Rainbow School Of Dancing

(Chula Vista Star-News, March 29, 1962)

Mighty Mite of Ballet Tells of B'way Days. 5-Foot Star Now Teaching Others Dance. The petite brunette ballerina walked out onto the empty stage, wobbling on her four-inch heels. She stretched to her full five feet, praying that the high heels, with risers inside, would give an illusion of height. She knew that a producer would never even give her a chance to dance if he realized how small she was. "But once I got the first look-over," Louise Genone recalls about her days as a ballerina and musical comedy performer," I got to dance. And then I was in." Today Mrs. Genone of 203 Elm, Imperial Beach, is dance instructor, with a studio in Imperial Beach and a new one in Chula Vista. But when she was a young girl she had her fling at professional dancing. She was glat to give it up for teaching, but occasionally Mrs. Genone recalls some of her experienies on the stage. "There's nothing more exciting than opening night on Broadway," she reminisces. She performed in two musical comedys and was prima ballerina in one. "There you are, wailing for the curtain to go up. The audience has come in its furs and diamonds. And the critics are there. "This is the one night that can make or break a show. And you're so scared you're convinced that you won't even be able to dance. But 10 minutes later you're on the stage . . . you relax . . . and dance." In those days Mrs. Genone danced with a troupe directed by Albertina Rasch, who is the wife of composer Dimitri Tiomkin. "She was one of the first women to direct a troupe," Mrs. Genone said. "And she was great. "Miss Rasch was way ahead of her time. She taught us things then that were considered shocking . . . strut-type toe things. Before that, if you strutted, you strutted. If you were a ballerina, you were a ballerina. "But today those things are even being done by the more classical troupes." Mrs. Genone described Miss Rasch as a large woman . . . "She'd let herself get fat after she quit dancing." "She wore loose, floaty dresses. When we looked up during a matinee and saw her floating down the aisle, the entire troupe stiffened." Mrs. Genone recalled that Miss Rasch was famous for her bad temper, that she once ripped a costume from dancer. Mrs. Genone joined the Rasch troupe when she went east to continue her ballet studies. She had given up her toe work for two years when she sprained her foot. "But that gave me an opportunity to do musical comedy . . . tap and strut. Things I would have never learned otherwise." Mrs. Genone was in Hollywood at the time and worked as assistant for Dave Bennett, a director at Paramount. She also danced in 10 or 15 movies during this time. "Back then, a director was1 not a dancer. So J taught his stars dance routines." She recalls that she taught such famous stars as Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier and Joe E. Brown routines for a revue at the studio lot. But after only about five years in show business, Mrs. Genone decided to quit. "I came back home to San Diego for a vacation and never went back," she said. "Teaching was always my first love, even while I was a professional." After returning home, she was married. (Her husband is now dead.) And she's been teaching her dance classes for about 15 years. "It's a thrill to watch the little ones when they first begin to look like dancers. I'm sure I'm a better teacher because I was a professional . I can give them that extra spark." Mrs. Genone also does her own choreography, writes and directs shows for recitals and1 makes the costumes and headj dresses"I've got that professional, touch because of my experience, so I don't regret my five years in show business," she said. "But neither do I regret having quit it. I guess I'm just noy a true ham. I'm much more content to leach my little darlings." (Chula Vista Star-News, Feb 15, 1962, Page 25)

(Chula Vista Star-News, May 30, 1957)

