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Ella Thompson Moore
Born: 1938
Occupation: dancer, choreographer, teacher
Although Ella Thompson Moore is most closely associated with her husband Charles Moore, she is a dancer who has claimed high praise throughout her diverse career. She studied dance with Syvilla Fort, Walter Nicks, then at the Dunham School in New York City, where she met and married Charles Moore in 1960.

She worked in commercial theater in revivals of "Showboat", "The King and I", "Finian's Rainbow," and in productions of "House of Flowers" (1955) and "Jamaica" (1957) with Lena Horne. In 1960 she was in the national touring company of "West Side Story" and she also danced for and with Alvin Ailey, Carmen DeLavallade, Thelma Hill, and later performed with Dances and Drums of Africa, her husband's company, in addition to assuming teaching and management duties and holding company rehearsals.

Thompson finished choreography for and opened Moore's evening-length work, "Traces," after his death in 1986. The piece followed black dance styles from African roots through 1930s African-American social dances. It was acclaimed by DANCE MAGAZINE for "showing promise of developing into an important historical document of black styles." Traces stands as a fitting monument to the collaboration of Ella Thompson and Charles Moore. Dances and Drums of Africa continues to perform.

-- Derry Swan

Stevens, Larry. ATTITUDE 2, no. 1 (June 1983).
Todd, Arthur. "Two Way Passage for Dance." DANCE MAGAZINE (July 1962): 3941.

Source Citation: "Ella Thompson Moore." ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY. 5 vols. Macmillan, 1996. Reprinted by permission of Gale Group.