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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Pauline Henderson


Pauline Bridge Henderson (1910-2000) was born in London, England on July 2nd 1910. At the age of four, Pauline and her family moved to British Columbia. Two years later, in 1916, Henderson’s mother passes and the family re-located to Idaho where Pauline first learned to dance. In 1923, Pauline attended Francisco Ferrer Colony where she studied ‘Rhythms’ dance methods with Celia Bluestone. After graduating from St. Johns High School in New Jersey, Pauline moved back to London to continue her studies in Dance and Drama at Grinner-Mawer School of Dance. After joining the Grinner-Mawer Dance troupe, she toured with the group around several parts of Europe, including Greece.

A year later, in 1930, Pauline married Elyat Henderson and moved to Paris for a year. In 1932, Pauline began studying with renowned dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham in New York City.   After the birth of their children, the Hendersons moved to Ogunquit, Maine. In 1943, Pauline and her children moved back to New York so she could continue to study at Graham’s Dance School. While in New York, Henderson taught Dance at the LaGuardia Play School in Harlem. In 1947, Henderson and her children relocated to California, where she joined the San Francisco Dance League and began teaching at several schools in the South Bay. In 1951, Pauline ended her dance career but continued to write journals and poems.  Before her retirement, Pauline became involved in several charity works, and published many poetry books. She even spent some time working for her niece, Joan Baez, as her personal secretary. Pauline continued to write poetry up until her death in 2000. 

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