Famous 19th Century Dancers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Dancers
 1 
Isadora Duncan
(American Dancer and Choreographer)
Isadora Duncan
6
Birthdate: May 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 14, 1927

Isadora Duncan was a dancer acclaimed in USA, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Raised by a single mother, she grew up in poverty and started teaching dance to children to earn some money. She later joined Augustin Daly's theater company. Eventually, she opened her own dance schools to teach her unique philosophy and techniques to her students. 

 2 
Anna Pavlova
(Russian Ballerina and One of the Most-Celebrated Ballet Dancers of Her Time)
Anna Pavlova
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1881
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 23, 1931

One of the first ballerinas to travel extensively around the world, Anna Pavlova had first gained an interest in the dance form after watching an adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty. She initially gained fame dancing with Mikhail Mordkin and later made waves with her iconic role in The Dying Swan.

 3 
Mata Hari
(Dutch Exotic Dancer Who Was Convicted and Executed for Being a Spy)
Mata Hari
6
Birthdate: August 7, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Died: October 15, 1917
Mata Hari was a Dutch courtesan and exotic dancer, charged with spying for Germany during World War I. She was executed by a firing squad in France, and her head was preserved in a museum, but later went missing. The “femme fatale” has been immortalized in many films and books.
Recommended Lists:
 4 
Jack Haley
(Vaudevillian)
Jack Haley
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: June 6, 1979
Recommended Lists:
 5 
Sergei Diaghilev
(Russian Art Critic, Ballet Impresario and Founder of the 'Ballets Russes')
Sergei Diaghilev
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chudovsky District, Russia
Died: August 19, 1929

Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario, patron, and art critic. He is credited with founding the popular ballet company Ballets Russes, which has produced some of the greatest and popular choreographers and dancers like Tamara Karsavina, Lydia Sokolova, Serge Lifar, and Alicia Markova. Sergei Diaghilev is remembered for placing the needs of his company and dancers above his own.

 6 
Loie Fuller
(Actor, Lighting designer, Choreographer, Artist, Dancer, Stage actor, Model)
Loie Fuller
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: January 1, 1928
 7 
Marius Petipa
(One of the Most Influential Ballet Masters and Choreographers in Ballet History)
Marius Petipa
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1818
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: July 14, 1910

Marius Petipa was a French pedagogue, ballet dancer, and choreographer. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important ballet choreographers and masters in ballet history. From 1871 to 1903, he served as the principal choreographer and Ballet Master of the popular Imperial Russian Ballet. In the 1983 biopic Anna Pavlova, Petipa was played by Pyotr Gusev.

 8 
George M. Cohan
(Entertainer, Playwright and Composer Who is Considered to be ‘The Father of American Musical Comedy’)
George M. Cohan
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: November 5, 1942
 9 
Adele Astaire
(Actor, Dancer, Stage actor)
Adele Astaire
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omaha
Died: January 25, 1981
 10 
Marie Taglioni
(Ballet Dancer)
Marie Taglioni
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1804
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: April 22, 1884
 11 
Lola Montez
(Spanish Dancer, Courtesan, and Mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria)
Lola Montez
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grange, Ireland
Died: January 17, 1861

Lola Montez was an Irish actress and dancer. She achieved popularity as a Spanish courtesan, dancer, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. The German revolutions of 1848–1849 forced her to flee to the United States, where she established herself as an actress and dancer. Lola Montez has been portrayed in many films, including Lola Montez, the King's Dancer.

 12 
Busby Berkeley
(Film director)
Busby Berkeley
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 14, 1976
 13 
Enrico Cecchetti
(Ballet Dancer)
Enrico Cecchetti
1
Birthdate: June 21, 1850
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 13, 1928
 14 
Mathilde Kschessinska
(Russian Ballerina and the First Russian Dancer to Master 32 Consecutive 'Fouettés en Tournant')
Mathilde Kschessinska
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ligovo, Russia
Died: December 6, 1971

Mathilde Kschessinska was a Russian ballerina hailing from the Polish noble family Krzesiński. She was the daughter of Feliks Krzesiński, who danced in Saint Petersburg.  As a young woman, she married Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia. She later opened her own ballet school and trained students, such as Margot Fonteyn, Alicia Markova, and André Eglevsky. 

 15 
Irene Castle
(Dancer)
Irene Castle
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York ,United States
Died: January 25, 1969
 16 
Marilyn Miller
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, United States
Died: April 7, 1936
 17 
La Goulue
(Dancer)
La Goulue
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Died: January 29, 1929

La Goulue was a French can-can dancer who became a favorite subject for painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec at the peak of her popularity. Dubbed the Queen of Montmartre, Goulue is remembered for performing at the Moulin Rouge near Montmartre where she was a star. After parting ways with Moulin Rouge, she lost a considerable amount of money and died poor.

