List of dancers
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Main article: List of dance personalities
An annotated list of popular/famous dancers.
- Fifi Abdou (born April 26, 1953) is an Egyptian belly dancer and actress. She rose to fame in the 1970s, and was one of the most famous and successful Egyptian dance stars throughout the 1980s and 1990s until her retirement in the 2000s. She has been the subject of several controversies during her long career.
- Paula Abdul (born June 16, 1962) is an American recording artist, dancer, choreographer, and actress. Before achieving widespread fame as a recording artist in the early 1990s, Abdul, a former high school cheerleader, was a heavily sought-after choreographer who has designed dance routines for several well-known performers, including singer Janet Jackson. In her music videos, Abdul has exhibited skills in a variety of dance styles, including hip-hop, tap, and freestyle. Abdul's major television breakthrough came in 2002, when she became a judge on the popular reality television talent competition American Idol, a role in which she remained for seven years. In 2011 Abdul was one of the judges on the American version of The X Factor, another reality television singing competition.
- Fred Astaire (born May 10, 1899 - June 22, 1987) was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. He was an innovator in dance. He made 31 musical films and also was honored with the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.
- George Balanchine (January 22, 1904 – April 30, 1983), was a Georgian ballet choreographer. He is one of the 20th century's foremost choreographers, and one of the founders of American ballet. His work formed a bridge between classical and modern ballet. Apollo is Balanchine's oldest surviving ballet and his first great public ballet which Balanchine was to become renowned for. It premiered on June 12, 1928 by Les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhart in Paris. Balanchine looked upon Apollo as the turning point of his life, "in its sustained oneness of tone and feeling". The story centers around Apollo, the god of the sun, who is visited by three muses: Terpsichore, muse of dance; Polyhymnia, muse of hymns; and Calliope, muse of poetry. Balanchine created ballet sequences for Ravel's opera L'enfant et les sortilèges to Colette's libretto with what Ravel described as "Russian dancers", presumably from the Ballets Russes for the 1925 Monte Carlo premiere, although this is not listed as a Ballets Russes production.
- Sara Baras (born 1971) is a female Flamenco Dancer, born in the port of Cadiz. She is internationally famous and regularly tours the world. She has won a number of awards including the Madroño Flamenco of Montellano (Seville) in 1993,and in 1999 and 2001, she received a prize for the Best Female Spanish Dance Performer.
- Matt Barber is a dancer, teacher, author, columnist, and dance coach in the ballroom dance world. Matt first encountered ballroom dancing as choreographed routines onstage for musicals and began ballroom dance lessons in high school. At eighteen years of age, Matt started training to become a ballroom dance instructor with National Dance Clubs as a side job in college; he went on to teach in the independent world, for Arthur Murray International, and for Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Concurrently, Matt graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan and acquired an SB from Fordham University, his MS, and his business management and leadership training from University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Matt Barber's books on ballroom dancing changed the way ballroom studios conduct business.
- Mikhail Baryshnikov (born January 28, 1948) is a Soviet-born Russian American dancer, choreographer, and actor, often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974 and went on to become a principal dancer and artistic director with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet in New York City. He has spearheaded many of his own artistic projects and has been associated in particular with promoting modern dance, premièring dozens of new works, including many of his own. His success as a dramatic actor on stage, cinema and television has helped him become probably the most widely recognized contemporary dancer.
- Joshua Berger (August 20, 1998 – August 11, 2010) was a Canadian break dancer. He has won multiple competitions including the yu13 world championship which took place in Niagara falls, Ontario and he also go's in break dance shows in Canada's wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario), Vaughan mills (mall in Vaughan, Ontario) and much more.
- Vytautas Beliajus (February 26, 1908 – September 1994) is considered the father of international folk dancing in the United States. He specialized in Lithuanian dance, but performed and taught many other types of dance as well. He published multiple books on the subjects of dance and ethnicity, and also started the folklore magazine Viltis. Beliajus was born in Lithuania and emigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. He had two younger brothers, Leonas and Julius, and a sister, Gyte Jekentes.
- Carlo Blasis (4 November 1797 – 15 January 1878) was an Italian dancer, choreographer and dance theoretician. He is well known for his very rigorous dance classes, sometimes lasting four hours long. He was the first who published an analysis on the ballet techniques in 1820, in a work named Traité élémentaire, théorique, et pratique de l'art de la danse (Elementary Treaty on the Art of the Dance, theory and practice). He is most known for the pose "Attitude" derived from the famous statue Mercury by Giovanni da Bologna. He taught Enrico Cecchetti, who expanded his technique.
- James Brown or James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", "Mr. Dynamite", the "King of Funk", "Soul Brother #1" and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business", was an American entertainer (singer and dancer). He is recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century popular music and was renowned for his vocals and feverish dancing. As a prolific singer, songwriter and bandleader, Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry. He left his mark on numerous artists. Brown's music also left its mark on the rhythms of African popular music, such as afrobeat, jùjú and mbalax, and provided a template for go-go music. Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and rose to fame during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. During the early 1980s, Brown's music helped to shape the rhythms of early hip-hop music, with numerous groups looping or sampling his funk grooves and turning them into what became hip hop classics and the foundations of the music and dance genre. Brown danced vigorously as he sang, working popular dance steps such as the Mashed Potato into his routine along with dramatic leaps, splits and slides. In addition, his horn players and backup singers (The Famous Flames) typically performed choreographed dance routines, and later incarnations of the Revue included backup dancers. Male performers in the Revue were required to wear tuxedos and cummerbunds long after more casual concert wear became the norm among the younger musical acts. Brown's own extravagant outfits and his elaborate processed hairdo completed the visual impression.
- Jean Butler (born March 14, 1971) is an Irish step dancer.She began training in Irish dance at the age of four with the widely respected teacher Donny Golden. She also participated in tap and ballet classes, but step dance became her focus. Her talent was clear from a young age, and she competed in regional, national and international championships. She and her sister, Cara Butler, both went on to win numerous national titles and regional titles, and placing well in international competitions. Jean has performed with Green Fields of America and Cherish the Ladies. She debuted with The Chieftains at Carnegie Hall at the age of seventeen, and toured with them on three continents.
- Don Campbell is an American dancer born in 1951 who invented the locking dance, as campbellocking. In 1969, Campbell began making the dance popular around Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter he put out a record called "Do the Campbellock" and started a dance group called the Lockers.
- Leslie Caron, a French dancer and actress in many motion pictures.
- Enrico Cecchetti (21 June 1850, Rome - 13 November 1928, Milan) was an Italian ballet dancer, founder of the Cecchetti method. The son of two dancers, he was born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinonia in Rome. After an illustrious career as a dancer in Europe, he went to dance for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia where he further honed his skills. By 1888, he was widely accepted as the greatest ballet virtuoso in the world. The general populace was not aware that he could only turn in one direction and in fact, had to have all his choreography tailored especially to accommodate this weakness.
- Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers of the early 20th century. They are credited with invigorating the popularity of modern dancing. Vernon Castle (May 2, 1887 - February 15, 1918) was born William Vernon Blyth in England. Irene Castle (April 17, 1893 - January 25, 1969) was born New York.
- Ciara is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and choreographer. She is best known for her hip-hop style and contemporary dance choreography.
- Bessie Clayton (c. 1875-1948), considered the mother of American toe-tap dancing.
- Jack Cole (born 1911 – died 1974) was an American dancer, choreographer, and theatre director known as the father of theatrical jazz dance.Cole is credited with choreographing and/or directing the stage musicals Alive and Kicking, Magdalena, Carnival in Flanders, Zenda, Foxy, Kismet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Kean, Donnybrook!, Jamaica and Man of La Mancha. His film work includes Moon Over Miami, Cover Girl, Tonight and Every Night, Gilda, The Merry Widow, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There's No Business Like Show Business, The I Don’t Care Girl, Thrill of Brazil, Down to Earth, Kismet, Les Girls, and many others. He was most famous in Hollywood for his work with Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe. Cole's unmistakable style endures in the work of Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Gower Champion, Peter Gennaro, Michael Bennett, Tommy Tune, and countless other dancers and choreographers.
- Dean Collins (May 29, 1917 – June 1, 1984) was an American dancer, instructor, choreographer, and innovator of swing. He is often credited with bringing swing dance, or Lindy Hop, from New York to Southern California. He is undoubtedly the most filmed Lindy Hopper in history with over 30 movie and short credits to his name.
