The Tiller Girls act in the 1960s

The Tiller Girls act in the 1960s

For over 50 years, there was hardly a country in the world without a Tiller Girls troupe. This photograph shows the discipline and precision for which they were famous. Although they danced in many different styles, they are primarily remembered for their high kicking precision routines. From the first troupe formed by John Tiller in Manchester in 1890 grew dozens of groups appearing throughout the world.

Each group was composed of girls who were perfectly matched for height and weight. Individuality was not encouraged. The important thing was for a girl to sink her personality into that of the group. This was difficult for the dancers, many of whom longed to express their own personalities. It was the discipline and group ethic that proved the act's downfall. In the 1970s new dance groups, like The Young Generation and Pan's People gave more freedom to individuals within the group and the day of the Tiller Girls was over.