 18 
Ruth St. Denis
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: July 21, 1968
 19 
Jane Avril
(Dancer)
Jane Avril
2
Birthdate: June 9, 1868
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 31, 1943

Jane Avril was a French dancer who specialized in can-can, a popular music-hall dance of the 1840s. Avril was made famous by popular French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who often depicted Jane Avril in his paintings. In the 1952 British drama film Moulin Rouge, Jane Avril was played by Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.

 20 
Cleo de Merode
(Ballet dancer)
Cleo de Merode
2
Birthdate: September 27, 1875
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 17, 1966

Cleo de Merode was a French dancer whose glamor overshadowed her dancing skills. Often referred to as the first modern celebrity and the first real celebrity icon, de Mérode was also the first female public figure whose pictures were distributed worldwide. She is also remembered for her sculpture La Danseuse which was sculpted from a plaster cast of her body.

 21 
Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
(Indian Poet and Educator Who Disseminate Western Learning and Science Among the Young Men of Bengal)
Henry Louis Vivian Derozio
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: December 26, 1831

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was an Anglo-Indian poet who became the assistant headmaster of Hindu College, Kolkata. He was born to a Christian Indo-Portuguese father and an English mother in British India. A brilliant young man, he was a radical thinker of his time, and his activities kindled the intellectual revolution in Bengal. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 22.  

 22 
Liane de Pougy
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Flèche, France
Died: December 26, 1950

Liane de Pougy was a French dancer and vedette who performed at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Remembered for her captivating looks, de Pougy was widely regarded as one of Paris's most notorious courtesans. She also served as the subject for many artists like Paul César Helleu and Jean Baptiste Guth.

 23 
La Belle Otero
2
Birthdate: November 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Valga, Spain
Died: April 10, 1965
 24 
Doris Humphrey
(Dancer and Choreographer)
Doris Humphrey
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: December 29, 1958

One of the pioneers of American modern dance, Doris Humphrey had begun her career with the Denishawn dance school. The daughter of a pianist mother, she later launched her own dance school with her mother as the manager. She also excelled in American vaudeville and promoted the dance movement theory.

 25 
Gauhar Jaan
(She was one of the first performers to record music on 78 rpm records in India)
Gauhar Jaan
0
Birthdate: June 26, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Azamgarh, India
Died: January 17, 1930
 26 
Rudolf von Laban
(Dance Artist)
Rudolf von Laban
2
Birthdate: December 15, 1879
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pozsony, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died: July 1, 1958
 27 
Ted Shawn
(Dancer)
Ted Shawn
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: January 9, 1972
 28 
Florence Mills
2
Birthdate: January 25, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: November 1, 1927
 29 
Hetty Kelly
(Dancer)
Hetty Kelly
2
Birthdate: 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: September 30, 1918
 30 
Bronislava Nijinska
(Ballet Dancer)
Bronislava Nijinska
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus
Died: February 21, 1972
 31 
Eddie Foy Sr.
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 16, 1928
 32 
Pierina Legnani
(Ballerina)
Pierina Legnani
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1868
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Italy
Died: November 15, 1930
 33 
Carlotta Grisi
(Ballet dancer)
Carlotta Grisi
1
Birthdate: June 28, 1819
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vižinada, Croatia
Died: May 20, 1899
 34 
Marie van Goethem
(Ballet Dancer)
Marie van Goethem
2
Birthdate: June 7, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Marie van Goethem was a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet. She is best remembered for posing as a model for Impressionist artist Edgar Degas's famous statue Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. Marie van Goethem's life and career have inspired several fictitious and non-fictitious novels and documentaries.

 35 
Marie Rambert
(Polish-Born English Ballet Dancer)
Marie Rambert
2
Birthdate: February 20, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: June 12, 1982

Best known for her pioneering contribution to contemporary ballet, Polish-born dancer Marie Rambert was the founder of one of England’s oldest ballet groups, the Rambert Dance Company. Apart from being a fine ballerina, she was also a great ballet teacher and was awarded with the Order of the British Empire.

 36 
August Bournonville
(Ballet Master)
August Bournonville
1
Birthdate: August 21, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 30, 1879
 37 
Lev Ivanov
(Dancer)
Lev Ivanov
1
Birthdate: March 2, 1834
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 24, 1901

Lev Ivanov was a Russian choreographer and ballet dancer. Ivanov worked at the Imperial Russian Ballet where he served as the Second Balletmaster. He is best remembered for choreographing Acts II and IV of Swan Lake, including the famous Dance of the Little Swans. Lev Ivanov is also credited with choreographing The Nutcracker and Act II of Cinderella.