1957/05/30 - Dance Revue On Tap Friday in Imperial Beach. A more beautiful and colorful Rainbow Revue than ever before is promised by Louise Genone, director of the Rainbow School of Dancing, for her annual dance recital to he presented Friday evening, May 31, in the Imperial Beach school auditorium. More than 90 boys and girls will participate in the spectacle, which will start at 7:30 o'clock. Highlights of the show will include Centipede Rock 'n Roll, an acrobatic boy novelty; Chinese Fantasy, a richly costumed production number with spectacular show-girl parade; the WaterLily Ballet; Begin The Beguine, danced by Gail McClung wearing an all-over gold sequin gowr Miss Genone once wore in a motion picture; I'm an old Cowhand, comedy by the boys, and the delightful Rainbow Ballet in which Miss Genone will dance in memory of her mother. The Rainbow Revue is being sponsored by the Imperial Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Committee for the Library fund. Proceeds will be used to buy books for the children's library. Tickets are 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children.
The cast: Rainbowteens ‹ Gail McClung, Fernanda Kisso, Christine Hoover, Sheila Taliaferro, Valerie Pietruszka, Stephanie Pietruszka, Diane Leary, Christine Goertler, Carol Goertler, Cathy Thome, Helen Faber, Ruth Phillips.
Rainbowettes ‹ Susan George, Libby Fleenor, Linda Turner, Janice Pope, Kim Myrman, Joanne Tareman, Margurietta Dodd, Joan Combs, Gail West, Lynne Haas, Jackie Haak, Susan Locke, Sharleen Christian.
Rainbowtwos ‹ Jeannette Smith, Pat White, Bobbie Haak, Susan Wussow, Pamela Goetz, Janet Storm, Gayle Storm. Michele Motchkavitz, Peggy Arnold, Gay Diane Roberts.
Rainbowones‹Linda LaChapelle, Iris Tatham, Susan Strane, Kathy Dumler, Barbara Combs, Eileen McMahon, Bonnita Riker, Lynne Cummings, Vicki Blumie, Judy Reed, Betty Ann Benker, Donna Ohler, Debra Ohler, Maralyn Hellbusch, Karlen Prisma, Lani Brackin, Monica Joleen, Sarita McClellan, Susan Scott, Lelani Barfield, Cecelia Barfield, Jean Brickley, Vicki Butler, Connie Thompson, Carol Thompson, Joanne Olsen.
Raindrops ‹ Judy Chapman, Kathy Duty, Constance Lively, Juanita Lively, Connie Kennedy, Susan Higgins, Treva Jo Irvine, Valeta Phillipe, Arden Smith, Arleta Smith, Maureen Turner.
Rainbowtots ‹ Marcy Estrin, Barbara Shipman, Jerrie Bruce, Donna Rose, Mary Lou Stacy, Paula George.
Boys‹ Vance Locke, Jonathon Lively, James Lively, Ernie Dodd, Michael Estrin, Van Sokol, Danny Kruzich, Michael Schneider, Rick Baggot, Eric Mymeda. (Chula Vista Star-News, May 30, 1957)

Louise Genone (not pictured) was a charter member of the Soroptimist Club of Imperial Beach. The first officers were, from left, Hazel Adams, director; Joyce Oviatt, treasurer; Phyllis Martin, recording secretary; Doris Wadley, vice president; Bess Brown, president; Jane McLaughlin, corresponding secretary, and Ruth Meyers, director.
(Chula Vista Star-News, August 1, 1957)

