions Governing Access

Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

Betsy Ann Dickerson was born circa 1940 and grew up in Philadelphia. She attended the McKinley School and Abington High School. She received her dance training at Sydney King’s school, alongside Billy Wilson and Joan Myers Brown, and from the Juilliard School on scholarship.

She was one of the first Black dancers at Radio City Ballet and had a career in musical theater. Dickerson performed in the original Broadway casts of Bajour (1964), Sweet Charity (1966), Canterbury Tales (1969), and La Strada/title> (1969) and on the national tour of The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1962).

In 1957, Dickerson taught ballet, modern, and jazz at Central Music Center in her home state of Pennsylvania. Later in her life she founded and directed The Dickerson Performing Arts Center. On January 31, 1960 at the 92nd Street Y, Dickerson appeared in the same Alvin Ailey performance in which Revelations first premiered.



1 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recording) : RR 139 1 reel, 0:50:31; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
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Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US