Gladys Hartley

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Gladys M. Hartley (nee Crow) (1920 - 2009) was a skating and acrobatics teacher who taught in Thunder Bay from 1941 to 1952. She was the founder of a studio that after two changes of ownership became in 1959 the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre.

Gladys was born in Winnipeg, married Vic Hartley, moved to Fort William in 1941 and then moved to Vancouver in 1952 (both times following Vic's moves with Dun and Bradstreet). [1]

ice skating at the Fort William Skating Club in the 1940's. From 1953 into the 1980's, her dance classes in North Vancouver prepared hundreds more children in ballet, tap and acrobatics. "Mrs. Flicka"

Born in Sturgeon in 1910, and Winnipeg in 1920, Victor Hartley and Gladys Crow met at the Winnipeg Y Tumbling and Hand Balancing classes in the late 1930's. At the time, Gladys was in training with the Winnipeg Ballet School, but Vic and Gladys were quick to realize their winning performance combination as adagio performers. Turning to even more challenge, they joined the Winnipeg Roller Skating Club, and their artistry, aerial stunts and balletic strength soon made them very popular entertainers in the Winnipeg area. In 1941 they married and followed Vic's work with Dun and Bradstreet to Fort William. There was no roller rink, so another new sport entered their lives - figure skating at the Thunder Bay Figure Skating Club (see their photo archives). Vic and Gladys married in 1941, kept refining their adagio act, and soon were simply called "The Hartley's." In Fort William, Gladys and Vic teamed up with Bob Cotton of Vickers Heights, and did some amazing performances as "The Acrobatic Trio." The photo incclosed is but one of many showing the risky and beautiful aerial throws of the three athletes. Acrosport did not exist back then, so while never entering competition, the pictoral records of their skills shows extremely skilled pioneer advancements in performance, likely based on their years of passion and training. In 1952, Vic was promoted again and this time to Vancouver. Joning the Vancouver Figure Skating Club, they thrilled crowds alongside Sonia Henie and Dick Button iin Stars on Ice in 1953, who were single skaters and not doing aerial lifts of the pair skaters called "The Hartleys." The archives of the Winnipeg YMCA, the Thunder Bay Llibrary, the Thunder Bay Figure Skating Club, and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame have obtained archival materials on the legacy that began in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. The B.C. Obituary in the Vancouver Sun also carries information on Gladys Hartley. The Hartleys are buried in Capilano Cemetary in West Vancouver.
— [2]



Port Arthur Newspaper:

A newspaper article gave the names of 84 people in her show from end of May 1946:

  • Berringer, Betty BIO n/a 1 Jun 1946 p.7 Gladys M. Hartley dance recital
  • Bloom, Marlene BIO n/a 1 Jun 1946 p.7 Gladys M. Hartley dance recital (also with Sylvia Horn)
  • Bloom, Marlene BIO n/a 1 Jun 1946 p.7 Gladys M. Hartley dance recital
  • Gibb, Eleanor BIO n/a 1 Jun 1946 p.7 Gladys M. Hartley dance recital
  • Bloom, Marjorie PIC n/a 28 Jan 1946 p.3 Annual Ice Carnival
  • Bloom, Marlene PIC n/a 20 Feb 1950 p.3 Oliver Road Carnival



Gladys Hartley still kicking at 81[ Where are They Now? ] Chronicle-Journal, 17 Dec 2002, A2 Gladys Hartley ; gymnastics ; dance