1. The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

2. Dancing is a sweat job.

3. I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around.

4. This search for what you want is like tracking something that doesn't want to be tracked. It takes time to get a dance right, to create something memorable.

5. I don't want to be the oldest performer in captivity... I don't want to look like a little old man dancing out there.

6. Disco is just jitterbug.

7. The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style.

8. When working on my choreography I am not always receptive to outside suggestions or opinions. I believe that if you have something in mind in the way of a creation, such as a new dance, a sequence, or an effect, you are certain to come up with inaccurate criticism and damaging results if you go around asking for opinions. 

9. But I do nothing that I don't like, such as "inventing" up to the arty or "down" to the corny. I happen to relish a certain type of corn. What I think is the really dangerous approach is the "let's be artistic" attitude. I know that artistry just happens. 

10. I don't make love by kissing, I make love by dancing. 

11. Either the camera will dance, or I will.

12. There comes a day when people begin to say: "Why doesn't that old duffer retire?" I want to get out while they're still saying Astaire is a hell of a dancer.

13. A four wood I hit on the 13th hole at Bel Air Country Club in June of 1945. It landed right on the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one.

14. What's all this talk about me being teamed with Ginger Rogers? I will not have it Leland - I did not go into pictures to be teamed with her or anyone else, and if that is the program in mind for me I will not stand for it. I don't mind making another picture with her but as for this teams idea, it's out. 

15. Oh, there's no such thing as my favorite performance. I can't sit here today and look back, and say: "Top Hat was better than Easter Parade or any of the others". I just don't look back, period. When I finish with a project, I say: "All right, that's that. What's next?"

16. Chance is the fool's name for Fate.

17. I'm just a hoofer with a spare set of tails.

18. I am bit sending messages with my feet. All I ever wanted was not to come up empty. I did it for the dough and the old applause.

19. I inherited the knowledge that sometimes (talents) not only skip a generation, but sometimes run screaming from it. Ironically, it was the singing non-ability that helped feed my love of laughter.

20. Some people seem to think that good dancers are born.

21. Do it big, do it right and do it with style.

22. And that love that wrinkles your nose touches my foolish heart.

23. When you have a dancing partner, there's always gonna be a moment where the girl's gonna cry, Ginger didn't do that. But, most every other girl I've worked with have cried because they said: "Aah, I can't do it" and I have to go: "Yes, you can, Shut up!" and they do it.

24. I have never had anything that I can remember in the business - and that includes all the movies and the stage shows and everything - that I didn't enjoy. I didn't like some of the small-time vaudeville, because we weren't going on and getting better. Aside from that, I didn't dislike anything.

25. They tend to overdo the vulgarity. I'm not embarrassed by the language itself, but it's embarrassing to be listening to it, sitting next to perfect strangers. (on modern movies)

26. Of course, Ginger was able to accomplish sex through dance. We told more through our movements instead of the big clinch. We did it all in the dance.

27. I had some ballet training but didn't like it. It was like a game to me.

28. It's nice that all the composers have said that nobody interprets a lyric like Fred Astaire. But when it comes to selling records I was never worth anything particularly except as a collector's item.

29. I suppose I made it look easy, but gee whiz, did I work and worry.

30. He's not a dancer. What he did in those dance scenes was very attractive but he is basically not a dancer. I was dancing like that years ago, you know. (on John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever")

31. She may have faked a little, but we knew we had a good thing going. (on Ginger Rogers)

32. Eleanor was an out and out dancer. She danced like a man. She slammed the floor and did it great and that's fine and suddenly she's on her toes in the ballet sequence - it did look kinda funny.

33. A great dancer but a different style to me. (on Rita Hayworth

34. She was just simply wonderful. She danced beautifully, learned beautifully. She was very adept at whatever she did. Really in fine form. We were all set to do another picture together, but she got sick and that was the end of that. (on Judy Garland)

35. A ballet dancer really, but technically good. I called her the sergeant major. (on actress/dancer Leslie Caron)

36. You know, that Kelly, he's just terrific. That's all there is to it. He dances like crazy, he directs like crazy. I adore this guy. I really am crazy about his work. (on Gene Kelly)

37. You're at a level where you can only afford one mistake. The higher up you go, the more mistakes you're allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style. (To Jack Lemmon)

38. Ginger was brilliantly effective. She made everything work for her. Actually, she made things very fine for the both of us and she deserves most of the credit for our success. (on his screen partnership with Ginger Rogers)

39. When you dance with her you stay danced. (Of dancing partner Cyd Charisse)

40. It's a fun picture to make - all fire and water. (on joining the cast of "The Towering Inferno")

What do you think of Fred Astaire's quotes?

Feel free to comment and share this blog post if you find it interesting!