Irene Castle

Dancer - Trendsetter - Animal Rights Activist

About the Scholar/Presenter

Sedalia Ragtime Performance

Susan Marie Frontczak first became acquainted with Irene Castle’s story when she began studying ragtime dance in 1990. Over many years Susan Marie partnered with Jim X. Borzym of American Vernacular Dance. Jim and Susan Marie taught and performed at Vintage Dance events across the country, including the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia Missouri (throughout the 1990s), The Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival (1991-1996), Cincinnati Dance Week (1990s), and Tea Dances in Denver and Boulder (1990-2003). At both Two Rivers Chautauqua (2009) and High Plains Chautauqua (2010) Susan Marie taught One Step, Tango, and/or Charleston to crowds who didn't know dancing could be so much fun, thus living up to Irving Berlin's famous song, "Everybody’s Doin’ It Now."

Since 2001, Susan Marie’s Chautauqua presentations (Irene Castle, Marie Curie, Mary Shelley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Clara Barton, and Erma Bombeck) have taken her to 43 of the United States, Canada, and across Europe. Irene is her most audacious historical character, combining cheeky mischief with the boldness of naiveté.