Joan Bayley, Dance Coach to Marilyn and More, Dies at 101

The dancer and choreographer Joan Bayley, who coached Marilyn for her role in There’s No Business Like Show Business, has died just a few months short of her 102nd birthday, Dance Magazine reports. (The film’s choreography was overseen by Jack Cole – Joan probably worked as his assistant, just as Gwen Verdon did on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.)

“She found her niche at MGM, where she soon became a choreographer’s assistant (principally for Robert Alton) for many of the golden-era musicals: Her credits include everything from An American in Paris and White Christmas to There’s No Business Like Show Business and South Pacific.

Bayley helped stars like Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe get dance-ready, and also worked with established dancers like Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, Donald O’Connor and George Chakiris.

Eventually, Bayley started teaching at major dance studios in Los Angeles, including Santa Monica’s Westside School of Ballet, where she taught until she was 99 years old … Always humble, Bayley would never talk about the Hollywood films she’d worked on, or which stars she’d coached.”