What is Legmania?

The Legmania craze took hold in the Victorian music halls of the 1870s. It embraced eccentric dancing, contortions, extending the leg impossibly above the head, step dancing and so much more. Moving between burlesque and comedy, Legmania captivated audiences as variety artistes developed their own speciality blend into their acts.

The image below and used elsewhere on this site is taken from a publicity postcard of James Eadie and Cissie Ramsden from around 1912. It tantalisingly shows off James’ balletic pointed toe in a clearly comic pose.

The Legmania tradition carried on into the early 20th century. This 1935 British Pathé clip of Jack Stanford is just one example of eccentric dance that continued to please audiences after the decline of the music halls.

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