- The word was first used in France, in 1922, to describe a professional male dance partner.Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2013View SourceThe word was first used in France, in 1922, to describe a professional male dance partner.
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From: the Studio for Southern California History <thesocalstudio@...>
Date: Sun, Jul 7, 2013 at 4:34 AM
Subject: This week in Southern California history...
July 7 - 14
July 8, 1931: Erma Hubbell, social executive for the Ambassador Hotel announces she has "added a staff of eight Latin American gigolos to her crew.... For those (guests) that enjoy dancing we have arranged a series of tango teas and just to be sure that lonely women will find a partner who can dance the tango we always have from six to eight gigolos--trained professional dancers--to serve as partners." The Los Angeles Times reports: "Mrs. Hubbell explained that the Ambassador was the first hotel to introduce the gigolo and she believes the innovation has proven its worth."
Hubbell's misuse of the term "gigolo" causes a hullabaloo as the men employed at the Cocoanut Grove are professional dancers. In 1967 the Los Angeles Times revisits the "gigolo controversy" and Hubbell recalls:
"What incensed the professional dancers was the "uncouth and ribald snickers" engendered by their being termed gigolos, defined by the dictionary as "a man living on the earnings of or supported by a woman."
The Latin Americans somewhat undermined their case when they supposedly chanted to the press in unison: "To feminine tangoists nightly we're sold, We're willing to push and to haul and to tow, But we simply won't stand to be called gigolo. So there."
Visit the LA History Archive to explore even more history!
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