Famous American Choreographers

Step up mates! It is time to explore the life, feats, and deeds of some of America's most exceptionally talented choreographers, right here. America has been the minefield of creative force, as far as dancing goes. Thanks to some of America's cutting-edge choreographers, the country's dance forms underwent sea change in the last century. It is because of this extraordinarily talented, diverse, and distinctive lot of choreographers, American dancers are counted among the bests in the world today. A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music, and fantasy, these choreographers inserted new soul to every dance move they fashioned. These high profile choreographers have an impressive list of credits to their name and have teamed up with some of the biggest celebrity dancers of their times. American choreographers have been the driving force behind some of America's most celebrated dancers. So what are you waiting for? Pull up your socks, put on your dancing shoes, and get waltzing down the timeline, trivia, and interesting facts of America's famous choreographers in the biographies here.

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

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 1 Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
6
Famous As: King of Pop
Birthdate: August 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: June 25, 2009

The King of Pop and an international superstar, Michael Jackson was a musical entertainer whose work – both with Jackson 5 and solo – won accolades and hearts worldwide. Equally popular were his unique dance moves that created sensation and shaped future dance styles. Amongst the most successful entertainers of all time, Jackson was later accused of child molestation.  

 2 Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 10, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: June 22, 1987

Fred Astaire was an American actor, television presenter, dancer, choreographer, and singer. Widely regarded as the most influential dancer in film history, Astaire was known for his innovation, perfectionism, and an uncanny sense of rhythm. Also known for his fashion sense, Fred Astaire remained a male fashion icon throughout his career, which spanned more than seven decades.

 3 Bob Fosse

Bob Fosse
4
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: June 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 23, 1987
Legendary dancer, choreographer, and director Bob Fosse is best remembered for his Academy Award-winning direction in the musical film Cabaret. Renowned for his signature “jazz hands” style, he also earned the Palme D'Or for All That Jazz and nine Tony Awards for various stage productions, eight of them for choreography. 

 4 Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines
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Famous As: Dancer, Choreographer and Actor
Birthdate: February 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 9, 2003
Gregory Hines is remembered as one of the greatest tap dancers in the world. His performance in the Broadway play Jelly's Last Jam won him a Tony and a Drama Desk award. He also won an Emmy for his voice role in Little Bill and hosted his own show.

 5 Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
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Famous As: Singer, Actress, Dancer
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Jennifer Lopez established herself as the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood after starring in films such as Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan and Shall We Dance’. She is also an accomplished dancer and commercially very successful singer. She helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music. She is also a fashion designer and a businesswoman.

 6 Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Fernando, California, United States

Starting her career as a cheerleader, Paula Abdul went on to choreograph music videos for Janet Jackson. She then tried her hand at singing-songwriting and released a highly successful debut studio album. Also an award-winning actress, Paula was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has also appeared in TV shows like American Idol.

 7 Eugene Curran Kelly

Eugene Curran Kelly
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Famous As: Actor, Dancer
Birthdate: August 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 2, 1996

Actor, dancer, singer, and filmmaker, Gene Kelly, was one of the most popular Hollywood figures in the 1940s and 1950s. Among his other achievements, he is credited to have popularized the genre of musical films in Hollywood. As a filmmaker, he often experimented with camera techniques and special effects. He received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952.

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 8 Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: July 20, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Orem, Utah, United States
Julianne Hough shot to fame with Dancing with the Stars, in 2007, and eventually won two seasons and returned as a judge. Fans also remember her as Sandy from Grease Live! She aced the U.S. Country charts with her debut album and was also a judge on America's Got Talent.

 9 Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan
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Famous As: Dancer & Choreographer
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. 

 10 Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez
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Famous As: Film Actress & Show Host
Birthdate: September 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bushwick, New York City, New York, United States
Rosa Perez is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Carla Rodrigo in Fearless and her Emmy-nominated choreography in the series In Living Color. She has also appeared in Broadway plays such as The Ritz and has co-hosted The View. She is also associated with major HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.

 11 Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York

R&B and hip-hop singer Teyana Taylor gained fame with MTV's My Super Sweet 16. She signed with Kanye West’s label and also appeared on the reality show Teyana and Iman, with her husband, NBA player Iman Shumpert. In December 2020, she announced her retirement from music through Instagram.

 12 Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Debbie Allen is an actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer-songwriter.  She appeared in the musical-drama TV series Fame and also worked as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. She runs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and is a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

 13 Todrick Hall

Todrick Hall
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Arlington, Texas, United States
Rapper/choreographer Todrick Hall gained fame after appearing in the ninth season of American Idol. His YouTube videos, featuring his songs and parodies, too, became viral. He has also been a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race and is openly gay. He has also appeared as Billy Flynn in the play Chicago.

 14 Abby Lee Miller

Abby Lee Miller
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Famous As: Dance Instructor
Birthdate: September 21, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Abby Lee Miller is a choreographer, dance instructor, and reality TV personality. She is credited with founding the Abby Lee Dance Company where the popular TV series Dance Moms was filmed. The series follows the training of children in dance under the tutelage of Miller. In 2018, Miller was diagnosed with a type of cancer that has left her wheelchair-bound.

