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Selden, Elizabeth S.locked

(1888–at least the early 1960s)
  • Nancy Lee Chalfa Ruyter


Selden, Elizabeth S. (1888–at least the early 1960s), dancer and writer, was born in Europe. There is no information about her parents or the exact location of her birth. Very little is known about Selden’s life. She reportedly received her dance training in Germany and Switzerland from such notable European dance artists as Mary Wigman, Rudolf von Laban, and the Wiesenthal sisters. Before 1930 she immigrated to the United States and at some point became an American citizen. She was living in Connecticut in 1930 and in California later in the 1930s, and apparently gave dance concerts in both New York and California. In 1932 she spent time in Europe updating her knowledge of the modern dance scene there. Selden attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1935 and a master’s in German in 1936. Her M.A. thesis was on late Romantic era German interest in Chinese culture. She may have begun work on a doctoral degree because from 1942 to 1944 she taught Spanish as a teaching assistant at UC Berkeley. She began writing at least as early as 1926 and published two books on dance, ...

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