Fred Astaire And Ginger Rogers Dance On Roller Skates
One of my favorite Fred Astaire – Ginger Rogers dance scenes is from “Shall We Dance” (1937). “Shall We Dance” was the 7th of Fred and Ginger’s pairings and it featured what was probably their most difficult scene they ever did, a dance on roller skates following their duet “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”. They spent a total of thirty-two hours in preparation for the routine and skated an estimated eighty miles during the four days it required to shoot this one sequence. The scene took over thirty takes to complete. (The reported amount of takes varies from thirty to well over a hundred, depending on what story or review you are reading. Thirty to thirty-five seems to be the most popular.) All this for less than two and a half minutes of screen time. But it was well worth it as Fred and Ginger turn in a memorable performance.
Said Ginger in her autobiography, ‘Ginger: My Story’ — “The roller-skating number was a ball to do. We were free to laugh out loud at each other. Fred sang one chorus and I sang one chorus, before we turned the wheels of our skates to the rhythm of the song and sped away into each other’s arms. Both Fred and I enjoyed it very much.”
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Dance on Roller Skates