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Dancer

BelgiumActivistActor

Lydia Chagoll

Lydia Chagoll (1931-2020) was a Dutch-born dancer, choreographer, film director, screenwriter, writer, and actress. Her experiences during World War II, including being held in Japanese Internment Camps in Indonesia, shaped her worldview and fueled her commitment to shedding light on injustice. Chagoll’s impactful work in film, such as “In the Name of the Führer” and “Voor de glimlach van een kind,” brought attention to important social issues and led to the founding of organizations dedicated to protecting vulnerable children. Her contributions to the arts and social activism have left a lasting impact on Dutch and Belgian society.

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ChinaActorChoreographer

Jin Xing

Jin Xing, born in 1967 in Shenyang, China, is a remarkable Chinese ballerina, modern dancer, choreographer, actress, and the founder and artistic director of the contemporary dance company Shanghai. She is widely celebrated as a transgender celebrity whose contributions to the world of dance and her advocacy for gender equality have made her an influential figure in society.

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CanadaDancer

Maud Allan

Maud Allan, born as Beulah Maude Durrant or Ulah Maud Alma Durrant, was a Canadian dancer known for her captivating performances, including the Dance of the Seven Veils. From a young age, she displayed a love for music and excelled as a pianist. Despite personal tragedy and scandal, Allan became a trailblazer in the realm of performing arts, challenging traditional norms and expectations.

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United KingdomBalletDancer

Sophie Rebecca

Sophie Rebecca, born in either 1980 or 1981, is an English ballet dancer who has made significant contributions to the world of dance as the first openly transgender person to train on the Royal Academy of Dance’s courses for female dancers. Her pioneering journey within the ballet world has not only challenged traditional norms but has also paved the way for greater inclusivity and acceptance.

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AzerbaijanDancer

Armen Ohanian

Armen Ohanian, a dancer, actress, writer, and translator, overcame tragedy and adversity to become a trailblazing artist. She experienced the devastating earthquake of 1902 and witnessed anti-Armenian pogroms in 1905, which shaped her worldview and fueled her ambition. Ohanian’s performances, blending Armenian and Iranian music, captivated audiences across Europe and the United States. She also ventured into literature, sharing her inner world and inspiring women to pursue their aspirations fearlessly.

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ChinaArtistDancer

Nellie Yu Roung Ling

Nellie Yu Roung Ling, also known as Nelly, was born in 1882. She was a renowned dancer and considered the first modern dancer of China. Born into an upper-class family, Roung Ling was exposed to Western education, and her passion for dance and exceptional talent made her a pioneer in the field. She became a cultural ambassador, promoting Chinese dance and culture in France, and her influence extended beyond dance as she challenged societal norms and expectations for women.

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South KoreaBalletDancer

Kim Joo-won

Kim Joo-won, born on 8 May 1977 in Busan, South Korea, is a renowned South Korean Prima Ballerina. She has made significant contributions to Korean ballet and has left a lasting impact on the dance community.

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DenmarkActorBallet

Else Højgaard

Else Højgaard (1906-1979) was a Danish ballerina and actress known for her fiery temperament and edgy intensity. She made a lasting impact in both the world of ballet and acting, breaking boundaries and leaving a lasting legacy on Danish culture. From her debut in the Royal Danish Theatre ballet school to her notable performances on stage and screen, Højgaard’s talent and dedication continue to inspire future generations of performers. She was recognized for her contributions with prestigious awards, solidifying her place in Danish performing arts history.

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South KoreaBalletDancer

Ji-young Kim

Ji-young Kim, born in 1978 in Seoul, South Korea, is a celebrated South Korean prima ballerina and principal dancer with the Korea National Ballet. Overcoming personal tragedy and setbacks, Kim’s unwavering passion for ballet and her determination to excel have made her an icon in the dance world.

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JapanBalletDancer

Yuriko Kajiya

Yuriko Kajiya, born in 1984 in Nagoya, Japan, began her ballet training at a young age and showed exceptional talent. She moved to China to further her training and won the Best Performance Award at the Tao Li Bei National Ballet Competition at just thirteen years old. Throughout her career, Yuriko became a renowned ballet dancer, performing in various classical and contemporary ballets and earning promotions to soloist and principal dancer in prestigious companies such as American Ballet Theatre and Houston Ballet.

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JapanDancer

Masako Ono

Masako Ono is a renowned Japanese Odissi dancer who began her journey in dance at the age of 4. She trained in various forms of dance, including western classical ballet and jazz dance. In 1996, she joined Nrityagram in India, where she received further training in Odissi. Since then, Masako has become a solo performer and established herself as a powerhouse performer and choreographer. She has performed all over the world and has gained recognition from top leaders. Masako also founded Masako Ono Performing Arts and the MUDRA Foundation to support international artists and preserve cultural heritage.

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JapanBalletDancer

Misa Kuranaga

Misa Kuranaga is a Japanese ballerina who has made a significant impact in the world of dance. Born in 1982 or 1983, Kuranaga began her training at the Jinushi Kaoru Ballet School in Japan before continuing her studies at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City. Her talent and dedication led her to join the San Francisco Ballet, where she started her professional career. Later, she became a principal dancer at the renowned Boston Ballet, making history as the first Asian person to achieve this position.

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JapanBalletDancer

Yumiko Takeshima

Yumiko Takeshima is a former Principal dancer with Semperoper Ballett, Universal Ballet, the Alberta Ballet Company, Feld Ballet, and the Dutch National Ballet. Her passion and talent for ballet led her to study at the San Francisco Ballet School at the age of thirteen. She danced with various prestigious ballet companies and established herself as a renowned dancer and designer. Takeshima founded her dancewear brand, YUMIKO, which has gained popularity among the ballet community worldwide. Her designs have adorned the dancers of renowned ballet companies, and she has received recognition for her exceptional contributions to the world of dance.

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JapanDancer

Shizuka Gozen

Shizuka Gozen, a renowned shirabyōshi and mistress of samurai Minamoto no Yoshitsune, was born in 1165 in the Iso district of Aminochō, Tango Province (now known as a town in Japan). Her talent and beauty captivated the emperor and her story of love and tragedy with Yoshitsune continues to captivate people today.