- Jean Coralli (born 1779 – died 1854), was a French dancer and choreographer and later held the esteemed post of First Balletmaster of the Paris Opera Ballet. He is best known for the creation of the Romantic ballet Giselle which he choreographed in tandem with another French dancer, Jules Perrot.
- Eduardo Corrochio (born 1869 – died 1912) was a Spanish-born dancer who won the first Tap Dancing Championship in New York City in 1890. Corrochio entered the Tap Dancing Championship in New York City. The only non-American in a field of two hundred invited participants, he defeated Henry Rogers to become the first tap dancing champion of the world .in 1894 Corrochio successfully defended his title at another tap dancing championship in Chicago, Illinois. Three hundred participants gather this time, twenty of them non-Americans, mostly from Britain and Germany.
- Joaquín Cortés (born February 22, 1969) is a classically trained ballet and flamenco dancer from Spain of Roma origin. Cortés formed the Joaquín Cortés Flamenco Ballet company and launched his first international tour ‘Cibayí’ in 1992. The formation of Cortés' own company allowed him diverge from purist ballet and create his own fusion of flamenco, ballet and modern dance. On May 15, 2007 he performed as a guest dancer in a high-profile semi-final segment on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
- Merce Cunningham (born April 16, 1919) is an American dancer and choreographer. Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington, and received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle. Merce Cunningham Dance Company was formed at Black Mountain College in the summer of 1953. Since that time Cunningham has choreographed nearly 200 works for his company. In 1973 he choreographed Un jour ou deux for the Ballet of the Paris Opéra, with music by Cage and set design by Jasper Johns. The Ballet of the Paris Opéra also performed a revival of his Points in Space in 1990. His work has also been presented by New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, White Oak Dance Project, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Zurich Ballet, and Rambert Dance Company (London), among others. Cunningham's interest in contemporary technology has led him to work with the computer program Dance Forms, which he has used in making all his dances since Trackers (1991).Another of Cunningham's innovations was the development of what might be called "non-representative" dance which simply emphasizes movement: in Cunningham's choreography, dancers do not necessarily represent any historical figure, emotional situation, or idea.
- Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo, also known as Nappytabs, are choreographers and creative directors who are credited with developing the new style of hip-hop dance known as lyrical hip-hop. They have been supervising choreographers on America's Best Dance Crew since season one and recurring guest judges and choreographers Fox's So You Think You Can Dance since season four. They currently teach dance classes at The Edge performing Arts Center in Hollywood and travel around the country with Monsters of Hip Hop and Shock the Intensive dance conventions.
- Alex Da Silva is a dancer and choreographer, specializing in Salsa dancing. Da Silva is also known for being a recurring guest choreographer on the Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance. Da Silva was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He discovered Salsa dancing at the age of 20. He is credited with contributing to the "LA Style" of Salsa dancing. Currently, he resides in Southern California.
- Astad Deboo, (born in 1947) is an Indian dancer-choreographer, who has mixed a modern and contemporary dance styles, with Indian classical dance forms of Kathak and Kathakali in which he has trained, to create style unique to him.
- Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, also referred to as Serge, (March 31, 1872 – August 19, 1929) was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous dancers and choreographers would later arise. Diaghilev staged Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty in London in 1921; it was a production of remarkable magnificence both in settings and costumes, but despite being well received by the public it was a financial disaster for Diaghilev and Oswald Stoll, the theatre-owner, who had backed it. The first cast included the legendary ballerina Olga Spessivtseva. Diaghilev insisted on calling the ballet The Sleeping Princess. When asked why, he quipped, "Because I have no beauties!" The later years of the Ballets Russes were often considered too "intellectual", too "stylish" and seldom had the unconditional success of the first few seasons, although younger choreographers like George Balanchine hit their stride with the Ballet Russes.
- Charles-Louis Didelot (27 March 1767 - 7 November 1837) was a French dancer and choreographer. The son of Charles Didelot, the dance maestro of the King of Sweden, he studied dance with his father, who were instructor in dance at the Swedish Opera, and dubuted as dancer in the theatre of Bollhuset in Stockholm 1786. Didelot taught dance, having an important influence over the development of ballet.
- Isadora Duncan (May 27, 1877 – September 14, 1927) was an American dancer. She was born Angela Isadora Duncan in San Francisco, California and is considered by many to be the mother of Modern Dance. Although never very popular in the United States, she entertained throughout Europe.
- Lucinda Dickey (born August 14, 1960) is an American dancer and actress who is best known for her role as Kelly in the 1984 cult film Breakin’ and the 1984 sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Dickey was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas, where at the age of four, she began dancing. While attending college at Kansas State University, she majored in dance and competed in the Miss Kansas pageant, where she won the talent division and finished third runner-up.After college, Dickey moved to Los Angeles and won a dance scholarship with the Roland DuPree Dance Academy. After 10 months, she auditioned for the movie Grease 2, winning a role as one of film's lead dancers. That same year (1982) she landed a stint as a dancer on Solid Gold.
- Doctor Ice influenced Hip-Hop dancing to a new form. His influence can be noted by the dance moves in videos done by artists such as Kid N Play, Scrap Lover and Scoop Lover (dancers for Big Daddy Kane) and G-Wiz and the late Trouble T-Roy (from Heavy D & The Boyz). The commercial world fashioned their dance moves after Michael Jackson but the black community embraced Doc Ice because his dancing was reflective of the type of dance moves done at a house/block party or in the nightclub. He left UTFO in the late 1980s before the group's breakup in 1991 to go on a solo career. His first album, The Mic Stalker in 1989, produced by R&B group Full Force, had the singles 'Word to the Wise', 'Love Jones', and 'Sue Me'. Ice also collaborated with Dino (singer), for his 1990 song 'Romeo' (charting at #6) on the album "Swingin'". His second album, "Rely on Self" appeared in 1994.
- Katherine Mary Dunham (June 22, 1909 – May 21, 2006) was an American dancer, choreographer, songwriter, author, educator and activist who was trained as an anthropologist. Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in American and European theater of the 20th century and has been called the Matriarch and Queen Mother of Black Dance. During her heyday in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, she was renowned throughout Europe and Latin America as La Grande Katherine, and the Washington Post called her "Dance's Katherine the Great." For more than 30 years she maintained the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, the only permanent, self-subsidized American black dance troupe at that time, and over her long career she choreographed more than 90 individual dances. Dunham was an innovator in African-American modern dance as well as a leader in the field of dance anthropology, or ethnochoreology (see also dance studies). She died in her sleep in New York City on 21 May 2006.
- Shabba Doo (May 11, 1955) is an American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director. He has appeared in film and television. He became one of the founders of hip hop dancing as a member of The Original Lockers. He is one of the pioneers the dance style commonly known as "locking". Besides his work in film and television he has served as a choreographer to many singers such as Lionel Richie, Madonna, and Luther Vandross to name a few. Presently he serves as choreographer for Jamie Kennedy's new MTV sitcom, Blowin’ Up. He is also well remembered for his choreography of Three Six Mafia's performance on the 78th Annual Academy Awards.
- Amera Eid is an Australian belly dancer and owner of an Australian belly dance school, Amera's Palace. Amera is of Egyptian and European background and was introduced to belly dancing at the age of twelve. She began her professional training with Rozeta Ahalyea in Sydney in 1983 and worked the Sydney restaurant and Arabic nightclub circuit. Eid opened Amera's Palace belly dance boutique in 1987, which included one of the first belly dance schools in Sydney. She also hosts the annual Bellydancers Ball which has been running since 1998.
- Fanny Elssler (23 June 1810 - 27 November 1884), was an Austrian dancer. Ballerinas such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Elssler pioneered new techniques such as pointe work that rocketed the ballerina into prominence as the ideal stage figure, professional librettists began crafting the stories in ballets, and teachers like Carlo Blasis codified ballet technique in the basic form that is still used today. The ballet slipper was invented to support pointe work.
- Norberto Esbrez (born November 22, 1966) is an Argentinian tango dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Innovative dancer and teacher of tango nuevo. He is known as El Pulpo or octopus for his fluid and intricate leg moves. Esbrez created and named several tango movements including: ocho loco, sentada girada, elevador, or el elástico. He explored the concept of trap sacadas (sacadas con agarre) and enganches into innovative variations. His style is so notorious that when the dancer starts combining several leg moves that look like Pulpo's it is being called pulpeadas. Developed the concept of suspension as a tool to generate the control and fluidity that is part of his dance.
