Teacher Kelly


After reading the June 20 letter from John K. Coyle of Bedford ("Be Super, Pittsburgh: Honor Gene Kelly"), I felt compelled to write about my many years as a student of Gene Kelly.

I started dancing lessons with Gene Kelly at the tender age of 4 at the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Several years later, he opened his own studio on Munhall Road where I continued weekly lessons for another 10 years. Gene was 19 years old when he started teaching.

My memory of him was wonderful. He was caring, loving and demanding. His two sayings were "It's no cigar" and "Hit the nail on the head." He also often said, "If you do the step right, I'll marry you."

He taught tap, toe and ballet. I took all three. He was a master and we loved him dearly.

His parents took care of the business side and his brother Fred and sister Louise also did some teaching.

I ended my "career" when he left for New York to appear on Broadway in "Pal Joey" and then onto Hollywood. No one could replace him!

Squirrel Hill

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