Kristin Baggelaar was born on Long Island and has spent most of her life in the greater New York metropolitan area. She grew up with the music of Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, and so many others who were then-headlining the eponymous nightclub in THE COPACABANA. While pursuing a fine art degree at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, she became interested in the history of a famous "carpet joint" called Piping Rock. This local casino had played host to the Copacabana floor shows, stars, and Copa Girls during the August racing and social season in the 1940s and early '50s. She was delighted by the opportunity to pursue and combine early early musical influences with her historical interests to compile this photographic history.
She hopes that this work will bring back fond memories of a bygone night club era and will pay homage to the vast wealth of American entertainment that once graced the magical room, three steps up and one flight down, called the Copacabana.
Her subsequent book DANCING WITH A STAR: THE MAXINE BARRAT STORY grew out of a friendship that was sparked when Maxine participated in a Greenwich Village B&N book signing for THE COPACABANA. One of the biggest acts in the early days of the Copacabana, Loper & Barrat helped to establish the nightclub's world-famous reputation. Beyond a stellar dance career that included performances @ Radio City Music Hall, on Broadway, in film and for European royalty, Maxine also made history as one of this country's first female TV talk show hosts, forging a path for the likes of Barbara Walters, Oprah, Ellen and so many more. Along the way Maxine befriended the biggest names in the world of entertainment, including close friendships w/ Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers and an affair w/ Clark Gable. She is the original star whom "Dancing With a Star"contestants unknowingly emulate, and it was only fitting to put Maxine Barrat back in the spotlight of the American consciousness.
Kristin Baggelaar lives in Locust Valley, Long Island, and has two grown daughters, Katie and Sara.