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IranChoreographerDancer

Farzaneh Kaboli

Farzaneh Kaboli is an Iranian dancer, choreographer, and actress. She was born and raised in Tehran and developed a passion for dance at a young age. Despite the ban on dancing in Iran after the revolution, Kaboli continued to teach and perform underground. She later made a triumphant return to the stage and established her own dance company. Kaboli has also made a mark as an actress, showcasing her talent and versatility in various productions.

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IsraelChoreographerDancer

Rina Schenfeld

Rina Schenfeld is an Israeli choreographer and dancer who has made significant contributions to the field of dance. Her innovative use of physical objects in her performances and her mentorship of future generations have solidified her place as a trailblazer in the world of dance. Through her choreographic brilliance and dedication to her craft, Schenfeld continues to inspire generations of dancers and artists alike.

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IndonesiaChoreographerDancer

Gusmiati Suid

Gusmiati Suid (1942–2001) was an Indonesian dancer and choreographer known for her expertise in traditional Sumatran, Malay, and Minang dances. She began her dance journey at a young age, learning martial arts and Melayu dances. Gusmiati’s passion for dance led her to further education and the founding of the Gumarang Sakti Dance Company. Her legacy as a pioneer and influential figure in Indonesian dance continues to inspire and impact the world of performing arts.

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NetherlandsDancerSpy

Mata Hari

Mata Hari, born Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod, was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who gained fame as a spy for Germany during World War I. Despite her captivating performances and scandalous relationships, she was ultimately convicted and executed. Mata Hari’s life and tragic fate have left a lasting legacy as the original femme fatale.

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ChinaBalletDancer

Faye Leung

Faye Leung, a prominent figure in the world of ballet, was born on March 18, 1979, in Shanghai, China. As the only child of a writer and a former businesswoman, Faye was exposed to artistic and creative expression from an early age.

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SpainBalletDancer

Lucía Lacarra

Lucía Lacarra, a renowned Spanish ballet dancer, has made a significant impact on the world of dance. From a young age, she displayed an extraordinary talent that led her to study under esteemed mentors and join prestigious ballet companies such as the San Francisco Ballet and Bayerisches Staatsballett. Lacarra’s exceptional skill, versatility, and dedication to her craft have earned her numerous awards, solidifying her status as one of the most significant dancers of her generation.

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Great BritainBalletDancer

Tamara Karsavina

Tamara Karsavina was a Russian prima ballerina and a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes. After settling in Britain, she played a vital role in the establishment of The Royal Ballet and became recognized as one of the founders of modern British ballet. Throughout her career, Karsavina was known for her exceptional technique, beauty, and expressive performances. She continued to inspire generations of dancers until her death in 1978.

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FinlandActorDancer

Ritva Arvelo

Ritva Helinä Arvelo (1921- ), a Finnish actress, director, and screenwriter, was one of the first four Finnish women film directors. She made significant contributions to Finnish cinema and the performing arts scene over several decades. Arvelo’s diverse career included dancing, acting, directing, and screenwriting, leaving a lasting impact on the arts in Finland.

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LebanonDancerMuslim

Layal Abboud

Layal Mounir Abboud is a Lebanese pop singer, folk music entertainer, and Muslim humanitarian. Born in the southern Lebanese village of Kniseh, she has made significant contributions to the music industry, especially in Lebanese folklore. Abboud’s captivating stage presence and commitment to humanitarian efforts have made her an influential figure in Lebanese society.

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United StatesActorDancer

JoJo Siwa

JoJo Siwa, born in 2003 in Omaha, Nebraska, is an American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTuber. With her infectious energy and positive attitude, she has become a role model for young fans worldwide. JoJo’s journey in the entertainment industry began at a young age, and she has since achieved remarkable success in dancing, singing, and creating engaging content on YouTube. She is also known for her advocacy against online bullying and has received several awards in recognition of her talent and impactful work.

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AustraliaDancer

Marilyn Jones

Marilyn Fay Jones OBE, born on 17th February 1940, is an acclaimed Australian dancer and teacher of dance. Regarded as “the greatest classical dancer Australia has produced,” Marilyn Jones has left an indelible mark on the world of ballet and has been instrumental in shaping the development of classical dance in Australia.

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AustraliaAfrican AmericanBallet

Stephanie Kurlow

Stephanie Kurlow is an Australian dancer and ballet student often credited as being the world’s first Hijabi Ballerina. She was born to an Australian father and Russian mother and grew up in the suburbs of Sydney. Stephanie’s passion for dance began at the young age of two when she started taking ballet classes.

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ChinaBalletDancer

Yuanyuan Tan

Yuanyuan Tan is a renowned Chinese ballet dancer best known for her exceptional talent and captivating performances as the principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. Born on February 14, 1976, in Shanghai, China, Tan’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed ballerinas is truly remarkable.

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EgyptActorChoreographer

Nelly Mazloum

Nelly Mazloum, an Egyptian actress, choreographer, dancer, and teacher, overcame childhood paralysis to become a prominent figure in the world of dance. Her exceptional talent and dedication led her to become the prima ballerina of the Royal Opera House in Cairo and transform Egypt’s traditional dances into a dramatized artistic form. Mazloum’s legacy continues to inspire dancers and celebrate Egyptian and Oriental dance.

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IndiaChoreographerDancer

Savitha Sastry

Savitha Sastry is a renowned Indian dancer and choreographer known for her innovative approach to Bharatanatyam. With her theme-based productions and captivating storytelling, she has redefined the boundaries of this traditional art form. Sastry’s work has not only earned critical acclaim but also inspired a new generation of artists to explore new avenues in dance.

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GeorgiaNetherlandsUnited States

Maia Makhateli

Maia Makhateli, a renowned Georgian ballet dancer, has made a significant impact on the world of dance. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, around 1986, she hails from a family deeply rooted in the art of ballet. Her parents, Nikoloz Makhateli and Marina Loladze, were both esteemed dancers at the Georgian National Ballet, and her grandfather was a notable folk dancer, while her grandmother was an opera singer. As the younger sister of David Makhateli, a former principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, Maia was exposed to the world of ballet from a young age and would soon find her own path in this captivating art form.