- Michael Ryan Flatley (born July 16, 1958) is an Irish step dancer from the south side of the country. As a child, he moved to Chicago - the city which he considers his home town. He began dancing lessons at 11 and, in 1975, became the first non-European to win the All-Ireland World Championship for Irish dance. As a trained boxer he won the Chicago Golden Gloves Championship in 1975. Flatley is also known as being a proficient flautist, having twice won the All-Ireland Competition. His first dance teachers were his mother and his grandmother Hannah Ryan, an Irish dancing champion. After high school graduation, he opened a dance school.
- Flying Steps is a German breakdance crew, founded in 1993. They have won many breakdancing competitions and also released some singles and albums. Flying Steps has also appeared in some videos of an electro music project Music Instructor. The members of Flying Steps are: "Amigo" - Kadir Memis,"Benny" - Benny Kimoto,"KC-1″ - Khaled Chaabi,"Lil’Ceng" - Gengis Ademoski, "Lil’Steph" - Stephanie Nguyen,"Mikel" - Michael Rosemann,"Vartan" - Vartan Bassil.
- Bob Fosse (June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987) was world renowned dancer, actor, film director, film editor, screenwriter, and most notably a groundbreaking jazz/musical theatre choreographer. He won eight tony awards for choreography. His unique and famous style has been imitated and recreated over and over again throughout the world.
- Michel Fokine (April 23, 1880 – August 22, 1942) was a groundbreaking Russian choreographer and dancer .Fokine staged more than 70 ballets in Europe and the United States. His best known works were Chopiniana (later revised as Les Sylphides), Le Carnaval and Le Pavillon d'Armide. Among his works for the Ballets Russes were The Firebird, Petrushka, and Le Spectre de la Rose. For the Ballets Russes he created a ballet out of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade
- Dame Margot Fonteyn (18 May 1919 – 21 February 1991). Widely regarded as England's greatest ballerina. Stage partner and friend of Rudolf Nureyev for many years.
- William Forsythe (born December 30, 1949 in New York City) is an American dancer and choreographer resident in Dresden in Saxony. He is known internationally for his work with the Frankfurt Ballet and his reorientation of classical ballet .Forsythe trained at the Joffrey Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre in New York City (taking additional classes with Maggie Black, Finis Jung, Jonathan Watts, Meredith Baylis, William Griffith, Leon Danelion, Mme. Periaslavic, Mme. Boskovitch, Nolan Dingman, Pat Wilde, and Christa Long). After, he studied at the Jacksonville University, Florida (where he studied George Balanchine's and Martha Graham's techniques). In 1971, he joined the Joffrey Ballet, but when invited by the Stuttgart Ballet three years later, he left the Joffrey and moved to Europe when he was twenty-three as a dancer, and later became Resident Choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet. This position he held until 1981, when he began pursuing an independent career. He also created works for ballet companies in Munich, The Hague, London, Basel, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, New York and San Francisco. He choreographed "France/Dance" for Rudolf Nureyev at the Paris Opera Ballet during his career as Resident Choreographer.
- Joe Frisco was an American vaudeville performer who first made his name on stage as a jazz dancer, but later incorporated his stuttering voice to his act and became a popular comedian. Frisco was a mainstay on the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s and 1930s. He made his Broadway debut in the Florenz Ziegfeld Follies in 1918. His popular jazz dance act (called by some the "Jewish Charleston") was a choreographed series of shuffles, camel walks and turns. It was usually performed to "Darktown Strutters’ Ball." He typically wore a derby hat, and had a king-sized cigar in his mouth as he danced.
- Chicho Frumboli is one of the most famous Argentine Tango dancers. His real name is Mariano Frumboli. He is best known for his improvisation skills. He is regarded as one of the founders of Tango nuevo. He usually dances in this open style but is equally at ease when dancing close. Rather his embrace is fluid in most cases. He performed among others with Gotan Project, Tanghetto and Narcotango.
- Loie Fuller (January 15, 1862 – January 1, 1928) was a pioneer of both modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Fuller's work has been experiencing a resurgence of artistic and public interest. Sally R. Sommer has written extensively about Fuller's life and times Marcia and Richard Current published a biography entitled Loie Fuller, Goddess of Light in 1997. And Giovanni Lista compiled a 680-page book of Fuller-inspired art work and texts in Loïe Fuller, Danseuse de la Belle Epoque, 1994. Fuller continues to be an influence on contemporary choreographers. Among these are Jody Sperling and TimeLapse Dance, who began creating Loie Fuller-style solos with live piano accompaniment for New York City audiences in 2000.
- Antonio Gades (November 14, 1936 - July 20, 2004) was a Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer. He helped to popularize the art form on the international stage. His most notable works included dance adaptations of Prosper Mérimée's Carmen and Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding, as well as a feature-length adaptation of Manuel de Falla's 23-minute ballet El Amor Brujo. Gades has also co-founded and became the artistic director of the Spanish National Ballet. you smell
- Samia Gamal (born in 1924 - December 1, 1994) was an Egyptian belly dancer and film actress. In 1949, Egypt's King Farouk proclaimed Samia Gamal "The National Dancer of Egypt", which brought US attention to the dancer. In 1950, Samia came to the US and was photographed by G. John Mili. She also performed in The Latin Quarter, New York's trendy nightclub. She later married so-called "Texas millionaire" Shepherd King III (who, it was later reported, actually only had about $50,000). All this brought her to star proportions in the US.
- Pavel Andreyevich Gerdt, also known as Paul Gerdt (near St. Peterburg, Russia, 22 November 1844 – Vamaloki, Finland 12 August 1917), was the Premier Danseur Noble of the Imperial Ballet, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre, and the Mariinsky Theatre for 56 years, making his debut in 1860, and retiring in 1916. His daughter Elisaveta Gerdt was also a prominent ballerina and teacher. Gerdt studied under Alexander Pimenov, a pupil of the legendary Charles Didelot. Among his pupils at the Imperial Ballet School were Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Tamara Karsavina, George Balanchine, and Anna Pavlova, to whom he taught the soaring leap of Marie Taglioni and Carlotta Grisi.
- Gus Giordano (born in 1923 – March 9, 2008) was an American jazz dancer. He was a performer on and off Broadway, in television, film and stage, and he is a master teacher, a gifted choreographer, founder of his company, creator of the Jazz Dance World Congress and the author of Anthology of American Jazz Dance, the first book on jazz dance. He has taught world-renowned dancers in schools such as the American Ballet Theater, and he has choreographed award winning numbers for television, film, stage, commercials and industrials. Giordano is considered one of the founders of jazz dance, and his influence in jazz dance is still felt.
- Savion Glover (born November 19, 1973) is an American actor, tap dancer and choreographer. Glover is a graduate of the Newark Arts High School. His most recent credit is as the motion-capture dancer for Mumble, the penguin in the animated release Happy Feet. He is now in a production called Classical Savion, where he taps to classical pieces played by a chamber string group. The show jazzes and blues it up a bit towards the end adding drums and a pianist. Glover recently appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, on the September 26, 2007 results show.
- Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991) was an American dancer and choreographer regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance, and is widely considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Graham invented a new language of movement, and used it to reveal the passion, the rage and the ecstasy common to human experience. She danced and choreographed for over seventy years, and during that time was the first dancer ever to perform at The White House, the first dancer ever to travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and the first dancer ever to receive the highest civilian award, the Medal of Freedom. In her lifetime she received honors ranging from the key to the City of Paris to Japan's Imperial Order of the Precious Crown. She said "I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It's permitting life to use you in a very intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful. But nevertheless it is inevitable."
- Pablito Greco (born September 1) is a Greek dancer and choreographer regarded as one of the foremost pioneers of dance education, and is widely considered one of the great voices of modern creativity in dance. In 2012 Greco reinvented the term describing dance performance Horografia, and through that a new universal method that brings together the common elements of all the popular dance genres in performance level. In 2011 Greco was the first European dancer that performed in theatrical tango dance the song "My Mother, Hellas" (Μάνα μου Ελλάς) as a direct political statement and protest to the reasons of the vast economical crisis of our days.
