Adrienne Noble: From Ballet to Bright Lights
Explore Adrienne Noble’s remarkable journey from ballet to bright lights at New Pond Village in Walpole, MA.
From Fairfield to New Pond Village
Adrienne Noble has lived, as she calls it, “a charmed life.” And, for a long time, it literally kept her on her toes. She started dancing at a very early age because, “I had a problem with my foot and my mother started me with ballet classes at four years old to correct my foot.”
While Adrienne now lives at New Pond Village, a continuing care retirement community in Walpole, Mass., she grew up in Fairfield, Conn., not far from New York City. She sang, danced and even acted in a short film. Dancing, though, is what she loved most.
Dancing with Legends
After years of dance lessons, she apprenticed under her instructor, eventually teaching classes. Adrienne took tap lessons from actress Rita Hayworth’s father and even had a few ballet classes with the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. “He had a summer home in Westport and Westport is where my dance teacher was from. There were four very rich, very elegant ladies from Westport, and me,” she recalls. “I would have class with them and after that, we would go have lunch with Balanchine at his house. Oh, I was so lucky!”
P.T. Barnum Festival Queen
In high school, Adrienne also earned a title: P.T. Barnum Festival Queen. P.T. Barnum started Barnum & Bailey Circus in Bridgeport, Conn., next door to Fairfield. The city has held an annual festival in his honor since 1948. “In that day, that was a big deal,” she recalls. “There was a parade, there were some performances that were involved, dinners at businessmen’s functions, those kinds of things.”
Lights, Camera, New York City
By her twenties, Adrienne moved to New York City and worked for a production company that was affiliated with NBC. She spent time on the set of both the Today and Tonight shows, as well as other programs, meeting the most prominent TV stars of the day like Andy Williams, singer Kate Smith and game show fixture Arlene Francis. “I was having the time of my life. They were stars in their own right, they didn‘t need me at all but they were all very gracious.” All very gracious except for the Today Show’s mascot—a monkey named J. Fred Muggs. “If you put your finger near him he bit you. I do remember that! 6 o’clock in the morning, ‘Keep your fingers away from him, he’s vicious!’”
Reflecting on Remarkable Opportunities
She doesn’t dance nearly as often as she used to but feels fortunate to be living at New Pond Village. She’s near her three children, whom she sees often, and gets phone calls and visits from her grandchildren. Most of all, Adrienne is grateful for the life she’s had and the memories she holds dear. “The opportunities I had were remarkable. I was in the right place at the right time with the right people. There were a lot of very important people that I met. They made me feel welcome and I don’t know that you could replicate that today.”