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EgyptActorBallet

Hanan Tork

Hanan Tork, a retired Egyptian actress and ballerina, began her artistic journey in ballet before transitioning to acting. Her breakthrough came when renowned director Youssef Chahine selected her for a role in his movie “El Mohager.” Hanan’s talent and dedication earned her recognition and nominations, and she has left a lasting impact on the Egyptian film industry.

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South AfricaBalletDancer

Phyllis Spira

Phyllis Spira (1943-2008) was a South African ballet dancer who left an indelible mark on the world of dance. Recognized as the first South African Prima Ballerina Assoluta, she contributed significantly to the development of ballet in her home country. Her remarkable talent, determination, and trailblazing spirit make her an everlasting figure in the history of dance and a true icon in women’s history.

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South AfricaUnited KingdomDancer

Juliet Prowse

Juliet Anne Prowse was a talented dancer and actress known for her stunning legs. Her career spanned four decades and included performances in stage, television, and film. Despite the tragic loss of her father at a young age, Prowse excelled in dance from a very young age. Her breakthrough role in the film Can-Can brought her international fame, and she caught the attention of Frank Sinatra, leading to a strong connection between them. Prowse’s performances in Can-Can and G.I. Blues solidified her place in Hollywood history. She continued to dazzle audiences throughout her career and left behind a remarkable legacy upon her untimely death in 1996.

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South AfricaBalletDancer

Nadia Nerina

Nadia Nerina was a South African dancer known for her technical brilliance and joyful charm on stage. She began her ballet training in Durban before moving to England to further her studies. Nerina quickly rose to prominence in The Royal Ballet, earning critical acclaim for her expressive performances. Her legacy as one of the greatest ballerinas of her time lives on through her impact on the world of ballet.

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AustraliaBalletDancer

Leanne Benjamin

Leanne Benjamin, an Australian ballet dancer, began her passion for dance at a young age. With her exceptional talent, she joined the prestigious Royal Ballet School at 16 and quickly gained recognition in the ballet world. Throughout her career, Benjamin captivated audiences with her technical brilliance and emotional depth, performing iconic roles such as Odette/Odile in “Swan Lake” and Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty.” Her contributions to ballet were honored with numerous awards and accolades, leaving an indelible mark on the world of dance.

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AustriaGermanyNetherlands

Cilli Wang

Cilli Wang, born Zäzilie Wang on February 1, 1909, in Vienna, was an Austrian-born Dutch dancer, performer, and theater maker. She is best known for her work as a dancer and later as a comedienne, making significant contributions to the arts in Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands. Wang’s performances were characterized by a wide range of captivating and absurd characters, showcasing her impeccable mastery of various artistic mediums. Through her innovative and multifaceted approach to performance, she pushed boundaries and inspired generations of artists.

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AustraliaBalletDancer

Ella Havelka

Ella Havelka, born in 1989, is an Australian ballet dancer and the first Indigenous person to join The Australian Ballet. She overcame setbacks and discrimination to become a member of the prestigious company, making history and promoting diversity and representation in the arts. Havelka’s journey as a ballet dancer and her groundbreaking achievements have inspired aspiring dancers, Indigenous communities, and women everywhere.

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SpainDancer

Eva Yerbabuena

Eva Yerbabuena, born Eva María Garrido García, is a Spanish flamenco dancer who has left a lasting impact on the world of dance. Her talent and dedication have earned her widespread recognition, including Spain’s National Dance Award in 2001. She has collaborated with renowned artists and established her own dance company, showcasing her unique artistic vision. Yerbabuena’s performances captivate audiences worldwide, showcasing the powerful emotions and rich cultural heritage of flamenco.

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FranceBalletDancer

Violette Verdy

Violette Verdy, a renowned French ballerina, was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet from 1958 to 1977. Her exquisite technique and natural elegance brought choreographies by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to life. Verdy’s impact on the world of ballet extended beyond her performing career, as she also dedicated herself to teaching and choreography. She left a lasting legacy in the art form, inspiring future generations of dancers and choreographers.

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SpainDancer

Blanca del Rey

Blanca del Rey, born Blanca Ávila Moreno, was a renowned flamenco dancer from Córdoba, Spain. Starting her career at a young age, she quickly gained recognition for her talent and performed at prestigious venues. After a period of retirement, she made a comeback and became known for her unique choreography, particularly the shawl soleá. Blanca del Rey’s contributions to flamenco have been widely recognized, earning her numerous awards and honors.

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FranceBalletDancer

Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo

Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo, also known as La Camargo, was a French dancer who revolutionized ballet in the 18th century. Known for her exceptional technique and vibrant energy, she introduced innovations such as using slippers instead of heeled shoes and shortening the ballet skirt. Her influence extended beyond dance, making her a style icon among the nobility.

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United KingdomBalletChoreographer

Alicia Markova

Dame Alicia Markova DBE (1 December 1910 – 2 December 2004) was a British ballerina and a choreographer, director, and teacher of classical ballet. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century and made significant contributions to the world of ballet.

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FranceChoreographerDancer

Bintou Dembélé

Bintou Dembélé, a pioneering figure of Hip hop dance in France, was born on March 30, 1975, in the suburbs of Paris. Raised in a family that had migrated from Sub-Saharan Africa, Bintou developed a passion for dance at a young age. She gained inspiration from the show H.I.P. H.O.P. and went on to become a prominent dancer and choreographer, pushing boundaries with her unique artistic vision.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBallet

Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson, an American ballet dancer and former principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, broke barriers as one of the first African-American ballerinas to become a principal for a major dance company. Her talent and determination paved the way for future generations of diverse dancers, leaving an indelible mark on the world of ballet.

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FranceChoreographerDancer

Jeanne Chasles

Jeanne Chasles, a French dancer and choreographer, was a prominent figure in the world of dance during the Belle Époque period. Known for her talent and versatility, Chasles performed in various theaters and collaborated with renowned dancers. She also held important administrative positions, became a respected choreographer, and dedicated her life to preserving the history of dance. Her contributions were recognized with honors, and her legacy continues to inspire dancers and choreographers today.

