Izzy steps out

Isadora Duncan and Paris Singer

Isadora Duncan and Paris Singer

“Yes, my boyfriend was Paris Singer,” I told the small gathering of teenage students. I lifted my head high and added, “I just couldn’t resist his huge mustache.”

I love sharing what I know about Florida history, which is a great deal. I’m learning something new every day. Today I spent five class periods at a small private school, pretending to be the famous American dancer Isadora Duncan. I was the “special guest” and my job was to tell the students a bit about Izzy without giving away her identity. Then they asked me questions about my life– where I was born, when I died, how I died, and how I related to Florida history.

Isadora was born in California in 1877 and died a tragic death in 1927 in Nice, France, when her infamous long scarf got caught in the spokes of the automobile she was riding in, snapping her neck. Her two small children also met a gruesome end by drowning in the Seine River. Both of her children were born out of wedlock, and one was fathered by Paris Singer, the son of Isaac Singer the sewing machine magnate. Hence her connection to Florida history and Singer Island.

Besides having a fantastic mustache, Mr. Singer also had plenty of money, making him a real chick magnet. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Izzy most likely threw him to the curb.

Ah, well. As Isadora herself said–

“One cannot make plans for life, or rules for marriage. Life comes, and one lives, each day. I am opposed to marriages. I believe in the emancipation of women.”

Good for you, Izzy!


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