- Carlotta Grisi, was an Italian ballet dancer. She was born on June 28, 1819 in Visinada, Istria and died on May 20, 1899 in Saint-Jean, Switzerland. She was trained at the ballet school of Teatro alla Scala in Milan and later with dancer/balletmaster Jules Perrot.Her greatest role however was that of Giselle. The world première of this two-act ballet was on June 28, 1841 at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique, Paris. One of the Giselle's creators, Théophile Gautier, described her dancing as having a childlike artlessness, a happy and infectious gaiety. He is famous for coining the phrase, "Art for art's sake".
- Omari Ishmael Grandberry - known as Omarion (born November 12, 1984), is an American Grammy-nominated R&B singer, dancer, actor, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for his tutting, popping, locking and waving, (along with intricate choreography). Omarion claimed to have learnt more about break dancing (during the making of his first movie You Got Served) and can tap dance, he is also friends with the originators of krumping.
- MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell born March 30, 1962) is an American emcee and hip-hop dancer, most popular during the late 1980s to mid-1990s. His flamboyant dance style, which was a significant part of his performances, influenced the early development of Hyphy. As an entertainer, Hammer's shows and music videos included unique elements popularized by James Brown and The Nicholas Brothers; such as splits, leaps and slides. Moves such as the "Hammer Dance" (or the "Typewriter" Dance), the "Butterfly" and the use of "The Running Man" dance, among others, were unlike anyone else at the time. Hammer won many awards as well as being nominated for his dancing and choreography.
- Erick Hawkins (April 23, 1909 – November 23, 1994) was an American dancer and choreographer. He was a graduate of Harvard. Erick was inspired by the dancing of Harald Kreutzber and Yvonne Georgi. In the 1930s he was the first American student of George Balanchine. He became a soloist and the first male dancer in Martha Graham's dance company. Hawkins and Graham lived together for eight years, but soon after marrying the relationship fell apart. The influence of her work on Hawkins is legendary. Erick Hawkins is known as one of the revolutionary pioneers of radical modern dance through his original choreography and evolution of a new theory and technique of modern dance. "Dance is the most beautiful metaphor of existence in the world." is one of Erick's beautiful quotes.
- Sir Robert Helpmann (9 April 1909 – 28 September 1986). Noted Australian dancer, actor, theatre director, and choreographer. Co-director of the Australian Ballet during the 1960s and 1970s.
- Tatsumi Hijikata (March 9, 1928 - January 21, 1986) was a Japanese choreographer, and the founder of a genre of dance performance art called Butoh. By the late 1960s, he had begun to develop this dance form, which is highly choreographed with stylized gestures drawn from his childhood memories of his northern Japan home. It is this style which is most often associated with Butoh by Westerners. Hijikata was an innovator in movement technique. He was a master of the use of energy qualities in constructing expressive movement. He would use sounds, paintings, sculptures, and words to construct movement, not exclusively in a formal or literal memetic application, but by integrating these elements via visualization into the nervous system to produce movement qualities that could be very subtle, light, angelic and ghost-like, or demonic, heavy, dark, grotesque, violent and extreme.
- Gregory Oliver Hines (February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003) was an American actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.
- Hong 10 (born 16 February 1985 in South Korea) is a male South Korean B-Boy. As of 2007, he has won more than 20 competitions as an individual or as a member of a crew, and has been termed "the best B-Boy in the world". His accomplishments include both a Red Bull BC One individual title (2006) and a Battle of the Year crew title (2002). He also was a judge at the 2007 Battle of the Year world finals. Hong 10 is recognized as a superb all-around B-boy able to dynamically hit beats with floorwork, freezes, uprock/toprock and powermoves - not to mention the rare ability to mix all of them in a set. His breakdancing features bridge-like floor work, sharp execution, and an arsenal of signature moves. These all showcase not only the complex nature of his dance, but also his creativity.
- Lester Horton (January 23, 1906 - November 2, 1953) was an American dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Lester Horton was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Choosing to work in California (three thousand miles away from the center of modern dance - New York City), Horton developed his own approach that incorporated diverse elements including Native American dances and modern Jazz. Horton's dance technique (Lester Horton Technique) emphasises a whole body approach including flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness to allow freedom of expression. Horton trained a number of the mid-20th century's best-known modern dancers, including Alvin Ailey, Carmen de Lavallade, and Bella Lewitzky, as well as dance teacher James Truitte, Broadway dancer James Mitchell, and the gay activist Harry Hay.
- Finola Hughes, an English dancer and actress, most noted for her appearance in the film Staying Alive. Trained in England at the Arts Educational Schools London, she subsequently worked extensively in London musical theatre, including the original West End cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. Currently resides in the United States, where she works predominantly as a television actress, most notably portraying the role of Patty Halliwell in Charmed.
- Doris Batcheller Humphrey (October 17, 1895 – December 29, 1958) was a dancer of the early 20th century. In Chicago, she both studied and taught dance, opening her own dance school in 1913 at the age of 18. In 1917, she moved to California and entered the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts, where she studied, performed, taught classes, and learned choreography. Her creations from this era, "Valse Caprice" ("Scarf Dance"), "Soaring", and "Scherzo Waltz" ("Hoop Dance") are all still performed today. Humphrey toured the Orient for two years, followed by a successful career in American vaudeville theaters. One of her last pieces, "Dawn in New York", featured the strengths she demonstrated throughout her career – her mastery of the intricacies of large groups, and her emphasis on sculptural shapes.
- Janet Jackson (May 16, 1966) is an American singer and entertainer. Like her famous brother Michael Jackson, dance was a celebrated aspect of her career. Jackson's style of intricate choreography would later influence a number of female pop stars, including Britney Spears, Ciara, Aaliyah and Beyoncé. Jackson's music video dance performances has been given numerous tributes to over the years, including MTV Icon and on America's Best Dance Crew.
- Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), often referred to as MJ and The King of Pop, was an American musician and entertainer. Among the most celebrated aspects of Jackson's career were his dance, fashion, and vocal styles, which have given rise to impersonators all over the world. The "moonwalk" followed by a tornado spin and then balancing up on his toes have since gone on to become Jackson's trademark dance piece, and is virtually synonymous with the song. The performance sealed his position as a dance legend up against the likes of Fred Astaire (who actually called Jackson the next day to congratulate him). After one of his performances The New York Times stated "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing"
- Robert Joffrey (born 1930 – died 1988) was an American dancer, teacher, producer, and choreographer, known for his highly imaginative modern ballets. Of Afghan parentage, he was born in Seattle, Washington, and originally named Abdulla Jaffa Anver Bey Khan. Joffrey studied ballet and modern dance in New York City and made his debut in 1949 with the French choreographer Roland Petit and his Ballets de Paris. From 1950 to 1955, he taught at the New York High School for the Performing Arts, where he staged his earliest ballets. In 1954, he formed his own company, which premiered Le bal masqué (The Masked Ball, 1954; music by French composer Francis Poulenc) and Pierrot Lunaire (1955; music by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg). Joffrey's other works include Gamelan (1962) and Astarte (1967; to rock music with special lighting and motion-picture effects).
- Sabra Elise Johnson (born July 29, 1987) is a dancer from Roy, Utah and the most recent champion of the Fox reality television show So You Think You Can Dance. She has the distinction of being the first female and person of African-American descent to win the title. Johnson started formal dance training at the age of 16 at Dance Impressions in Bountiful, Utah, under the direction of mother-daughter team Kandee Allen and Vivian Colobella and before training in dance, Johnson had a previous background in gymnastics.. She has been a fast-learner being able to win "America's Favorite Dancer" name in So You Think You Can Dance just in her fourth year of being a dancer. Her dance training consists of jazz, ballet, contemporary, and gymnastics, with some experience in hip hop, modern dance, tap dancing, and theater. Johnson's favorite style of dancing is contemporary.
- Thomas Johnson (better known as Tommy the Clown) is an American dancer, best known as the inventor of the "clowning" style of dance, which evolved into the popular "krumping" style. Johnson invented the style in 1992, to enhance birthday party clown acts, thereby creating the concept of "hip-hop clowns". Johnson and his followers have performed at birthday parties ranging from inner city communities to celebrities like Madonna, Pamela Anderson, and Cedric the Entertainer.
- Kunwar Amarjeet Singh (born 16 March 1984) is a modern dancer and choreographer from India. He is known for his hip-hop dancing styles, mainly the old-School genre, and for his Bollywood style, especially partner dancing or group dancing. He was awarded as the most talented dancer on Dance India Dance in Season 2 (2010). He is currently playing the role of Reyaansh Singhania on the TV show, Dil Dosti Dance, airing on Channel V in India.