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RussiaBalletDancer

Avdotia Istomina

Evdokia or (informally) Avdotia Ilyinichna Istomina was the most celebrated Russian Empire ballerina of the 19th century. Her talent and beauty captivated audiences, and she quickly became the prima ballerina of her time. However, despite her immense success on stage, she faced personal struggles and financial hardship later in life. Avdotia Istomina’s legacy as a famous ballerina may have faded, but her contributions to the art of ballet and her impact on the Russian Empire’s cultural scene remain significant.

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FranceBalletDancer

Yvette Chauviré

Yvette Chauviré was a French prima ballerina and actress, often described as France’s greatest ballerina. She had a long and illustrious career, making significant contributions to the world of ballet and leaving a lasting impact on the art form. Her dedication, talent, and artistic vision have left an indelible mark on the world of ballet, and her legacy as France’s greatest ballerina remains unparallelled.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Barbara Campanini

Barbara Campanini, also known as La Barbarina, was a renowned Italian ballerina of the 18th century. With her incredible talent and flawless execution of entrechats, she earned the nickname “The Flying Goddess.” Despite a scandalous life that involved elopements and secret marriages, Campanini also dedicated herself to charitable endeavors, leaving her fortune to a foundation for poor noblewomen in her will.

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FranceActorDancer

Gaby Deslys

Gaby Deslys became a renowned French singer and actress during the early 20th century. With her immense talent and beauty, she garnered popularity worldwide, earning an astonishing $4,000 per week in the United States alone. Deslys captivated audiences with her performances on Broadway and even had a dance named after her. She tragically fell victim to the Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918, passing away at the age of 38. Despite controversy surrounding her origins, it was confirmed that she was indeed born in Marseille in 1881. Deslys’ legacy continues to inspire performers today.

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LatviaBalletDancer

Tatjana Barbakoff

Tatjana Barbakoff, a renowned ballet and Chinese style dancer, captivated audiences worldwide with her flamboyance, legendary beauty, and sharp sense of humor. Born in 1899 in Hasenpoth, Courland Governorate (now Latvia), she gained recognition for her solo performances and toured internationally. Despite facing tragedy and internment during World War II, Barbakoff’s remarkable career as a dancer continues to inspire young dancers today.

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FinlandChoreographerDancer

Maggie Gripenberg

Margarita Maria “Maggie” Gripenberg was a pioneer of modern dance in Finland. She introduced Dalcroze Eurhythmics to the country and modeled her early works after Isadora Duncan’s improvisational style. Gripenberg’s innovative approach to dance and her commitment to education left a lasting impact on the world of dance, making her a trailblazer in women’s history.

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HungaryChoreographerDancer

Valéria Dienes

Valéria Dienes (25 May 1879 – 8 June 1978) was a Hungarian philosopher, dancer, dance instructor, choreographer, and one of the first Hungarian women to graduate from university. She is widely considered to be one of the most important Hungarian theorists on movement. Valéria’s innovative approach to teaching eurythmics and her contributions to the field of movement theory left a lasting impact on Hungary. She received the Baumgarten Prize in 1934 for her significant contributions and innovative teaching methods in eurythmics.

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DenmarkBalletBusiness

Louise Rasmussen

Louise Christine Rasmussen, also known as Countess Danner, was a Danish ballet dancer and stage actor who challenged societal norms by entering into a controversial marriage with King Frederick VII of Denmark. Despite facing opposition and never fully being embraced by high society, she remained a loyal companion to the king throughout his reign.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Carla Fracci

Carolina “Carla” Fracci was an Italian ballet dancer, actress, and ballet director. Born in 1936 in Milan, she overcame initial doubts about her body type to become a renowned ballerina. Throughout her career, Fracci performed with esteemed dancers and companies, showcasing her talent and versatility in both Romantic and contemporary ballets. She also made significant contributions as a ballet director, leaving a lasting impact on the ballet world. Fracci’s exceptional artistry was recognized with prestigious awards, and her legacy as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century continues to inspire and influence the world of ballet.

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AustriaBalletChoreographer

Katti Lanner

Katti Lanner, a renowned Viennese ballet dancer, choreographer, and ballet mistress, captivated audiences with her performances in Germany and England. Born into a musical and artistic family, Katti began her dance training at a young age. Throughout her career, she shared the stage with renowned ballet dancers and choreographed her own works. Known for her talent, technique, and innovative spirit, Katti left a lasting impact on the world of ballet. Although no official awards or recognitions have been documented, she is remembered as one of the most celebrated ballet dancers and choreographers of her time.

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GermanyChoreographerDancer

Hertha Feist

Hertha Feist was a German expressionist dancer and choreographer known for her groundbreaking work in the world of dance. She established her own school in Berlin, combining gymnastics with nudism and dance, and gained recognition for her freestyle movements and innovative techniques. Despite the challenges she faced during the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s, Feist maintained a dedicated following of students and continued to leave an indelible mark on the history of modern dance in Germany.

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AustriaChoreographerDancer

Gertrud Bodenwieser

Gertrud Bodenwieser (3 February 1890 – 10 November 1959) was a renowned dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher who played a significant role in the development of modern expressive dance. Born in Vienna, Austria, she revolutionized the world of dance with her innovative choreography, captivating performances, and influential teaching methods.

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GermanyChoreographerDancer

Mary Wigman

Mary Wigman, the German dancer and choreographer, revolutionized the world of dance with her expressionist style and emphasis on personal physical expression. Her innovative approach and exploration of the human body’s expressive potential paved the way for modern dance. Wigman’s impact on the art form continues to be felt today, as she brought profound existential experiences to the stage.

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AustraliaBalletChoreographer

Hélène Kirsova

Hélène Kirsova was a Danish prima ballerina known for founding the first professional ballet company in Australia. She trained in Paris with former dancers from Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet and went on to have a successful career with various ballet companies in Europe and North America. In Australia, she established the Kirsova Ballet and made significant contributions to the development of ballet in the country. Kirsova is often regarded as the “Godmother” of Australian ballet.