 38 
Fanny Elssler
(Austrian Ballet Dancer of the Romantic Period)
Fanny Elssler
1
Birthdate: June 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gumpendorf, Vienna, Austria
Died: November 27, 1884

Fanny Elssler was an Austrian ballet dancer of the Romantic Period. Renowned for her beauty and dancing skills, Elssler captivated hearts wherever she performed. Her life and career inspired an eponymous silent film in 1920, where she was played by Lya Mara. Fanny Elssler was also portrayed by Lilian Harvey in the 1937 eponymous film.

 39 
Emma Livry
(Ballet Dancer)
Emma Livry
1
Birthdate: September 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: France
Died: July 26, 1863

Emma Livry was a French ballet dancer. A student of Marie Taglioni, Livry was one of the last ballet dancers of the Romantic ballet era. Emma Livry is best remembered for her untimely death at the age of 20; she died of burn injuries when her outfit caught fire while practicing for her upcoming performance.

 40 
Olga Preobrajenska
(Russian Ballerina)
Olga Preobrajenska
1
Birthdate: February 2, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 27, 1962

Olga Preobrajenska was a Russian ballet dancer who worked at the popular Imperial Russian Ballet. Although she was born with a crooked spine, Preobrajenska went on to pursue her dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Remembered for her turnout and toe point, Preobrajenska exhibited the desired grace of a dancer with ease. She also taught popular ballerinas like Irina Baronova.

 41 
Jules Perrot
(French Dancer and Choreographer Known for Creating Some of the Most Enduring Ballets of the Romantic Period)
Jules Perrot
1
Birthdate: August 18, 1810
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: August 29, 1892

Jules Perrot was a French dancer and choreographer who served as the ballet master of the prestigious Imperial Russian Ballet. Perrot is credited with creating some of the 19th century's most popular ballets, such as La Esmeralda, Pas de Quatre, Giselle, and Ondine. During his illustrious career, Jules Perrot coached famous ballerinas like Carlotta Grisi and Fanny Cerrito.

 42 
Valeska Gert
(Dancer)
Valeska Gert
1
Birthdate: January 11, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 16, 1978

Valeska Gert was a German dancer, cabaret artist, pantomime, and actress. A pioneering performance artist, Gert is credited with establising the foundation for the punk movement. In 2004, Valeska Gert received a star on the Walk of Fame of Cabaret.

 43 
Arthur Saint-Léon
(French Ballet Dancer Who Is Famous for Creating the Choreography of the Ballet 'Coppélia')
Arthur Saint-Léon
1
Birthdate: September 17, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 2, 1870

Arthur Saint-Léon was a ballet master who worked with the Imperial Russian Ballet from 1859 to 1869. He is remembered for choreographing a popular ballet named Coppélia. He is also remembered for inventing a method of choreographic notation, which was the first notation to document the movements of the torso, head, and arms apart from the movements of the feet.  

 44 
Charles Didelot
(French Dancer, the Creator of the Ballet Shoes and a Choreographer)
Charles Didelot
1
Birthdate: March 28, 1767
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 7, 1837

Charles Didelot was a French dancer and choreographer. Didelot is credited with creating ballet shoes and popularizing Russian ballet around the world. After studying with prominent balletmasters like Jean Dauberval and Jean-Georges Noverre, Charles Didelot went on to teach ballet at the Imperial Theatres of Russian Empire. He is also credited with choreographing the famous Flore et Zéphire in 1796.

 45 
Fanny Cerrito
(Ballet Dancer)
Fanny Cerrito
1
Birthdate: May 11, 1817
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: May 6, 1909
 46 
Jackson Haines
(Ballet Dancer)
Jackson Haines
1
Birthdate: 1840 AD
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: 1875 AD
 47 
Margaret Morris
1
Birthdate: March 10, 1891
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kensington, England
Died: February 29, 1980
 48 
Jean Coralli
(French Ballet Dancer and Choreographer, Best Known for Collaborating with 'Jules Perrot' in Creating 'Giselle')
Jean Coralli
1
Birthdate: January 15, 1779
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 1, 1854

Best known for co-creating the romantic ballet Giselle with Jules Perrot, Jean Coralli was associated with La Scala in Milan and Porte-Saint-Martin Theater in Paris. The famed ballet dancer and choreographer, who was the son of a Théâtre Italien comedian, also excelled in works such as La Péri and La Tentation.

 49 
Filippo Taglioni
1
Birthdate: November 5, 1777
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: February 11, 1871
 50 
Louis Horst
(Choreographer)
Louis Horst
1
Birthdate: January 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: January 23, 1964