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Famous Dancers

Famous Dancers of Past and Present

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Many exceptional dancers have graced dance floors with their talents. Movies and clips of these dancers show us the extent of their love of and devotion to their particular styles of dance. Though not complete, the following list highlights some of the best dancers of the past and present.

1. Anna Pavlova (1881-1931)

Famous dancer Anna Pavlova
Flickr user Alexeitje
A famous Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova is best known for changing the ideals for ballet dancers, as she was small and thin, not the preferred body of a ballerina during her time. She is also credited for creating the modern pointe shoe.

2. Mikhail Baryshnikov (1948-present)

Famous dancer Mikhail Barishnikov
Scott Wintrow / Getty Images
Known as the best living male ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov is a famous Russian dancer. He has had roles in film, as he starred in the last season of Sex and the City.

3. Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993)

Famous dancer Rudolf Nureyev
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev is often regarded as the greatest ballet dancer of the 1960s and 1970s.

4. Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Famous dancer Michael Jackson
Frank Micelotta/Stringer / Getty Images
Pop star of the 1980s, Michael Jackson wowed audiences with eye-popping dance moves, notably one called the "moonwalk." Michael displayed an amazing talent for rhythm and dance at a very young age.

5. Sammy Davis, Jr, (1925-1990)

Famous dancer Sammy Davis, Jr
Patrick Riviere / Getty Images
An American dancer, Sammy Davis, Jr. was an entertainer remembered mostly for his tap dancing ability. He began tap dancing at the age of four.

6. Martha Graham (1894-1991)

Famous dancer Martha Graham
Evan Agostini / Getty Images
Martha Graham was an American dancer and choreographer. She is known as the pioneer of modern dance. She dared to introduce new, modern dance moves to the world.

7. Fred Astaire (1899-1987)

Famous dancer Fred Astaire
Flickr user EmMe09
Fred Astaire was a famous American film and Broadway dancer. He is well-known for starring with Ginger Rogers in musical films.

8. Gregory Hines (1946-2003)

Famous dancer Gregory Hines
Sebastian Artz / Getty Images
Gregory Hines was an American dancer mostly known for his outstanding tap dancing abilities. He appeared in several dance movies, including White Nights and Tap.

9. Gene Kelly (1912-1996)

Famous dancer Gene Kelly
Flickr user EmMe09
An American dancer, Gene Kelly is remembered for his highly energetic and athletic dancing style. He is well-known for his performance in Singin' in the Rain.

10. Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

Famous dancer Patrick Swayze
MJ Kim / Getty Images
Patrick Swayze was a well-known American dancer and actor. He starred as a dance instructor in the popular movie Dirty Dancing.
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