Photos of Tom's late friend and most famous dancer, Barton Mumaw. Click to enlarge images.
These photos of Barton Mumaw were shot by John Linquist who gave them to Tom.

These photos of Barton Mumaw were shot by John Linquist who gave them to Tom.

Eustis native Barton Mumaw performed on Broadway and with the revolutionary Men Dancers troupe.

Barton Mumaw, was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Eustis, Florida, where he started his dance training. After seeing the Denishawn Dancers perform in Tampa, he left to train with them. He was a leading soloist with the Men Dancers from 1933 to 1940. He was a founding member of Jacob's Pillow Dance Center, performing, and teaching there throughout his life.

When he retired to Florida he made his home near St. Petersburg and directed dances in the St. Petersburg Operetta Company in 1952 and choreographed Florida Aflame, a history of the Seminole wars.

Tom met Barton while stationed in London, during WWII, where Mr. Mumaw performed for troops and taught physical education as an Army Air Forces entertainment specialis. They became lifetime friends. After the war Barton made his way to Broadway. Tom stopped in New York and Jacob's Pillow for a while before heading to California. They also spent some time together in Eustis, at Ted Shawn created a summer dance studio.

The Oklahoma College for Women has a wonderful collection of Shawn posters from the 1920's and 30's..
From 1933 to 1940, he became a leading soloist and teacher in Shawn's next company, Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers, a company intended to erase the assumption that male dancers were effeminate.

"When we'd go to the West, there'd be threats before the performance, people saying they were going to break it up or throw things," Mr. Mumaw told the Washington Post in 1993. "Then when the curtain went up on these six or eight very athletic-looking, well-muscled men glaring at each other, it kind of took the wind out of their sails. We never had a public demonstration."

Shawn made his company headquarters at a farm in Beckett, Mass. It soon became the famed Jacob's Pillow Dance Center. Mr. Mumaw regularly returned there to teach and perform throughout his life.

Tom Reese dropped by the family hom in Eustice on occasion. After Barton retired from dancing, he worked as an actor for a number of years. Tom Reese helped him with some bookings.