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Elma Moore Booker papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Box 2

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Elma Moore Booker papers, 1911-1998 | Amistad Research Center

By Sara Green

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Collection Overview

Title: Elma Moore Booker papers, 1911-1998Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Booker, Elma Moore (d. 1998)

Extent: 1.6 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 08/01/1998. More info below under Accruals.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers of Elma Moore Booker document Booker's life and career as the first African American woman to own a dance studio in New Orleans, Louisiana. The collection is .4 linear and contains biographical information, recital programs and photographs, and personal family documents and photographs dating from 1911-1998. The collection houses Elma Booker's certificate to teach from the Mildred Kohlman Studio of Dance. In the collection is an extensive record of dance steps and exercises. Some of these notes are from Booker; others are from Billy Truehart, a dance instructor and owner of Truehart Dance Studio in Hollywood, California. The printed material contains dance routines, recital ideas, and exercises for tap, ballet, acrobatics, hula, clog, and ballroom classes. Photographs of students are mainly recital pictures and pictures used for advertisements in recital programs. Most of the photographs are undated. A majority of the family photographs are undated, though some have notes on the back indicating the subject of the picture. A prayer book of novenas, two books on square dancing, and a program from Sylvia's Dance Troupe (Sylvia Hayden was one of Booker's students as a child) are miscellaneous items in the collection.  Also included is a pair of black patent-leather tap shoes.

Biographical Note

Elma Moore Booker was a lifelong resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, and became the first Creole to teach dance to minorities. Booker was the daughter of Marie Kinler Moore and Frank Moore III; she was married to Joseph Earl Booker. She was the first African American to receive her Louisiana Dancing Teacher's Certificate in 1934 after she completed training from the Mildred Kohlman Studio of Dance. In the late 1920s, she opened her own dance studio where she taught ballet, tap, acrobatics, ballroom, and other American popular dances. Elma Moore Booker's dance recital in 1934 was the first of many shows to receive praise from local audiences and newspapers for the talent and skill of the young performers. Some of her students went on to become professional dancers; Sylvia Hayden, one of Booker's pupils, opened her own dance studio. Booker's niece, Sybil Kein, attended Booker's school of dance and later became an instructor. Elma Moore Booker ended her teaching career in the late 1970s. She died on April 8, 1998, at 88 years old.

Administrative Information

Repository: Amistad Research Center

Accruals: Addition recieved in 2007.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Copyright to these papers has not been assigned to the Amistad Research Center. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of the copyright to any material contained in this collection.

Acquisition Source: Sybil Kein

Acquisition Method: Gift

Preferred Citation: Elma Moore Booker papers, Amistad Research Center, New Orleans, LA

Processing Information: Collection processed January 2012.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Biographical information, 1998, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: School report cards: Holy Ghost School, 1924-1927Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Family documents, 1911-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Certificate: Mildred Kohlman Studio of Dancing, 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Programs: Elma Moore's School of Dance, 1933-1934Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Programs: Elma Moore's School of Dance, 1935-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Printed ephemera: Elma Moore's School of Dance, 1957, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Newspaper clippings: Elma Moore's School of Dance, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Photographs: dance students, undatedAdd to your cart.
22 b/w photographs
Folder 10: Photographs: family and unidentified individuals, 1927-1953, undatedAdd to your cart.
18 b/w photographs
Folder 11: Photographs: family and unidentified individuals, 1970-1989Add to your cart.
7 color photographs
Folder 12: Dance steps: hand script notes:, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Dance steps: typescripts, 1938, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Dance steps: typescripts, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Costume patterns, 1955-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Book: 30 Favorite Novenas, 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Books: The American Square Dance & Square Dancing, 1948, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Program: Sylvia's Dance Troupe, St. Augustine Gym, 1975Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: Patent leather tap shoesAdd to your cart.

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[Box 1],
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