- Malika (Mazol) Yashuvayevna Kolontarova (born September 5, 1950) is a legendary Tajik Bukharian Jewish dancer. She earned the titles of People's Artist of USSR, People's Artist of Tajikistan and Honored Artist of Tajikistan (the highest titles given in her native nation). She is married to Ishkak Gulkarov, a famous doira player and an Honored Artist of Tajikistan. The two were Tajikistan's biggest supercouple. Since her move to the United States in the early 1990s, Kalontarova founded the Malika International Dance School.
- Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (March 10, 1885 – May 26, 1978) was a famous Russian ballerina who eventually settled in England, where she helped create the Royal Academy of Dance in 1920. Karsavina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, the daughter of dancer Platon Karsavin. Karsavina quickly moved through the ranks of professional ballet. Her most famous roles were Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée, Medora in Le Corsaire and the Tsar Maiden in The Little Humpbacked Horse. She was the first Ballerina to dance in the so-called Le Corsaire Pas de Deux in 1915. The choreographer George Balanchine said he had fond memories of watching her when he was a student at the Imperial Ballet School.
- Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996), better known as Gene Kelly, was an Academy Award-winning American dancer, actor, singer, director, producer and choreographer. Kelly was a major exponent of 20th-century filmed dance, known for his energetic and athletic dancing style and the likeable characters which he played on screen. Although he is probably best known today for his performance in Singin’ in the Rain, he dominated Hollywood musical films from the mid-1940s until its demise in the late 1950s. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Kelly among the greatest male stars of all time, ranking him at No. 15.
- Alonzo King is an American dancer and choreographer working in San Francisco, California. He is known for founding a contemporary ballet company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, in 1982. King began his ballet training in Santa Barbara, California with June Lane and moved to New York City to continue his artistic development. He trained at the Harkness School of Ballet and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. While attending the American Ballet Theatre on full scholarship, he studied with Patricia Wilde and Leon Danelian. He was also on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet where he trained with Stanley Williams and Richard Rapp. In New York, King performed with the Harkness Youth Company, apprenticed with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and danced a the Dance Theatre of Harlem with Donald McKayle, Lucas Hoving, and a number of other European companies. After returning from New York, he danced with Bella Lewitzky in Los Angeles before moving to San Francisco.
- Jiří Kylián (born 1947) is a Czech dance choreographer. Kylián studied in Prague, as well as at the Royal Ballet School in London. He joined the Stuttgart Ballet in 1968 and worked under John Cranko, where he began to choreograph. Kylián became artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theatre in 1976. His style is very energetic and contemporary, and his best known work include Symphony of Psalms (1978).
- Maria Kochetkova (born 1984 in Moscow) is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. Kochetkova studied at the Bolshoi School in Moscow, and danced with the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet School.
- Rudolf Laban (December 15, 1879 - July 1, 1958) was a notable, central European dance artist and theorist, whose work laid the foundations for Laban Movement Analysis, and other more specific developments. He moved to Munich at age 30 and under the influence of seminal dancer/choreographer Heidi Dzinkowska began to concentrate on the movement arts .Laban established the Choreographic Institute in Zürich in 1915, and later founded branches in Italy, France, and central Europe. One of his great contribution to dance was his 1928 publication of Kinetographie Laban, a dance notation system that came to be called Labanotation and is still used as one of the primary movement notation systems in dance. His theories of choreography and movement served as one of the central foundations of modern European dance. Nowadays, Laban's theories are applied in diverse fields, such as Cultural Studies, Leadership development, Non-Verbal Communication, and more.
- Eddie Ladd is an award winning Welsh contemporary dancer, known for her controversial themes and presentation style.
- Walter Laird (26 July 1920 – 30 May 2002) Dancesport World Champion in Professional Latin. Author of the Technique of Latin American Dancing, and coached many dancer champions including Allan Tornsberg, Vibeke Toft, Espen Salberg, Jukka Haapalainen and Sirpa Suutari.
- Last For One is a break dancing crew that formed in 1997. With their win in the 2005 Battle of the Year, they have been recognized as a worldwide known name and a contributor to the Korean wave, their fans respectively calling them the 'Dancing Taeguk Warriors'. Their love for dancing started 7 to 8 years ago when they saw Seotaiji and Boys dancing on television or, like fate, came across a video featuring break dancing. Many of their families had to endure poverty which drove their parents to strongly disagree with their passion for dancing. They danced while others looked on with pity and anger, only keeping one dream in mind: to become a b-boy. In the day, they were busy running around doing any kind of job they could find, and by night, they met together to dance. Living in a small one room apartment did not bother them for they had an outlet called dance. One member said that "All of this was nothing to us because it was happiness in itself that we were able to dance."
- Nick Lazzarini (born in 1984) was the first season winner of the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance. He is from Sunnyvale, California and is a trained dancer in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, ballet and modern dance styles. Lazzarini spent two years at the Dance Company of San Francisco and also toured Europe with the RAW dance company, which was founded by choreographer Mia Michaels. He has also taught at conventions for chapters of DANCE MASTERS OF AMERICA, and is a faculty member of 2006 JUMP Alternative Convention.
- Nikolai Legat (born 1869 – died 1937), was a dancer with the Russian Imperial Ballet from 1888 to 1914 and was the main successor to the roles of the great ballet dancer, Pavel Gerdt. Legat later held duties of a balletmaster in Russia, teaching and passing on the legacy of the repertoire of that company, namely the work of the prolific choreographer and great balletmaster, Marius Petipa .Nikolai had a younger brother, Sergei Legat, who was also a dancer with the Imperial Russian Ballet from 1894 to 1905 when he died at age thirty. He originated the role of the Nutcracker (at age 17) at the premiere of the famous Ivanov/Tchaikovsky ballet, The Nutcracker at the Theatre Mariinsky in St. Peterburg, Russia, on December 6, 1892.
- Lawrence Leritz (September 26, 1962) is an American dancer and choreographer. Lawrence's international dance career included working with George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Robert Joffrey, Ruth Page, John Neumeier, Lee Theodore, Tommy Tune and Sir Frederick Ashton, with such major dance companies as Hamburg Ballet, Chicago Ballet, Israel's Bat-Dor Dance Company, Paris Opera and as guest artist throughout the world, including Plácido Domingo's Los Angeles Music Center Opera. Leritz also directed the company Dance Celebration, which he toured worldwide. Leritz was the producer and choreographer of the Off-Broadway hit Boobs! The Musical, during the 2003-2004 season and was nominated for the 2004 Mac Awards for Best Musical Revue.
- Les Twins are a French dance duo composed of identical twin brothers Larry and Laurent Bourgeois (born December 6, 1988). Recognized worldwide for their talents in hip-hop new style dancing and choreography, the self-taught pair were finalists on Incroyable Talent in 2008 and won the Hip-hop New Style division of the prestigious international street dance competition Juste Debout in 2009. They rose to prominence in the U.S. after a video of their 2010 World of Dance San Diego performance went viral on YouTube. The twins have been featured dancers for various music artists, including Beyoncé Knowles and Missy Elliott.
- Māris Liepa (27 July 1936, Riga – 26 March 1989, Moscow) was a Latvian ballet dancer. He graduated from Riga Choreography School where he was taught by Valentīns Bļinovs. He performed in Moscow for the first time in 1950. He has performed on stages of Europe and USA. Liepa has played roles in movies and TV, in Hamlet and Spartacus. A book, I Want to Dance for Hundred Years, was published in Riga in 1981. Liepa is a winner of many distinguished Soviet Union awards, prizes and bestowals, including the Konstsantin Stanislavsky medal, Paris Ballet Academy Vaslav Nijinsky award and Marius Petipa Prize. Latvian National Opera hosts the annual Māris Liepa memorial concerts that are organized by his children - son Andris and daughters Ilze (ballet dancer) and Maria (actress and singer).
- Lil' C (born Christopher A. Toler in January 1983) is an American dancer and choreographer. He has choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance, along with many top music icons.
- José Arcadio Limón (born 1908 – died 1972) was a pioneering modern dancer and choreographer. He was born in Culiacán Mexico and the eldest of 12 children. He moved to New York City in 1928 where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company. His most famous dance is The Moor's Pavane (1949), based on Shakespeare's Othello.
