From its earliest days, gambling halls used entertainment to attract people to casinos. In Nevada, showroom and lounge entertainment became the hot attraction that brought customers to the casinos over and over again during the 1950s. Virtually every show had a line of dancers that opened and closed the show. From the 1950s to today, thousands of men and women pursued their chosen profession dancing in the chorus line.
Las Vegas and Reno developed their own special style of shows, but they built upon nightclub productions in New York, Chicago, Miami, or Los Angeles. In fact successful dance companies like the Moro-Landis Dancers or the June Taylor Dancers had a number of troupes in clubs around the country and added Las Vegas to their circuit. Eventually casino showrooms developed their own "identities." The Sands had the Copa Girls (based on Jack Entratter's Copacabana Club in New York) and the Sahara Hotel and Casino created the Saharem dancers.
The explosion of showroom entertainment of the 1950s and 1960s occurred during the last decades of racial segregation in the United States. Black or Latino performers might appear as an act in the showroom but not within an integrated cast. At the same time that notable entertainers worked to end the segregation, others found a chance to work in the racially separate venues that slowly became integrated in the late 1960s.
Many of the dancers who came to Nevada were hired in other cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London. Dancing for a touring company gave many a chance to work in their chosen field and led to lifetime careers for some.
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