Dance History Quiz | $1.2 Million Piece of Dance Memorabilia

Fun facts for teachers & students


What famous dance-related movie memorabilia sold at auction June 27, 2017, for $1.2 million?

a. Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain umbrella
b. The  Saturday Night Fever  disco floor
c. Moira Shearer’s pointe shoes from The Red Shoes
d. Natalie Portman’s Black Swan bodice and tutu

b. The Saturday Night Fever disco floor

Somewhere there is a person with $1.2 million less in the bank—but with the most awesome flashing, fluorescent, John Travolta-trod disco dance floor in his or her family room. The famous Saturday Night Fever floor was sold June 27 by the Calabasas, California, auction house Profiles in History, and while the price was reported in the blog, the lucky buyer’s name remains a mystery. (As does the floor’s location—we’re just speculating about the family room.)

Profiles in History has sold lots of spectacular movie stuff, such as Marilyn Monroe’s Seven Year Itch dress, and a camera George Lucas used during the filming of Star Wars. Joe Maddalena, auction site president and CEO, said of the floor: “It’s iconic, like the Maltese falcon or [the Wizard of Oz’s] ruby slippers. It defined a moment in time.” At an original cost of $15,000, the 24-by-16-foot floor was one of the movie’s costliest expenditures. Because Travolta insisted on being filmed in full-length shots—to prove that he, and not a double, was doing the dancing—the pulsing floor with the choreographed lights became an active part of the scene, and remains as iconic as Travolta’s white suit and sexy strut.

For more information:
You Could Own the Saturday Night Fever Dance Floor,” AARP, June 8, 2017, by Randy Lilleston