- Jennifer Lopez (July 24, 1969), often referred to as J. Lo, is an American actress, singer and dancer. Jennifer Lopez is known for her upbeat pop songs and Latin-pop influenced dancing abilities.
- Antonia Mercé y Luque (September 4, 1890 – July 18, 1936), known by her stage name as La Argentina, was a flamenco dancer. She originated and helped to establish the neoclassical style of Spanish dance as a theatrical art. prior to World War I, La Argentina was extremely admired in Paris, where she accepted invitations to dance at the Moulin Rouge and other important locations. In her career she made six transcontinental tours in North America, sometimes accompanied by flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya. She received several awards, including the French Légion d'honneur and the Spanish Orden de Honor Isabel La Católica.
- Madonna (born August 16, 1958) is an American recording artist, actress and dancer. Her controversially successful career has made her one of the Best Selling Artists of All Time and one of the world's most influential dancers. Madonna's dancing abilities are often viewed as improvised, entertaining and agile. Madonna has a very lengthily career of singles, albums and dance sequences and has been nicknamed the Queen of Pop.
- Madhuri Dixit, She is trained classical dancers and one of the leading actresses in Bollywood. She is best known for her famous dance numbers in Bollywood films like ek do teen from Tezaab, Dhak Dhak from Beta, Maar dala, Kahe Chhed from Devdas and many others. She often recognized one of the best dancers in India. Whenever she performed in stage show. It is always rocking. She is now acquired the position of Judge from last three seasons in Color's famous celebrity based dance reality show i.e. Jhalak Dikhlaja.
- Natalia Makarova (born November 21, 1940) is the legendary Soviet-Russian prima ballerina. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that “Her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation.” She has also won awards as an actress and continues to stage classical ballets throughout the world.
- Frankie Manning or Musclehead (born on May 26, 1914) is an American dancer, instructor and choreographer. Manning is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Lindy Hop. In recent years, Frankie Manning's annual birthday celebrations have drawn together dancers and instructors from all over the world. His 80th birthday was commemorated by a weekend long celebration in New York City; his 85th culminated in a sold out party at New York's Roseland Ballroom, where a pair of his dance shoes were placed in a showcase along with those of dancers such as Fred Astaire.
- Mario Maya is recognized as one of the greatest flamenco dancers and choreographers of all times. He was born in Córdoba in 1937, but grew up in the Sacromonte of Granada. Some of his most important works include Camelamos Naquerar (1976), Ay! Jondo (1977), Amargo (1986), El Amor Brujo (1987) and Requiem Flamenco. He is the father of Belen Maya, one of the main figures of contemporary flamenco dance.
- Norma Miller (born December 2, 1919 in Harlem, New York) is an American swing dancer known to many people as The Queen of Swing. She was interviewed along with dance partner Frankie Manning in Ken Burns' documentary Jazz. Discussing the early days of swing dancing, Norma describes the start of her dancing career at the Savoy Ballroom (which was just across street from where she lived) during the early 1930s in Harlem. Discovered at the age of twelve by the Savoy Ballroom's legendary dancer Twist Mouth George, Ms. Miller has been in show business ever since.
- Mata Hari was the stage name of Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed by firing squad for espionage during World War I. Many books have been written about Mata Hari, some of them serious historical and biographical accounts, but many of them highly speculative.
- Ann Miller (April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004) was an American dancer, singer and actress. Miller was born in eastern Texas, the daughter of Clara Emma (née Birdwell) and John Alfred Collier, a criminal lawyer. She took up dancing to exercise her legs to help her rickets. She was considered a child dance prodigy. Miller was famed for her speed in tap dancing; she claimed to be able to tap 500 times per minute. She was known as well, especially later in her career, for her distinctive appearance, which reflected a studio-era ideal of glamour: massive black bouffant hair, heavy makeup with a slash of crimson lipstick, and fashions that emphasized her lithe figure and long dancer's legs.
- Jewel McGowan was a dancer of Lindy Hop, a form of swing dance, in the 1940s and 1950s. She is known among dance aficionados as the frequent partner of dancer Dean Collins. Jewel was considered by her fellow Los Angeles dancers to be the best female swing dancer who ever lived. In addition to their social dancing, Dean and Jewel appeared together as dancers in films of the era. They were partners for 11 years and they were often called the Fred and Ginger of Lindy Hop. Jewel is especially known for her hip swivels, which remain admired and unrivaled to this day.
- Alex Moore (born 1901 - died 1991) was a pioneer of modern ballroom dancing, a dancer, dance teacher and author of classical ballroom dancing books. His Ballroom Dancing is considered to be the "Bible" of International-style ballroom dancing. His dancing career started at the age of 6. In 1926 he placed second in a World Championship of ballroom dancing. In 1932 he partnered with Pat Kilpatrick, who would become his wife. In his teaching he travelled all over the world: European countries, North America, Japan, Australia and South Africa.
- Mary Murphy (born March 9) is a ballroom dance champion, accredited dance judge, and a regular judge and choreographer on the FOX dance competition-reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Mary Murphy is a former U.S. champion ballroom dancer and TV personality. She was born in Lancaster, Ohio, the only daughter in an Irish family of four children. She graduated from Northwest High School in Canal Fulton, Ohio.
- Prince Rogers Nelson is a famous singer-songwriter, composer, guitarist, dancer, producer. Know for Purple Rain, "When Doves Cry", Sign O'The Times, "Kiss"... His dance moves are mostly influenced by the breakdance and often in practiced in heels.
- The Nicholas Brothers were a famous African-American team of dancing brothers, Fayard Nicholas (born 1914 – died 2006) and Harold Nicholas (born 1921 – died 2000). With their highly acrobatic technique, high level of artistry and daring innovations, they were considered by many the greatest tap dancers of their day. Growing up surrounded by Vaudeville acts as children, they became stars of the jazz circuit during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance and went on to have successful careers performing on stage, film, and television well into the 1990s.
- Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky (March 12, 1889 – April 8, 1950) was a Polish ballet dancer and choreographer. Nijinsky was one of the most gifted male dancers in history, and he became celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations. He could perform en pointe, a rare skill among male dancers at the time (Albright, 2004) and his ability to perform seemingly gravity-defying leaps was also legendary.
- Rudolf Nureyev (March 17, 1938 – January 6, 1993), is regarded as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the 20th century, alongside Maris Liepa, Vaslav Nijinsky, Alexander Godunov and Mikhail Baryshnikov.Despite his late start, he was soon recognized as an incredibly gifted dancer. Nureyev pushed himself hard, rehearsing for hours in order to make up for the years of training he missed. Under the tutelage of a great teacher, Alexander Pushkin, he blossomed. Pushkin not only took an interest in him professionally, but also allowed the younger dancer to live with him and his wife, with the latter of whom, at 21, he had an affair. Upon graduation, the Kirov and the Bolshoi both wanted to sign him. He continued with the Kirov and went on to become a soloist - extremely unusual for someone of his age and experience .His grave, at a Russian cemetery in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois near Paris, features a tomb draped in a mosaic of an oriental Turkic-style carpet. Nureyev was an avid collector of beautiful carpets and antique textiles.
- Donald O'Connor (August 28, 1925 – September 27, 2003) was a famous American tap dancer. He appeared alongside Peggy Ryan in several Universal Studios musicals throughout the 1940s. Several years later, he appeared with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in the 1952 film classic Singin' in the Rain. His film career ended in 1997, but he was making public appearances well into 2003. He died at the age of 73 from congestive heart failure, due to his lifelong smoking habit and a near fatal addiction to alcohol.
- Ann-Margret Olsson is a Swedish-American woman who is famous for dancing, acting and singing in many American motion pictures, including Viva Las Vegas.
- Simona Orinska (born August 18, 1978) is the only butoh artist in Latvia and a multidisciplinary artist: contemporary dancer, poet, director and choreographer of many art projects. She is also a Dance Therapy or Dance Movement Therapy practitioner.
- Cristian Oviedo (born November 19, 1979) is a professional dancer, dance instructor, and choreographer.
- Anna Pavlovna Pavlova (12 February 1881 – 23 January 1931) was a famous Russian ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th century. Her name along with that of Nijinsky is synonymous with the art of ballet. Pavlova is a legend largely remembered for her famous dance The Dying Swan and because she was the first ballerina to travel around the world and bring ballet to people who had never seen it.
