| MARGE CHAMPION... grew up in the center of the dance and movie world. Her father Ernest Belcher was the Dean of the West Coast dancing masters and staged many dance sequences for the movies. He trained Shirley Temple, Cyd Charisse, Gwen Verdon...and Marge.
Marge began her career with Walt Disney as the live action model for SNOW WHITE, the Blue Fairy in PINOCCHIO, and the Hippopotamus Ballerina in the "Dance of the Hours" from FANTASIA, which she also choreographed. She appeared in THE CASTLES with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and on Broadway in BEGGAR's HOLIDAY, famous for its Duke Ellington/John Latouche score.
During their collaboration, Marge and Gower Champion staged the dances for the Broadway musical revues, LEND AN EAR and MAKE A WISH. Their film appearances included MR. MUSIC with Bing Crosby, SHOW BOAT, LOVELY TO LOOK AT, THAT'S DANCIN'! and THAT's ENTERTAINMENT PART II and on television TOAST OF THE TOWN, THE DINAH SHORE SHOW, and THE MARGE AND GOWER CHAMPION SHOW.
After their divorce in 1973, Ms. Champion co-authored two books, CATCH THE NEW WIND and GOD IS A VERB and was the choreographer for WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY?, THE DAY OF THE LOCUST, and QUEEN OF THE STARDUST BALLROOM for which she received an Emmy Award. With her late husband, film director Boris Segal, Marge continued her work in choreography and as a dialogue coach for MASADA, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, LUTE SONG, and KISS ME KATE at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, link. In August 1991 Marge Champion received the LEGENDS OF THE DANCE AWARD at Florida State's Triple Crown Ballroom Dance Championship, the largest ballroom dance championship in America.
Marge Champion recently finished an eight-year stint as a member of the nominating committee of the Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards and consequently saw every show produced on Broadway from 1991 to 1998. Massachusetts in 1997 honored Ms. Champion with its Commonwealth Award, citing her "leadership as a true patron of the arts, not only as a financial donor, but equally important, in lending her national reputation, time and vision to...cultural organizations in the Berkshires and to young artists at the beginning of their careers." Ms. Champion sits on the Executive Committee of the Williamstown (MA) Theatre Festival, teaches master classes at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Berkshire Theatre Festival.