The Las Vegas High School Rhythmettes traveled the country, making appearances and acting as ambassadors for Las Vegas throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The Rhythmettes were the creation of Evelyn Stuckey.
Stuckey came to Las Vegas in 1948 to teach physical education at Las Vegas High School. She felt that the young women of the school were missing out on the spirit of camaraderie that male athletes experienced and decided to create a group for girls. This new group was a drill team known as the Rhythmettes. The students were enthusiastic about the new group and many students tried out, but the squad was limited to sixteen girls. Stuckey stressed the importance of education, demanding a 3.0 grade point average from all the Rhythmettes. She claimed membership in the squad would teach grace, self-esteem, and leadership.
The Rhythmettes made their first appearances in 1950 and became popular nationwide soon after. They traveled from coast to coast, making appearances in Hollywood and New York City. Articles about the new group appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. The girls also got the chance to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show and on the Wide World of Sports. The Rhythmettes acted as goodwill ambassadors for Las Vegas and made appearances in local events like Helldorado Days.
Stuckey succeeded in creating a group for high school girls that instilled self-confidence while offering opportunities to travel the country as representatives of Las Vegas. The Rhythmettes disbanded in 1966 due to Stuckey’s poor health. They were restarted in 1974 and she advised them until 1979. Evelyn Stuckey was named Las Vegas Woman of the Year in 1954 and Nevada Outstanding Citizen in 1964. She taught at Las Vegas High School until her death in 1980.
Source: Evelyn Stuckey papers. Nevada Women’s Archives. Special Collections, UNLV. Collection number 86-056.
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