1957/08/01 - Imperial Beach Club Marks Soroptimists 100th. Soroptimists Clubs of Pacific Region marked the institution of the 100th club Saturday, July 27, with the chartering of the Imperial Reach Club. Lillian Gunderson, president of the Coronado Soroptimist Club, which sponsored the newest addition to the region, presided at the charter dinner party at the Mar Vista High School cafeteria. Approximately 130 members and guests attended the event. including representatives from local clubs, and from Hollywood, El Centro, Vista, Ventura, and Arizona. Mr. Miles Bowler, mayor protern of Imperial Beach, welcomed the new club to the area, on behalf of the Imperial Beach service clubs. Mrs. Helene Thomas Bennett of El Centro, governor of Pacific Region, American Federation of Soroptimists Clubs, presented the charter. Mrs. Lucina DeV aney of Flagstaff, director of district No. 2, Pacific Region, installed the following omcers: Bess Brown, president; Doris Wadley. vicepresident; Phyllis Martin, recording secretary; Jane McLaughlin, corresponding secretary; Joyce Oviatt, treasurer; and Hazel Adams, and Ruth Meyers, directors. Barbara Bowers and Faye Sullivan were named delegates to represent the new club. CHARTER MEMBERS Other charter members are Louise Anderton, Jo Bennett, Estelle Feuquay, Virginia Fleenor, Louise Genone, Ruth Ginn, Emma Greenwell, Meneva Latham, Kuthryn Lewis, Virginia Parr, Fiances Pill, Elsbeth Schneider, and Alice Zemke. The first Soroptimist Club was organized in the San Francisco Bay area in 1921 by Mr. Stuart Morrow, a professional organizer of men's clubs. He later organized clubs all over America, Canada, Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands, and since then, clubs have been organized all over the world. Purposes of the clubs are to assist in developing the highest concept of patriotism; to promote the spirit of service; to foster high ethical standards in business and professions; to advance the status of women; to develop interest in community, national, and international affairs; to recognize the worthiness and dignity of all legitimate occupations in affording to each Soroptimist an opportunity to serve society. (Chula Vista Star-News, Aug 1, 1957, Page 11)

(Chula Vista Star-News, Nov. 8, 1962)

1961/10/26 - ANNOUNCING THE OPENING OF LOUISE GENONE'S RAINBOW SCHOOL OF DANCING in Chula Vista 672 Third Ave. ‹ Next to Food Basket Market Open House Friday, Nov. 3 Do Drop In And Get Acquainted No Obligation Ever No Contract ‹ Reasonable Ballet Barre Demonstrations by Our Students 10 to 12 a.m. Ages 3 to 5 yrs. 2:30 to 5 p.m. Ages 6 to Teens **WE ACCENT BETTER BALLET TRAINING** All New Students Will Appear in Our Big Spring Show "DUDE RANCH" Main Studio 943 First St. Imperial Beach (Chula Vista Star-News, Oct 26, 1961, Page 6)

1962/11/08 WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE LOUISE GENONE'S Rainbow School OF Dancing IN CHULA VISTA Has Moved.. To Larger Studios in V.F.W. Hall THIRD AVENUE AT I STREET . (Please use east entrance from parking lot) PERSONAL INSTRUCTION BY MISS GENONE IN Classical and Modem Ballet, Toe, Acrobatic, Tap and Professional Stage Routines 9 Reasonable Rates € No Contracts € Visitors Welcome CHULA VISTA STUDIO THIRD AVE. AT I STREET IMPERIAL BEACH STUDIO 943 First ST., I.B. (Chula Vista Star-News, Nov 8, 1962)

1969 - Louise P. Genone living at 203 Elm Avenue. (city directory)

1969/03/02 - Newlyweds Louise Genone and Jack W. Smith will live at 203 Elm Avenue (Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 2, 1969)

1972/05/21 - Jack Smith, 62, died, survived by wife Louise Genone and 2 sons. (Chula Vista Star-News, May 21, 1972)

1981/07/16 - Last mention of Louise Genone living at 203 Elm Avenue. (Chula Vista Star-News, July 16, 1981)

1993 - 203 Elm Avenue property in default and may be auctioned, owned since 1989 by Christine G. Gallagher and Michael Fallatt and Theresa Fallat. (Chula Vista Star-News, 1993)

Although no supporting evidence has yet been found, Genone's house (shown here at 203 Elm Avenue in a Google street view) may have been moved from Coronado. It is said to have been the home of the architects of the Hotel del Coronado, James and Merritt Reid, who built a Victorian bungalow at 1111 Loma Avenue for their residence before moving to San Francisco in 1905. It is not known what happened to that Victorian bungalow after 1905.

This web page was created Apr. 9, 2016, and revised Apr. 10, 2016, by Steve Schoenherr for the South Bay Historical Society | Copyright © 2016