by DFernando Zaremba
He later recalled, "I got a lot of jokes and I got whistled at a lot.
But I beat up a couple of the whistlers and the rest sort of tapered off
after a while".
At thirteen, Fosse teamed up with Charles Grass, another young dancer,
and began a collaboration under the appellation The Riff Brothers. In
less than three years, the team was making the then generous salary of
over $100 a week.
Ever ambitious, however, Fosse moved on and, by fifteen, he was working
as emcee at a series of small nightspots. It was at one of those
establishments where he choreographed his first number, involving four
girls manipulating ostrich fans to the music of Cole Porter.
By 1945, Fosse had graduated from Amundsen High in Chicago. He enlisted
in the Navy soon after and was posted to entertainment units in the
Pacific. He later said he perfected his technique as a
performer-choreographer-director while serving his tour of duty.
"I never knew I could handle anything like that until I tried it on
Okinawa. From then on, I knew what I wanted and where I wanted to go".
After World War II...