Famous Female Ballerinas People

Famous Female Ballerinas

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List of famous female ballerinas, featuring bios and photos when available. This female ballerinas list contains the most prominent and top females known for being ballerinas. The female ballerinas of note are listed by their level of prominence, and you can be sorted by various bits of information like date of birth or birthplace. There are thousand of females working as ballerinas in the world, but this list highlights only the notable ones.

Everything from Suzanne Farrell to Eleonora Abbagnato is included on this list.

While this isn't a list of all female ballerinas, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female ballerinas in the world?" and "Who are the best female ballerinas?"

The most notable female ballerinas in history and today are shown below. Enjoy this list of well-known, leading female ballerinas. If you want to share these historic female ballerinas you can use one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (112 items)


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    Darcey Bussell
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Darcey Andrea Bussell CBE is a retired English ballerina. Trained at the Arts Educational School and the Royal Ballet School, she started her professional ballet career at Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, but after only one year she moved to The Royal Ballet, where she became a principal dancer at just 20 ...more

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: The Prince of the Pagodas, Mayerling, Great Pas de Deux, Gala Tribute to Tchaikovsky, Winter Dreams
  2. 42
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    Mia Slavenska
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Mia Slavenska, birth name Mia Čorak, was a Croatian-born American prima ballerina. She formed the Slavenska Ballette Variante and, later, the Theatre Ballette. In 1954, she became the prima ballerina of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.more

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    • Age: Died at 86 (1916-2002)
    • Birthplace: Slavonski Brod, Croatia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Ballet Teacher
    • Credits: Ballerina
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    Alina Cojocaru
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Alina Cojocaru is a Romanian ballet dancer. As of November 2013, she is a principal dancer with the English National Ballet.more

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    • Age: age 34
    • Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty, Adolphe Adam: Giselle
  4. 44
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    Karen Kain
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Karen Alexandria Kain, CC is a retired Canadian ballet dancer, and currently the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada.more

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    • Age: age 64
    • Birthplace: Hamilton, Canada
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor
    • Credits: Giselle (National Ballet of Canada), The Merry Widow, Karen Kain: Dancing In The Moment, The Magic of Aladdin
  5. 45

    Alexandra Noel Ansanelli is an American ballet dancer. She was born in Manhassett, Long Island. Her mother, Linda Ansanelli, is the daughter of the late Jack and Esther Young. Jack Young, stage name Ray Royce, was a Vaudevillian child star and later became the headliner for Ted Lewis and Eddie Cantor.more

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    • Age: age 35
    • Birthplace: Laurel Hollow, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
  6. 46
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    Yvonne Chouteau
    Photo: Freebase

    Myra Yvonne Chouteau is one of the "Five Moons" or Native prima ballerinas of Oklahoma. In 1962, she and her husband, Miguel Terekhov, founded the first fully accredited university dance program in the United States, the School of Dance at the University of Oklahoma. A member of the Shawnee Tribe, she ...more

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    • Age: age 86
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
  7. 47

    Aleksandra Dionisyevna Danilova was a Russian-born prima ballerina, who became an American citizen. In 1989, she was recognized for lifetime achievements in ballet as a Kennedy Center Honoree.more

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    • Age: Died at 94 (1903-1997)
    • Birthplace: Petergof
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
  8. 48

    Anastasia Volochkova is a Russian prima ballerina.more

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    • Age: age 39
    • Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor
  9. 49

    Ekaterina Sergeevna Maximova was a Soviet and Russian ballerina of international renown.more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1939-2009)
    • Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor
    • Credits: Bolshoi Ballet '67, Anyuta, Bolshoi Ballet: Cinderella, The Art of the Pas De Deux: Vol. 3: 10 Great Pas de Deux, Trilogy of Ballet: The Nutcracker
  10. 50

    Lisa Teresita Pacheco Macuja-Elizalde is a Prima Ballerina. In 1984, she became the first Filipina prima ballerina, and first foreign soloist to ever join the Kirov Ballet. In the Philippines, she is the Artistic Director of Ballet Manila and Vice-Chairman of the Philippine UNESCO National Commission.more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
  11. 51

    Wendy Whelan was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and is a guest artist with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.more

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    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor, Dancer
    • Credits: Catfish
  12. 52

    Margaret L. Illmann is an Australian prima ballerina with an international career. Born in Australia, she moved to Canada to work with the National Ballet of Canada. From there her career lead her to all major stages in the world. She worked and lived in Stuttgart and Berlin and in Vienna. She played ...more

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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: Rossini's Ghost
  13. 53

    Rosella Hightower was an American ballerina who achieved fame in both the United States and Europe.more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1920-2008)
    • Birthplace: Durwood, Oklahoma, United States of America
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: The Spectre of Dance
  14. 54

    Sonia Osorio de Saint-Malo was a Colombian ballet dancer and choreographer. During her long career she became an important folklorist and promoter of the arts and culture having worked closely with and for the Carnival of Barranquilla and having founded in 1960 the Colombia Ballet, a national ballet ...more

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    • Age: age 87
    • Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Choreographer
  15. 55
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    Tania Riabouchinskaya
    Photo: Freebase

    Tatiana Mikhailovna Riabouchinska was a Russian American prima ballerina and teacher. Famous at age 14 as one of the three "Baby Ballerinas" of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1930s, she matured into an artist whom critics called "the most unusual dancer of her generation."more

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    • Age: Died at 83 (1917-2000)
    • Birthplace: Russia, Moscow
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: Make Mine Music
  16. 56

    Misty Copeland is an author, entertainer, and American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre, one of the three leading classical ballet companies in the United States. She is the third African-American soloist and first in two decades with ABT, where she has endured the cultural pressure associated ...more

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    • Age: age 33
    • Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States of America
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
  17. 57

    Ludmila Savelyeva is a Russian film actress and ballerina. Born on 24 January 1942 in Leningrad, she achieved lasting fame in the role of Natasha Rostova in the 1966–68 film War and Peace, which was six years in the making. She won a Diploma prize for this role at the 4th Moscow International Film ...more

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    • Age: age 73
    • Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor
    • Credits: Sunflower, War and Peace, The Flight, Black Rose Is an Emblem of Sorrow, Red Rose Is an Emblem of Love, + more
  18. 58

    Darci Kistler is a noted American ballerina. She is often said to be the last muse for the choreographer, George Balanchine.more

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: USA, Riverside, California
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer, Actor
    • Credits: The Nutcracker, Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas
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    Maya Plisetskaya
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Maya Mikhaylovna Plisetskaya is a Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress, and is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. She danced during the Soviet era at the same time as the great Galina Ulanova, and in 1960 took over Ulanova's title as prima ...more

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    • Age: age 90
    • Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: Anna Karenina, Tchaikovsky, Little Humpbacked Horse, Stars of the Russian Ballet, Bizet-Shchedrin: Carmen Suite Ballet, + more
  20. 60

    Nina Ananiashvili

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    Nina Ananiashvili
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Nina Ananiashvili is a Georgian ballerina and artistic director of the State Ballet of Georgia.more

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    • Age: age 52
    • Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia
    • Profession: Ballet Dancer
    • Credits: To the Limit: IMAX, Don Quixote: The State Perm Ballet, Nina Ananiashvili and International Stars: Vol. 2, Nina Ananiashvili and International Stars: Vol. 1, Swan Lake: Tchaikovsky (Russian State Perm Ballet), + more
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