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IrelandBalletChoreographer

Ninette de Valois

Dame Ninette de Valois was a remarkable Irish-born British dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director of classical ballet. Her contributions to the world of ballet extended far beyond the stage, as she founded the Royal Ballet School and the touring company that became the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Today, she is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and is often referred to as the “godmother” of English and Irish ballet.

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New ZealandBalletDancer

Rowena Jackson

Rowena Othlie Jackson MBE, a former New Zealand prima ballerina, began her ballet journey in Invercargill. She went on to join the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in London and became a renowned prima ballerina. After retiring, Jackson returned to New Zealand and served as the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet company, leaving behind an enduring legacy.

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IrelandBalletDancer

Joan Denise Moriarty

Joan Denise Moriarty was an Irish ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher who played a key role in the growth of ballet in Ireland. Despite little information about her early life, Moriarty’s talent and dedication to ballet and traditional Irish dance made her a pioneer in the field. She established dance schools, conducted ballet classes, and nurtured young dancers, leaving a lasting legacy in Irish ballet. Her impact extended beyond dance, as she encouraged women to pursue ballet and challenge traditional gender roles. Moriarty’s contributions to the art of ballet were widely recognized and celebrated.

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New ZealandDancer

Lusi Faiva

Lusi Faiva, a New Zealand-Samoan stage performer and dancer, has overcome significant challenges throughout her life. Born with cerebral palsy, she was placed into an institution before being fostered by a loving couple at the age of two. Faiva’s passion for performance grew under their care, and she later became a founding member of Touch Compass. Her career has spanned over 30 years, making her a role model for disabled and non-disabled artists alike. Throughout her journey, Faiva has shattered stereotypes and made lasting contributions to the performing arts scene in New Zealand.

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FranceDancer

Cléo de Mérode

Cléo de Mérode, born in 1875 in Paris, France, was a renowned dancer who quickly rose to fame for her talent, glamour, and beauty. She became one of the first celebrities to have her photographic image widely distributed worldwide, and her signature hairstyle, the chignon, became a sensation in Parisian society. Cléo’s impact on popular culture and her status as a trendsetter have solidified her place in history.

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FranceBalletDancer

Mademoiselle Parisot

Mademoiselle Parisot (c.1775-after 1837) was a French opera singer and ballet dancer known for her provocative costumes and dances that caused an uproar in London. Her influence on the arts cannot be underestimated, as she pushed the boundaries of artistic expression in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Parisot’s legacy continues to inspire dancers and performers to this day.

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United StatesActorDancer

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lynn Affleck (née Lopez; born July 24, 1969), also known as J.Lo, is an American actress, dancer, and singer. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a Fly Girl dancer on the sketch comedy television series In Living Color in 1991. Her talent and charisma quickly gained attention, leading her to pursue an acting career in 1993.

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FranceActivistActor

Josephine Baker

Freda Josephine Baker, also known as Josephine Baker, was a renowned American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Born in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, she overcame adversity to become an influential advocate for civil rights. Her talent and activism continue to inspire generations, and she was posthumously inducted into the Panthéon in Paris in 2021, making her the first black woman to receive this prestigious honor in France.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBallet

Janet Collins

Janet Collins was a pioneering African American ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Despite facing racial barriers, she studied with renowned ballet teachers and became one of the few classically trained Black dancers of her generation. She collaborated with Katherine Dunham and gained recognition for her talent. Collins became the first black ballerina to perform at the Metropolitan Opera and later dedicated herself to teaching. Her legacy as a pioneer of black ballet dancing continues to inspire dancers worldwide.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBallet

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland is an American ballet dancer for the American Ballet Theatre and the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s history. Raised in Los Angeles, Copeland’s love for dance blossomed at age 13. Despite facing challenges and a custody battle, Copeland’s determination and talent propelled her career forward. She has become a beacon of inspiration, a best-selling author, and an influential figure in the ballet world.

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United StatesActorDancer

Janet Jackson

Janet Damita Jo Jackson, born on May 16, 1966, in Gary, Indiana, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer who has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. Janet’s innovative and socially conscious records, combined with her elaborate stage shows, have helped her rise to prominence while breaking gender and racial barriers.

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GermanyUnited StatesActor

Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks, known for her distinctive bob hairstyle, was an iconic symbol of the flapper culture in the 1920s and 1930s. After a short-lived career as a dancer, she found success as an actress in Hollywood and later in Germany. Despite facing financial hardships, Brooks left a profound legacy and challenged societal norms with her rebellious spirit and daring choices.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanDancer

Raven Wilkinson

Raven Wilkinson, the first African-American woman to break the color barrier in classical ballet, paved the way for future generations of dancers. Despite facing discrimination and limited opportunities, Wilkinson’s unwavering determination and talent propelled her through the ranks of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Her legacy continues to inspire countless individuals, reminding us that talent knows no boundaries.

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South KoreaBalletDancer

Hee Seo

Hee Seo, the talented South Korean ballet dancer, has made a significant impact on the world of ballet with her exquisite technique and graceful performances. Born on March 13, 1986, in Seoul, South Korea, Seo’s journey to becoming a principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is a testament to her dedication and exceptional talent.

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IndiaActivistActor

Mallika Sarabhai

Mallika Sarabhai, an activist and Indian classical dancer, is a leading figure in the performing arts world. Her performances have captivated audiences worldwide, using dance as a powerful medium for social change. Mallika’s contributions to dance and theater have earned her numerous accolades, including the prestigious Golden Star Award for Best Dance Soloist in Paris. She is also a dedicated social activist, transforming the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts into an epicenter of creativity and social awareness. Mallika’s impact extends beyond the stage, inspiring a new generation of artists and activists.

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IndiaDancerGovernment

Baisali Mohanty

Baisali Mohanty, an international diplomat and United Nations official, is known for her contributions to foreign policy and strategic affairs. She is also an Indian classical dancer and the founder of the Oxford Odissi Centre, promoting and training dancers in the Odissi dance form. Mohanty’s achievements have earned her critical acclaim and appreciation.