- Jules-Joseph Perrot (August 18, 1810 – August 18, 1892) was a dancer and choreographer who later became Balletmaster of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. He created some of the most famous ballets of the 19th century, including Pas de Quatre, La Esmeralda, Ondine, and Giselle with Jean Coralli. Perrot danced often with the great Romantic ballerina, Marie Taglioni but their partnership was short-lived. She eventually refused to dance with him fearing that he would outshine her. Jules Perrot died on holiday in Paramé August 29, 1892.
- Arlene Phillips OBE, English choreographer and former dancer. Has staged numerous musicals in the West End and Broadway; winning or being nominated for a number of prestigious awards including the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award. Is most noted as a television dance expert, judging shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance.
- Maya Plisetskaya (born 20 November 1925) is a Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress, who is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. Since 1960 she was the prima ballerina assoluta of the Bolshoi Theatre.
- Eleanor Torrey Powell (November 21, 1912 – February 11, 1982) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. A dancer since childhood, she was discovered at the age of 11 by the head of the Vaudeville Kiddie revue, Gus Edwards. When she was 17, she brought her graceful, athletic style to Broadway, where she starred in various revues and musicals. During this time, she was dubbed "the world's greatest tap dancer" due to her machine-gun footwork, and in the early 1930s appeared as a chorus girl in a couple of early, inconsequential musical films.
- Juliet Prowse (died 1996) was a South African - American dancer who was famous for dancing, acting, and singing in many American motion pictures, including G.I. Blues along with Elvis Presley. Ms. Prowse was actually born in Bombay, India, in 1941, but her parents were on their way from eastern India to their native South Africa to escape the threat of a Japanese invasion - one that did come in 1942. Hence, she did grow up in South Africa, and then once she was an adult, she resided in California for a long time while she was working in the movies.
- Hrithik Roshan (10 January 1974) is an Indian actor, dancer and an assistant director also. His father is Rakesh Roshan is a director. He called 'India's complete actor', 'Indian MJ'. his best films are Koi... Mil Gaya, Krrish, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai etc. which are superb Blockbusters. His body, his look, his action moves everything are perfect. His body break dance is very smooth and perfect. He is one of the few actors who can go Hollywood and can take a success. Recent movie Step Up 4 director like his body moves very much.
- Dame Marie Rambert (20 February 1888 – 12 June 1982) was a Polish-Jewish dancer and dance pedagogue who exerted a great influence on British ballet, both as a dancer and teacher. Born Cyvia or Miriam Ramberg in Warsaw, Poland, she also used a number of other names, including Rambach, Rambam. Between 1912 and 1913 she collaborated with the Ballets Russes led by Sergei Diaghilev. In 1918 she moved to the United Kingdom, where in 1920 she founded her own ballet school. In 1926 she created her own ballet company called Marie Rambert Dancers. Currently named Ballet Rambert, it is the oldest still active ballet company on British Isles.
- Wade Robson (born September 17, 1982) is an Australian dancer, choreographer, producer and songwriter. He began performing as a dancer at the age of five, and as a child worked as a back-up dancer for Michael Jackson. He is also an award-winning choreographer and has directed music videos and world tours for music artists, most notably for 'N Sync and Britney Spears. Robson has found success as a competition judge, both for his own MTV show, The Wade Robson Project, and the televised competition So You Think You Can Dance. He won an Emmy for his choreography on the latter show in 2007.
- Pierre Rameau (born 1674 – died 1748) was the French dancing master to Elisabetta Farnese, and the author of two books that now provide us with valuable information about Baroque dance. Rameau's first book, Le Maître à Danser (1725, Paris), was a dance manual giving instruction on formal ballroom dancing in the French style. The first part covers posture, reverences, steps, and the ballroom minuet, while the second part is concerned entirely with the use of the arms. His second book, Abbregé de la Nouvelle Methode (c1725, Paris), described a modified version of Beauchamp-Feuillet notation and included several choreographies by Pécour in the new notation. While Rameau's notation was not generally adopted, his information about the shortcomings of Beauchamp-Feuillet notation provides dance historians with clarifications about the execution of the steps.
- Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) was a pioneer and pre-eminent African-American tap dance performer .At the age of six, he began dancing for a living appearing as a "hoofer" or song-and-dance man in local beer gardens. At seven, Bill dropped out of school to pursue dancing. Robinson died of a chronic heart condition at Columbia Presbyterian Center in New York City in 1949.
- Peggy Ryan (August 29, 1924 - October 30, 2004) was an American dancer and starred in several Universal Studios musicals in the 1940s with Donald O'Connor, such as Mister Big, What's Cookin'?, and Patrick the Great, their last film together. Ironically, her and Donald shared their birthdays, Peggy being a year older. She died at the age of 80 from the effects of two strokes.
- Adam G. Sevani (born on June 29, 1992) is an actor as well as a dancer. Known as Moose from Step Up 2: The Streets and its new sequel, Step Up 3D. Adam and director of Step Up 2, Jon Chu and their dance group, ACDC or Adam/Chu Dance Crew, had challenged pop star Miley Cyrus to a highly publicized dance battle. Adam is set to star in the new sitcom "LOL" with Miley in 2011.
- Ruth St. Denis (January 20, 1879 – July 21, 1968) was an early modern dance pioneer. Ruth St. Denis founded Adelphi University's dance program in 1938 which was one of the first dance departments in an American university. It has since become a cornerstone of Adelphi's Department of Performing Arts .Her early works are indicative of her interests in exotic mysticism and spirituality. Many companies currently include a collection of her signature solos in their repertoires, including the programme, "The Art of the Solo", a showcase of famous solos of modern dance pioneers. Several early St. Denis solos (including "Incense" and "The Legend of the Peacock") were presented on September 29, 2006, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. A centennial salute was scheduled with the revival premiere of St. Denis’ "Radha", commissioned by Countess Anastasia Thamakis of Greece. The program's director, Mino Nicolas, has been instrumental in the revival of these key solos.
- Benjiman "Benji" Daniel Schwimmer (born on January 18, 1984) is an American professional swing dancer. On August 16, 2006 he was crowned "America's Favorite Dancer", as the winner of the second season of So You Think You Can Dance. Benji Schwimmer and his older cousin, Heidi Groskreutz (herself a top-4 finalist on the same season of So You Think You Can Dance), are also U.S. Open Showcase Swing champions in West Coast Swing style. Schwimmer left the dancing scene at the top of his game to serve a two-year mission for the LDS Church in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He has subsequently founded the non-profit charity organization "Dancers Everywhere Making a Needed Difference" (D.E.M.A.N.D.) for helping orphans in southern Mexico and Africa and providing healthcare for dancers with HIV/AIDS, and is a co-owner of 5678 Dance Studio in Redlands, California.
- Lloyd Shaw (born 1890 – died 1958), also known as Dr. Lloyd "Pappy" Shaw, was an educator, and is generally credited with bringing about the broad revival of square dancing in America. He was superintendent/principal/teacher/coach for Cheyenne Mountain Schools, Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1916–1951, and taught folk dancing .Shaw traveled the country, and compiled instructions for traditional square dances from different callers all over the country. He documented them, and tried them out on the students he taught. He formed the Cheyenne Mountain Dancers, a high-school exhibition team, which toured the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, appearing in more than 50 major cities .As the popularity of square dancing grew, square dance callers began extracting individual calls from these dances, and attempts at standardised lists were developed. These lists were later adopted by callers, and organizations such as Callerlab and later the American Callers Association formed to manage and promote a universal list and the type of dance leadership that Shaw envisioned.
- Jimmy Slyde (born 1927), who is known as the King of Slides, is a world-renowned tap dancer, especially famous for his innovative tap style mixed with jazz. Slyde's profile in the United States revived noticeably in the 1980s. He danced in the films The Cotton Club, Tap and Round Midnight, as well as a number of television specials. He collaborated with Steve Condos on a program of jazz tap improvisation at the Smithsonian Institution and performed across the United States and in South America. In 1989, Slyde received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut in the musical Black and Blue. In recent years, Slyde has received a number of significant honors, including the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award (1999), the Charles "Honi" Coles Award (2001), a Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography (2003), and an honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts from Oklahoma City University. Slyde is still performing and teaching today throughout the United States. He continues to stress the importance of mastering the basics and using sliding cascades of taps close to the floor.
