Ula Sharon Bergfeldt (1905-1993) Papers (0955kc)
Ula Sharon Robinson was born to John M. and Lilleth (Sharon) in Spring Hill, Kansas, on March 17, 1905. John was a railway civil engineer who moved the family to the Philippines when Ula was a baby. She always showed talent for dancing, and upon the family’s return to the United States, she became a child star in Philadelphia’s vaudeville scene. At age ten, she toured Australia for three months. The Robinsons moved to Kansas City, where Ula enrolled in the Norman School and began dance instructions with Dorothy Burrows Perkins. At age 14 she and Lilleth moved to New York, and at age 15, Ula began a year of critical and popular acclaim starring in the vaudeville hit, Broadway Brevities. For the next several years she continued to study dance and perform in London and New York, most notably in the Greenwich Village Follies and a command performance for King George V.
In 1931, Ula married William Harold “Perky” Bergfeldt (1895-1971), proprietor of Dale-Bergfeldt Tailors, and in 1935, their only child, William Jr. was born. Ula taught dance and produced many original shows in Kansas City, and in 1954 she founded the Kansas City Dance Theatre. KCDT performed many of Ula’s works and gave hundreds of the area’s young people exposure to the dance. Ula continued to teach dance and body mechanics until 1983, and she passed away on January 19, 1993.
The collection consists of family, personal and professional materials of Ula Sharon Robinson Bergfeldt. Family papers include many photographs (including tintypes) and legal documents pertaining to the Sharon and Headlee Families in and around Spring Hill, Kansas in the 1800s. Personal papers include correspondence between Ula and W.H. Bergfeldt during their courtship and early marriage, as well as Harold's correspondence to his parents and photographs from France following World War I. Ula also saved many programs of dance and theatre performances she attended. Professional materials include scripts for ballets and administrative records of the Kansas City Dance Theatre. This collection is closely related to the collection of its donor, Jean Babcock (0956kc), who was a student and close friend of Miss Sharon's. ca.1861-1993.
8 cubic feet, oversize.
© State Historical Society of Missouri
Monday, February 07, 2011
State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City
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