According to Disney sources, Bobby was a long-time veteran of amateur contests, but hadn't worked professionally.
However, he did do some toothpaste commercials for The Ozzie and Harriet Show in the summer of 1954, and like Annette, had worked as a professional model for commercial photographers.
He drew more than his share of undeserved snipes from other mice, many long after the show ended.
One first season dance partner even spit on him when he lifted her overhead during a dance number.
He received a large amount of positive fan mail, had an all-female fan club in Compton, California, but he also had a few detractors in the viewing audience.
His fixed smile and wide-swinging arm and leg movements during dance solos annoyed some who didn't appreciate that Bobby was the only Mouseketeer to develop a unique dance style.
Bobby has one older brother, Bill, and two younger sisters, Betty and Barbara.
He also performed gratis at the Los Amigos and Sister Kenny Hospitals, both of which were devoted to polio victims.He also sang alto, played the accordion, and studied Hawaiian folk dancing.He would later blend movements from this specialty with jazz dancing to create his own unique style for the Mickey Mouse Club.Charity events figured prominently into his performing schedule; though the Burgess family was Baptist, Bob danced at Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant benefits, and for more secular groups like the Shriner's and Lion's Clubs.When not performing Bobby attended Hughes Junior High School in Long Beach where he was an "A" student.With his trademark smile and crackling energy, Bobby was the most recognizable male Mouseketeer.A Red Team member for all three seasons, he was not only an accomplished and original dancer, but was a good actor and singer as well. Burgess and Janie Thompson in Long Beach, California.His first public performance occurred at a Masonic temple at age three or four, soon after starting dance lessons.Within a year he had acquired his first regular partner, Judy Lewis.It took four callbacks, but he got the job doing a barefoot dance to Rock Around the Clock.Bobby was one of the two best male dancers on the show during its three year run, and consequently took part in just about every musical number.