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IndiaDancer

Methil Devika

Methil Devika, born in 1976, is an Indian classical dancer and research supervisor. Known for her contributions to Mohiniyattam, a traditional dance form of Kerala, Devika has made significant strides in the field of performing arts. Additionally, she is currently engaged in a Post Doctoral Fellowship at ISRO’s Indian Institute of Space Sciences and Technologies, where she is involved in an arts-integrated-advance-science project of her own ideation.

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IndiaChoreographerDancer

Rukmini Devi Arundale

Rukmini Devi Arundale, born into a Brahmin family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, on February 29, 1904, revived and popularized the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam and made significant contributions to Indian arts, culture, and society. She founded the Kalakshetra Foundation, a renowned institution worldwide, and worked tirelessly to remove the stigma associated with Bharatanatyam, making it one of the most revered classical dance forms of India. Her vision and dedication have left an indelible mark on Indian classical dance for generations to come.

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EgyptDancer

Taheyya Kariokka

Taheyya Kariokka, also known as Tahiya Carioca, was an iconic Egyptian belly dancer and film actress who rose to fame during the “Golden Age” of Egyptian cinema. Despite a challenging upbringing and personal struggles, she became a versatile performer, renowned for her talent, charisma, and determination. Her influence on Egyptian culture and the art of belly dancing is indelible, making her a trailblazer and icon in women’s history.

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IndiaChoreographerDancer

Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal, an Indian actress, dancer, and choreographer, made a significant impact on the Indian film industry. Despite losing vision in her left eye, she pursued her passion for acting and became one of the most celebrated actresses of her time. Sehgal’s talent and versatility allowed her to portray diverse characters, earning her critical acclaim and a devoted fan base. She also made notable contributions to Indian theatre and received numerous prestigious awards for her exceptional talent and contributions to Indian art and culture.

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IndiaActorDancer

Vyjayanthimala

Vyjayanthimala, born in 1936 in Chennai, India, is celebrated as one of Indian cinema’s finest actresses and dancers. With a career that spanned several decades, she received numerous accolades, including two BFJA Awards and five Filmfare Awards. Her contributions to Indian cinema, along with her refusal to accept awards that didn’t truly recognize her talent, highlight her powerful character and commitment to her art.

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RussiaBalletChoreographer

Sofia Golovkina

Sofia Nikolayevna Golovkina, also known as Sophia Golovkina, was a notable ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Soviet Russia. Golovkina embarked on a remarkable journey that would leave an indelible mark on the world of ballet. Her talent and dedication propelled her to become the principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, a position she held until 1959. Golovkina’s contributions to the world of ballet were recognized with numerous accolades, including the prestigious title of People’s Artist of the USSR in 1973. She passed away in 2004, leaving behind a remarkable legacy that continues to inspire dancers and audiences alike.

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AustraliaChoreographerDancer

Margaret Scott

Dame Catherine Margaret Mary Scott, a pioneering ballet dancer, teacher, and choreographer, played a significant role in establishing Australia’s ballet tradition. As the first director of the Australian Ballet School, she shaped the institution into a world-class training ground for dancers. Her dedication and passion for ballet continue to inspire future generations.

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SpainArtistChoreographer

María Pagés

María Pagés, born in 1963 in Seville, Spain, is an internationally acclaimed modern Spanish dancer and choreographer. With her innovative approach to flamenco, she has revolutionized the perception of this art form, establishing herself as a leading figure in the world of modern flamenco. From her early career with the Antonio Gades Company to her own successful dance company in Madrid, Pagés has consistently pushed boundaries and captivated audiences worldwide. Her contributions to film, including Carmen and Flamenco, have brought flamenco to a wider audience. Pagés’s talent and creativity have been recognized with numerous awards, solidifying her place as one of the most influential figures in the world of flamenco.

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RussiaBalletDancer

Nadezhda Gracheva

Nadezhda Gracheva, a Russian ballerina, was born on December 21, 1969 in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan. Her talent and dedication to ballet led her to become one of the most celebrated ballerinas of her generation. Gracheva made significant contributions to the world of ballet during her time at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet, captivating audiences with her grace and artistry. Her legacy as a gifted ballerina and influential teacher continues to inspire and shape the future of dance.

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RussiaBalletDancer

Anna Pavlova

Anna Pavlovna Pavlova, born in 1881 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was a Russian prima ballerina who achieved fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She is best known for her iconic role as The Dying Swan and for her world tours with her own ballet company. Despite facing physical obstacles and personal challenges, Pavlova’s dedication to her art form and groundbreaking achievements continue to inspire and influence the world of ballet to this day.

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CanadaLatviaChoreographer

Ludmilla Chiriaeff

Ludmilla Chiriaeff was a Latvian-Canadian ballet dancer, choreographer, teacher, and company director. She overcame the challenges of World War II and refugee status to become a prominent figure in the world of ballet. Her innovative choreographies and dedication to nurturing young talent have left a lasting impact on the development of ballet in Canada. Ludmilla’s contributions to women’s history in the arts are undeniable.

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Puerto RicoActorDancer

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío Marcano; December 11, 1931) is a Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer. She is noted for her work on stage and screen in a career spanning over seven decades and is one of the last remaining stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Moreno’s contributions to the entertainment industry have been widely recognized, as she is one of the few performers to have achieved the prestigious EGOT status, having been awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

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ItalyComposerDancer

Teresa Bandettini

Teresa Bandettini, also known as Amarilli Etrusca, was an Italian dancer, extemporaneous verse composer, and poet. Despite the loss of her parents at a young age, she pursued a career in dance and later transitioned into improvisation. Known as the “literary ballerina,” her unique talent for creating verse on the spot captivated audiences. Bandettini’s influence was recognized by her patron Count Ludovico Savioli, poet Maria Maddalena Morelli, and composer Niccolò Paganini. She passed away in Lucca, leaving behind a legacy of creativity and influence.

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United KingdomUnited StatesAstronaut

Merritt Moore

Merritt Moore (born February 24, 1988) is an American ballerina and quantum physicist. She studied at both the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Moore works to combine her interests in physics and ballet through her research and dedication in both the arts and sciences.

