1 As Strictly Come Dancing kicks off for yet another glitz-filled series, Times Past is remembered the woman who brought glamor to Glasgow and starred many young dancers in the heyday of Scottish variety. Euphemia MacDonald was a Scottish showbiz legend – better known as dancer and choreographer May Moxon. “I thought it was better to be May Moxon than little Phemia MacDonald,” she explained, laughing. His stage name comes from his grandmother May and his uncle Harold Moxon, who was an acrobat.
2 Born in Townhead in October 1906, May had to give up dancing when, at age 27, she was seriously injured in a car crash on her way back to Glasgow from a theater performance. Her leg was so crushed that she was told she should have an amputation, but she argued with the doctors that she would rather die than lose her leg, and she was successful.
3 Even though she could no longer dance, May was determined to teach and her dance troupes – the May Moxon Dancers, or the May Moxon Lovelies as they were sometimes said – became legendary across the UK, appearing in shows variety, magazines, cabarets. and pantomimes in Glasgow, Blackpool and beyond.
4 After retiring at the age of 70, she was regularly given cards from retired Moxon dancers scattered around the world, many of whom are now grandmothers. She has been dubbed the Lady Bluebell of the Scottish Theater, being a contemporary of Liverpool-born Margaret Kelly, who produced the Bluebell Girls at the Lido in Paris and Las Vegas. May spent hours in front of her sewing machine, making all the sparkling costumes for her dancers.
5 Dozens of young women she trained embarked on successful stage careers. A troupe danced for a 100 week season at the Glasgow Metropole. May died in 1996, at the age of 91, in Clydebank.