They began to rehearse, exchanging pieces of their autobiographies, which they unearthed from each other’s style. Those bowlers Fosse put on his dancers? From the English music-hall tradition? He got used to them covering his bald spot. Gwen’s facility with hands and fingers? She learned sign language from a girl at elementary school. Her twisted, turned-in feet? “Me knees were so badly knocked,” she said, “that they crossed over each other. I wore braces on my legs, and orthopedic shoes and I was never without big, angry sores on my knees because they knocked together so hard.” Fosse’s body could speak to that; he was pigeon-toed too. Adversity became them. Those heavy black orthopedic shoes had only made little Gwen work harder, and her poor turnout forced her to compensate—with personality.
—Broadway legends Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse and the adversity that would ultimately help them fashion their unmistakable styles. From Fosse, by Sam Wasson.