Moore has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. She has danced professionally for many ballet companies across the world including the English National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet. Moore has performed in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker among other ballets.

She was featured as one of the contestants on BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ in 2017. Moore has also been recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women competition. She has spoken at TEDxOxbridge in 2013 and performed a ballet duet with dance partner Adam Kirkham.

In addition to her achievements in both ballet and physics, Moore started SASters – a group that encourages women to pursue their dreams in the arts and sciences. Currently, she is completing her residency at Harvard University’s ArtLab where her work combines science and dance through the use of robots.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Lucia Cormani

Lucia Cormani was a 19th and early 20th-century Italian ballet dancer and one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Dance. Although her life is not well-documented, she made significant contributions to the world of ballet and left a lasting impact on the art form.

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United StatesBalletDancer

Maria Tallchief

Maria Tallchief, America’s first major prima ballerina, revolutionized ballet with her talent and passion. As a member of the Osage Nation, she also became the first Native American to hold such a prestigious rank. Her mesmerizing performances and international tours earned her respect and admiration worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the art form’s history. Tallchief’s contributions to ballet are celebrated and her legacy endures.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Giovanna Bassi

Giovanna Bassi (1762–1834) was an Italian ballerina who spent the majority of her career in Sweden. She was regarded as the prima donna of the Swedish Ballet during the Gustavian age. Her technique was entirely according to the classic Italian style of ballet, and she was capable of performing the hardest movements within this style. Bassi became a prominent figure in the world of ballet and was not only a talented dancer but also a mentor for many Swedish dancers.

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Trinidad and TobagoUnited StatesAfrican American

Pearl Primus

Pearl Eileen Primus (November 29, 1919 – October 29, 1994) was an American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist. Primus played a pivotal role in the presentation of African dance to American audiences, promoting it as a valuable art form worthy of study and performance. Her work was a response to prevailing myths of savagery and the limited understanding of African culture prevalent at the time. Primus sought to enlighten the Western world about African dance, showcasing its significance and the dignified expression it represented.

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ItalyBalletDancer

Amalia Brugnoli

Amalia Brugnoli (1802–1892) was an Italian ballerina who played a significant role in the development and popularization of the pointe technique in ballet. Her use of this technique was groundbreaking and paved the way for future ballerinas to explore the possibilities of ballet on pointe. Brugnoli’s legacy extends beyond her technical accomplishments, as she challenged societal norms and expectations by embodying strength and athleticism in her performances. Her contributions continue to inspire and shape the art form to this day.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanDancer

Alicia Graf Mack

Alicia Graf Mack is an accomplished American dancer and teacher who has made significant contributions to the world of dance. She has danced with prestigious companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has also excelled as an educator at institutions like the Juilliard School. With her talent, resilience, and dedication, she has inspired countless individuals and broken barriers in the dance industry.

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DenmarkBalletChoreographer

Emilie Walbom

Emilie Walbom, a Danish ballet dancer and choreographer, had an illustrious career with the Royal Danish Ballet. Despite not fitting the physical standards of a prima ballerina, Walbom’s talent as an actress and mime artist was widely recognized. She became the first female choreographer of the ballet company and made significant contributions, including her masterpiece “Drømmebilleder.” Additionally, Walbom’s legacy lives on through her mentorship of future generations of dancers.

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FranceUnited StatesBallet

Rosella Hightower

Rosella Hightower was an American ballerina and member of the Choctaw Nation who achieved fame in both the United States and Europe. With her dedication and talent, she became known as the “newest star on the ballet horizon,” leaving a lasting impact on the world of dance.

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DenmarkBalletDancer

Margrethe Schall

Anna Margrethe Schall, born in Denmark in 1775, was a renowned Danish ballerina known for her expressful mimique and exceptional agility. Despite not conforming to traditional beauty standards, Schall left a significant impact on the world of ballet. Her career spanned several decades, and she retired in 1827, leaving behind a legacy that would shape the future of Danish ballet.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBallet

Debra Austin

Debra Austin, born in 1955, made history as the first African-American female principal dancer of a major American ballet company. Talent recognized at a young age, she caught the attention of George Balanchine and joined the New York City Ballet. Her international career included roles as a soloist with the Zurich Ballet and as a principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet, breaking down racial barriers in the arts. After retiring from performing, Austin transitioned into teaching, nurturing the next generation of dancers.

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DenmarkBalletDancer

Johanne Rosing

Johanne Cathrine Rosing, born in 1756, overcame humble beginnings to become a renowned Danish stage actress and ballet dancer. Despite never learning to read or write, Rosing’s natural talent and dedication propelled her to success in the world of performing arts. Known for her memorable portrayal of motherly characters, she left behind a lasting legacy and inspired future generations of performers. Rosing passed away in 1853 and was laid to rest in the Asminderød Cemetery in Fredensborg.

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Great BritainChoreographerDancer

Gillian Lynne

Gillian Lynne, a prominent English ballerina, dancer, and choreographer, was known for her iconic theatre choreography in Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. Her remarkable career began at a young age and she made significant contributions to the world of dance and theatre. Lynne’s talent and innovative choreography solidified her status as one of the most influential figures in the performing arts industry. She was honored with the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 and left a lasting legacy upon her passing in 2018.

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New ZealandDancerIndigenous

Amanaki Prescott-Faletau

Amanaki Lelei Prescott-Faletau, a multi-talented artist of Tongan descent, has left a significant mark on the world of performing arts. From her early experiences in church events to competing in national and international dance competitions, Amanaki has showcased her exceptional talent and passion for performing. With a deep connection to her cultural roots and her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, she continues to inspire and uplift others within the industry. Her journey as an artist and trailblazer is truly remarkable.

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United KingdomBalletDancer

Margot Fonteyn

Dame Margaret Evelyn de Arias DBE, known as Margot Fonteyn, was a celebrated English ballerina who left an indelible mark on the world of dance. From a young age, Fonteyn displayed a deep love for ballet and quickly rose to become one of the most influential and admired dancers of her time. Throughout her career, she forged close partnerships, embraced television, and captivated audiences with her exceptional technique and ability to bring characters to life. Fonteyn’s partnership with Rudolf Nureyev proved to be one of the most transformative collaborations in ballet history.

