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Gross, Dorothy Bercu, 1917-2015


Naomi Dorothea (Dorothy) Bercu was born June 14, 1917 in Douglas, Wyoming. Her father George Bercu owned the Chicago Hide, Fur and Wool Company in Douglas and in Denver. He married Olive Mistachkin and the couple became parents of Dorothy (1917-2015), Harryette (1918), Robert (1919), Bernard (1921), and Berverly (1935). From 1925-1928, Dorothy and Harryette danced on the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit around the west. They were later joined by Bob and Bernard and the whole troupe performed from New York City to Juarez, Mexico. The sisters also danced from 1936 to 1939. Dorothy attended the University of Utah in Ogden, Utah beginning in 1930 at the age of sixteen. She started a theatrical booking agency in Salt Lake City and taught dancing. Dorothy married Norman Gross in 1941 after he had signed up for her dance class. They raised three children, Valerie (Schreiber), Gary, and Dennis in Dallas, Texas. She also taught fitness classes. She died in Dallas in 2015.

Found in 12 Collections and/or Records:

Bercu Sisters Advertisements, 1925-1936

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0016
Scope and Contents From the Collection: The collection includes papers, records, correspondence, photographs, photograph albums, scrapbooks, newspapers and newspaper clippings, framed photographs, documents, quilts and needlework, Vaudeville costumes and instruments, books, and record albums.
Dates: 1925-1936

Bercu Sisters Business Card, between 1925-1932

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0016.00001
Overview Business card of the Bercu Sisters: "Bercu Sisters Harryette and Dorothy, Toe and Acrobatic Dancers From the Orpheum Circuit.
Dates: between 1925-1932

Bercu Sisters in "Native" Costumes, between 1933-1935

Identifier: B3356.01.0003.0005.00001
Overview The Bercu sisters are on a stage with a backdrop. Dorothy is standing with her arms raised and Harryette is kneeling with her back arched so that he head is toward the audience. The Bercu sisters were vaudeville performers in the 1920s and 1930s.
Dates: between 1933-1935

Bercu Sisters Records, between 1925-1936

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0016
Overview The file contains a "Bercu Sisters" business card, a 1934 program, a telegram and two letters, and a contract. Dorothy and Harryette Bercu were vaudeville performers in the 1920s and 1930s. The 1934 program, the telegram and a letter are from Hotel Ben Lomond in Ogden, Utah.
Dates: between 1925-1936

Booking Agency, 1936-1940

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0018
Overview While in college and until she married, Dorothy Bercu ran a booking agency and a dance studio in Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. The file contains correspondence, programs and progam lineup lists, notes and contracts.
Dates: 1936-1940

Castanet, circa 1930

Identifier: B356.01.0004.00003
Overview One castanet, made in Mexico. Valerie Schreiber, Dorothy Bercu's daughter, remembers her bringing the castanets out to dance and play them for her grandchildren who were dazzled by them (see note from Valerie in collection file).
Dates: circa 1930

Dorothy Bercu in Mexican Costume, between 1933-1934

Identifier: B367.01.0003.0007.00001
Overview Dorothy Bercu is posing in a large straw hat, woven Mexican style costume, and tap shoes with bows. Dorothy Bercu and her siblings toured in vaudeville shows and dance revues.
Dates: between 1933-1934

Dorothy Bercu in Modern Dance Costume, between 1928-1934

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0011.00002
Overview Dorothy Bercu is shown in a classical modern dance costume, barefoot, and is doing splits. Dorothy and her sister Harryette were vaudeville performers in the 1920s and 1930s.
Dates: between 1928-1934

Dorothy Bercu in Shawl Cut-Out, 1933-1935

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0012.00001
Overview Cut-out of Dorothy Bercu standing in a large shawl and in ballet flats. There is a large flower decoration in her hair. Dorothy and her sister performed in vaudeville in the 1920s and 1930s.
Dates: 1933-1935

Dorothy Bercu Mexican Hat Dance, 1937

Identifier: B356.01.0003.0008.00001
Overview Dorothy Bercu is standing in tap shoes next to a Mexican hat that is on the floor. Her top, apron and skirt have sequin designs and the top of the arpon has a woven design. Dorothy Bercu had a booking agency beginning in 1937.
Dates: 1937