Anna Bailey moved to Brooklyn with her mother as a child, and began dance lessons at ten years old. At thirteen, she danced at the Apollo. By fifteen, she was a professional dancer. Her mother insisted she continue her education, so attended high school while dancing in large productions in New York. She travelled extensively as a dancer, going on tour to Europe and Los Angeles.
In 1951, she married fellow performer Bob Bailey, a singer and emcee. The couple lived in Anna mother’s basement. In 1955, the Baileys moved to Las Vegas, to open the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino.
Just six months later, the Rouge closed, leaving both Anna and her husband, Bob, without work. The couple continued to work in show business, with Anna dancing on the Strip and on tour, and Bob hosting talk shows.
Following the birth of her two children, Anna gave up dancing. The Baileys opened and operated several small nightclubs.
This interview covers Anna’s experience as a dancer extensively, with her earliest performances through her retirement. She also describes race relations in Las Vegas, and the development of the Westside.
Photo courtesy of Anna Bailey.
May not be reproduced without special permission.