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New ZealandActivistDancer

Rona Bailey

Rona Bailey, a prominent drama and dance practitioner in New Zealand, was a driving force behind the development of contemporary dance and professional theater in her country. She also played a crucial role in the anti-apartheid movement and contributed to anti-racist education in New Zealand. Bailey’s commitment to teaching and her contributions to drama and dance education continue to have a lasting impact.

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CubaDancer

Alicia Alonso

Alicia Alonso was a Cuban prima ballerina assoluta and choreographer known for her iconic portrayals of Giselle and Carmen. Despite being partially blind, she overcame her vision problems and became one of the greatest ballerinas of her time. Alonso’s dedication to her craft and her founding of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba have left an indelible mark on the world of ballet and continue to inspire generations of dancers.

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TaiwanUnited StatesAsian American

Fang-Yi Sheu

Fang-Yi Sheu (born 1971) is a Taiwanese-American dancer and choreographer. She has made significant contributions to the world of dance, both as a performer and as a creator.

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RussiaActorBallet

Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya was a renowned Soviet and Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress. Despite facing tragedy and political repression in her early years, she became one of the most celebrated ballerinas of the 20th century. Plisetskaya captivated audiences around the world with her talent and artistry, pushing the boundaries of traditional ballet and leaving an immeasurable impact on the art form.

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TaiwanUnited StatesAsian American

PeiJu Chien-Pott

PeiJu Chien-Pott, a Taiwanese-American dance artist, has become one of the greatest modern dancers of her generation. Through her exceptional talent and dedication, she has made a significant impact in the world of dance. As a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company, Chien-Pott has interpreted iconic roles in Graham’s repertoire, captivating audiences with her dramatic prowess and physical versatility. Her contributions to the art form have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Bessie Award. Chien-Pott’s passion for dance extends beyond performing, as she also takes on the roles of choreographer, director, educator, and founder of PJ Performing Arts in Taiwan. Through her work, she continues to inspire and mentor the next generation of dancers.

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RussiaBalletDancer

Galina Ulanova

Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova, born in 1910 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was a renowned Russian ballet dancer. Raised in a family of dancers, Ulanova’s destiny was shaped by her early exposure to ballet. Her talent was recognized from a young age, and she went on to become one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. Throughout her career, Ulanova received numerous awards and honors for her remarkable contributions to the arts. She passed away in 1998, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire dancers around the world.

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AustraliaDancer

Lucette Aldous

Lucette Aldous AC was a renowned Australian prima ballerina known for her exceptional talent and captivating stage presence. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Aldous moved to Perth, Western Australia at a young age. Her career flourished after joining the Royal Ballet School in London, where she had the opportunity to perform with Rudolf Nureyev. Aldous’s legacy as a trailblazer in the world of ballet and her contributions to the performing arts will forever be remembered.

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United StatesAsian AmericanBallet

Georgina Pazcoguin

Georgina Pazcoguin is an American ballerina who has made a significant impact in the dance world. Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, she possesses a unique background as a biracial individual with an Italian mother and a father who immigrated from the Philippines after completing medical school. Growing up in a family of six siblings, Pazcoguin began her ballet training at the Allegheny Ballet Academy at the age of four. Additionally, she studied African, tap, and jazz dance, showcasing her versatility even from an early age.

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BrazilChoreographerDancer

Sonia Destri Lie

Sonia Destri Lie, founder of Companhia Urbana de Dança, has made significant contributions to the world of hip-hop dance. Her unique style and powerful performances have gained international recognition. Sonia’s passion for dance led her to pursue formal training in jazz and modern dance. She established the dance company to bridge the gap between marginalized communities and professional dance, empowering dancers from poorer suburbs and favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Companhia Urbana de Dança has become a symbol of hope and empowerment for marginalized communities.

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ArgentinaDancerSinger

Tita Merello

Laura Ana “Tita” Merello was an Argentine film actress, tango dancer, and singer who rose to prominence during the Golden Age of Argentine Cinema from 1940 to 1960. Born on October 11, 1904, in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Tita Merello had a remarkable career that spanned over six decades and left an indelible mark on Argentine entertainment.

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BrazilBalletChoreographer

Mercedes Baptista

Mercedes Baptista, a prominent Brazilian ballet dancer and choreographer, shattered barriers and left a lasting impact on the cultural landscape of Brazil. Despite facing discrimination, she became the first black woman to join the ballet corps of Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro and went on to create the Afro-Brazilian ballet, showcasing the influence of African culture on Brazilian dance. Her determination and resilience continue to inspire and empower artists today.

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UzbekistanDancer

Nurkhon Yuldashkhojayeva

Nurkhon Yuldashkhojayeva was a pioneering Uzbek actress and dancer who defied societal expectations in the early 20th century. She became known for removing her face-veil on stage during a performance in 1928, challenging traditional gender roles and becoming a symbol of women’s liberation. Tragically, her promising career was cut short when she fell victim to an honor killing orchestrated by her own family. Despite her untimely death, Nurkhon’s legacy continues to inspire women in Uzbekistan and beyond.

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AlgeriaFranceBallet

Mariquita

Mariquita, also known as Madame Mariquita, was an Algerian-born dancer who became a successful choreographer and ballet mistress in Paris from the 1870s to 1920. She modernized French ballet, creating nearly 300 ballets in her career. Although not well-documented, her contemporaries considered her one of the best choreographers of her time.

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JapanDancerWriter

Utako Hanazono

Utako Hanazono, born in January 1905, was a prominent figure in Japanese culture. She was known for her work as a writer, modern dancer, geisha, and traditional dance master. Hanazono faced challenges throughout her career, such as restrictions on geisha and social discrimination, and she used her platform to advocate for better rights and conditions for geisha. She also dedicated herself to the study of modern dance and wrote extensively on women’s rights, leaving a lasting impact on Japanese culture.

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