- "Shorty" George Snowden was an African American dancer in Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. He is popularly credited with coining the name "Lindy Hop" for a popular partner swing dance of the day. He is also often credited with inventing the dance, though this is unsubstantiated and unlikely. Snowden was a popular dancer at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York, in the United States and appears in the film After Seben (1929), in which he performs the breakaway, a variation on the Charleston, which later developed into the Lindy Hop. He can also be seen in the film Ask Uncle Sol (1937), dancing with his most famous partner Big Bea.
- Britney Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer and dancer. Apart from being famous for her hit singles "...Baby One More Time" and "Oops!...I Did It Again", she is also internationally renowned for her unique outfits and her entertaining and freestyle dancing. Her debut single, "...Baby One More Time", features Spears dancing in a formal yet somewhat revealing catholic school girl uniform, which brought both success and extreme controversy to her iconic career. Britney Spears is often compared to fellow singers and dancers Madonna and Christina Aguilera.
- John William Sublett (February 19, 1902 – May 18, 1986), known by his stage name John W. Bubbles, was an American vaudeville performer, singer and entertainer .Sublett is known as the father of "rhythm tap", a form of tap dance. As opposed to the tap dancing of Bill Robinson (Bojangles) who emphasized clean phrases and toe taps, Sublett brought in percussive heel stomps and played with the traditional eight-bar phrase, slowing it down to allow for more rhythmic freedom. He thus merged the art of tap dancing with the new improvisitory style of jazz, reinventing the tap artform.
- Sylvia Sykes is a swing dance instructor, judge and choreographer. In particular she is considered by most to be the leading authority on the dance Balboa. She also represented the U.S. in the World Boogie Woogie Championships in Grenoble, France with her original partner Jonathan Bixby. She is best known for reviving Balboa, which is rapidly gaining popularity around the world, and is a regular guest at the balboa dance camps.
- Shakti Mohan is a contemporary dancer from India. She was the winner of Zee TV's dance reality show Dance India Dance's season 2. Shakti also won a cash prize of Rs.50 lakh from Zee TV and a Suzuki Wagon R. Shakti has a brief appearance in the video for the title song of the movie Tees Maar Khan, and in the movie Rowdy Rathore she has a main appearance in its item song "Aa Re Pritam Pyaare". She has also played a character of Kria in the daily soap Dil Dosti Dance on youth channel [V].
- Super Junior is a Korean mutli-talented boy band under the company SM Entertainment. They performed Twins for their debut in 2005. The group contains Park Leeteuk, Cho Kyuhyun, Lee Donghae, Lee Eunhyuk, Yesung, Ryeowook, Kim Kibum, Kangin, Kim Heechul, Hangeng, Lee Sungmin, and Shindong. The group is also divided into sub groups such as: Super Junior M, Super Junior H, Super Junior T, and KRY. There are two other members that are not officially included in the main group, Henry Lau and Zhou Mi.
- Uday Shankar (December 8, 1900 – September 26, 1977) (Bengali: উদয় শংকর), the pioneer of modern dance in India, and a world renowned Indian dancer and choreographer, was most known for adapting Western theatrical techniques to traditional Indian classical dance, imbued with elements of Indian classical, folk, and tribal dance, thus laying the roots of modern Indian dance, which he later popularized in India, Europe, and the United States in 1920s and 1930s.
- Galina Ulanova (8 January 1910 [O.S. 26 December 1909] – 21 March 1998) was a Russian ballet dancer. She is frequently cited as being one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. From 1944 to 1960 she was the prima ballerina assoluta of the Bolshoi Theater.
- Marie Taglioni (April 23, 1804 – April 24, 1884) was a famous Italian ballerina of the Romantic ballet era, a central figure in the history of European dance. Marie Taglioni was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to the Italian cheoreographer Filippo Taglioni and the Swedish dancer Sophie Karsten (daughter of the Swedish opera singer Christoffer Christian Karsten and the Polish actor Sophie Stebnowska). Marie Taglioni rose to fame as a dancer when her father (and teacher) created the ballet La Sylphide (1832) for her. Marie retired from performing in 1847.Later she taught social dance to children and society ladies; she also took a limited number of ballet pupils. Her only choreographic work was Le Papillon (1860) for her student Emma Livry, who is remembered for dying in 1863 when her costume was set alight by a gas lamp (limelight) used for stage lighting. Marie lived much longer, dying in Marseilles in 1884.
- Twyla Tharp (born July 1, 1941) is a leading American dancer and choreographer. She has won Emmy and Tony awards, and currently works as a choreographer in New York City .Twyla Tharp Dance merged with American Ballet Theatre in 1988, where Tharp created more than a dozen works. Since that time Tharp has choreographed dances for many companies including The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance and The Martha Graham Dance Company.
- Danny Tidwell (born August 1, 1984 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American contemporary and ballet dancer and choreographer, best known for being the runner-up on Fox's third season of So You Think You Can Dance in 2007. Tidwell began dancing as a child, at first focusing on jazz before changing to ballet while attending Kirov Academy of Ballet at the age of fifteen. He has worked in elite companies, including the American Ballet Theater. He has also performed the works of renowned choreographers, including Debbie Allen, William Forsythe and Mia Michaels. He is Travis Wall's brother, also a runner-up, of the second season of So You Think You Can Dance.
- Eddie Torres (born on July 3, 1950) is one of the most famous salsa dance instructors in the world. He has trained thousands of dancers, including some of the most well known contemporary dancers. Through his dance school, he has taught thousands of people how to dance salsa in his own distinctive style. He also has a children's dance program that teaches approximately three hundred students a year.
- Antony Tudor (4 April 1908 - 19 April 1987), born William Cook, highly influential 20th-century English ballet choreographer, teacher and dancer. Antony Tudor is generally accepted to be one of the great originals of modern dance forms. Along with George Balanchine, he is seen as a principal transformer of ballet into a modern art, but of a genius that uses, rather than proceeds from, ballet forms. His work is usually considered as modern "psychological" expression, but—like their creator–of austerity, elegance and nobility.
- Agrippina Yakovlevna Vaganova (July 6, 1879 – November 5, 1951) was an outstanding Russian ballet teacher who developed the Vaganova method - the technique which derived from the teaching methods of the old Imperial Ballet School (today the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet) under the Premier Maître de Ballet Marius Petipa throughout the mid-to-late 19th century, though mostly throughout the 1880s and 1890s. It was Vaganova who perfected and cultivated this form of teaching the art of classical ballet into a workable syllabus. Her Fundamentals of the Classical Dance (1934) remains a standard textbook for the instruction of ballet technique.
- John Weaver (July 21, 1673 – September 24, 1760) was a dancer and choreographer and is commonly known as the father of English pantomime. Weaver was born in Shrewsbury. His father, a dance teacher, suggested he go to London and become a ballet master. Weaver soon became a specialist in comic roles and created the first pantomime ballet, the burlesque Tavern Bilkers (1702). His more serious work, The Loves of Mars and Venus dealt with themes from classical literature and required a significant amount of gestures due to the story not being expressed in any spoken form. Because Weaver attempted to use plot and emotion in replacement of more sophisticated technical and speech methods, he is considered a major influence on subsequent choreographers, including Jean-Georges Noverre and Gasparo Angiolini.
- Charles Edward Weidman, Jr. (born 1901 in Lincoln, Nebraska – died 1975) was a modern dancer, choreographer and teacher. He studied and performed with Denishawn before leaving to form the Humphrey-Weidman school and company with Doris Humphrey and Pauline Lawrence. Like his partner Humphrey, Weidman worked from principles of fall and recovery and also experimented with a form of linking unrelated movements that he called "kinetic pantomime." During the 1930s, Weidman taught at the Bennington School of the Dance in Vermont and presented choreography including his popular Candide (1937) through the Federal Dance Theatre of the WPA.
- Mary Wigman (born 1886 – died 1973) was a German dancer, choreographer, and instructor of dance. Credited for innovation of expressionist dance, and pioneer of modern dance in Germany. Mary Wigman's choreographies often employed non-Western instrumentation: fifes, bells, gongs, and drums from India, Thailand, Africa, and China. However, the primary musical accompaniment for her most well known dances was percussion, which contrasted greatly with her use of silence. Mary would often employ masks in her pieces, influenced again by non-western/tribal motifs, as well as ecstatic spinning.