 15 Carrie Ann Inaba

Carrie Ann Inaba
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Famous As: Actor, Singer, Choreographer, Dancer, Television actor
Birthdate: January 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Honolulu

 16 Ashley Roberts

Ashley Roberts
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 14, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

 17 Martha Graham

Martha Graham
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Famous As: Modern dancer and choreographer
Birthdate: May 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 1, 1991

Martha Graham was a modern dancer and choreographer who revolutionized American dance. She developed what later became known as the Graham technique, a modern dance movement style and pedagogy. She had an extensive career spanning over 70 years. The Martha Graham School, founded in 1926, is the oldest school of dance in USA.  

 18 Cheryl Burke

Cheryl Burke
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: May 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Cheryl Burke is an American dancer, TV host, and model. Best known for appearing as a professional dancer on the popular dance competition TV series Dancing with the Stars, Burke became the first professional to win two consecutive seasons. In 2008, she set up her dance studio and created her own line of sportswear in 2009.

 19 Alyssa Edwards

Alyssa Edwards
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Famous As: Drag Performer
Birthdate: January 16, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mesquite, Texas

Alyssa Edwards is an American choreographer, drag performer, and businessperson. She gained international prominence after participating in the reality competition TV series RuPaul's Drag Race in 2013. In June 2019, she was ranked fifth in New York magazine's most powerful drag queens in America list. Alyssa Edwards’ life and career inspired the 2018 docuseries Dancing Queen which premiered on Netflix.

 20 Witney Carson

Witney Carson
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Famous As: Dancer. Choreographer
Birthdate: October 17, 1993
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: American Fork, Utah

 21 Katherine LaNasa

Katherine LaNasa
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana

Katherine LaNasa is an American actress known for her starring roles in films like The Campaign and Jayne Mansfield's Car. A former ballet dancer and choreographer, LaNasa started dancing at the age of 12. During the late-1980s, LaNasa assisted choreographer John Carrafa for the 1989 crime and dance drama film Rooftops.

 22 Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

 23 Rob Marshall

Rob Marshall
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: October 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

 24 Khandi Alexander

Khandi Alexander
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Famous As: Dancer, Actress
Birthdate: September 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 25 Kimberly Wyatt

Kimberly Wyatt
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warrensburg, Missouri, United States

 26 Mark Ballas

Mark Ballas
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Famous As: Singer, Dancer, Choreographer, Stage actor, Guitarist
Birthdate: May 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston

 27 Peta Murgatroyd

Peta Murgatroyd
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: July 14, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

 28 Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega
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Famous As: Film Producer, Director, Choreographer
Birthdate: April 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California
Emmy-winning choreographer Kenny Ortega is best known for directing and choreographing the High School Musical TV film series and the Descendants trilogy, both for Disney Channel. Ortega has also directed shows for popular artists such as Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, and Cher. He is also openly gay. 

 29 Ann Reinking

Ann Reinking
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Famous As: Actor, Choreographer, Dancer, Stage actor
Birthdate: November 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Seattle

 30 Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon
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Famous As: Figure skater
Birthdate: November 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States

 31 Jerome Robbins

Jerome Robbins
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Famous As: Dance Choreographer
Birthdate: October 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan
Died: July 29, 1998

 32 Briana Evigan

Briana Evigan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 33 Twyla Tharp

Twyla Tharp
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Famous As: Dancer and Choreographer
Birthdate: July 1, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Portland

Twyla Tharp is an American dancer, author, and choreographer. She is credited with founding Twyla Tharp Dance, which she formed in 1966. In 1976, Twyla Tharp choreographed Push Comes to Shove, which is now regarded as the finest example of crossover ballet. Twyla Tharp has received several prestigious awards, including two Emmy Awards and the National Medal of the Arts.

 34 Savion Glover

Savion Glover
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Famous As: Actor, Choreographer, Television actor, Stage actor
Birthdate: November 19, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark

 35 Janette Manrara

Janette Manrara
5
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: November 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Miami-based Cuban dancer Janette Manrara is best known for her stint on the reality show Strictly Come Dancing. Fans have also loved her in Glee, Burn the Floor, and So You Think You Can Dance. She is married to her Strictly Come Dancing co-star Slovenian dancer AljaĆŸ Škorjanec.

 36 Raoul Trujillo

Raoul Trujillo
3
Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: May 8, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

 37 Columbus Short

Columbus Short
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Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: September 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, USA

 38 Merce Cunningham

Merce Cunningham
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Famous As: Dancer and Choreographer
Birthdate: April 16, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Centralia, Washington
Died: July 26, 2009
American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham was at the forefront of American modern dance for more than 50 years.  Cunningham was honoured with Japan's Praemium Imperiale and a British Laurence Olivier Award. He was also named Officier of the Légion d'honneur in France. A documentary titled Cunningham was made on his life in 2019.

 39 Katherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham
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Famous As: Dancer, Choreographer, Social Activist, Author
Birthdate: June 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Glen Ellyn
Died: May 21, 2006

Dancer, choreographer, and social activist Katherine Dunham was also a qualified anthropologist. She experimented with various ritual dances, and her innovations included a ballet performance based on Caribbean dance. She also pioneered the Dunham Technique of dance pedagogy and used the pen-name Kaye Dunn to write several works.

 40 Patsy Swayze

Patsy Swayze
3
Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: February 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas, United States
Died: September 16, 2013

 41 Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey
3
Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rogers, Texas, United States
Died: December 1, 1989

 42 Loie Fuller

Loie Fuller
3
Famous As: Actor, Lighting designer, Choreographer, Artist, Dancer, Stage actor, Model
Birthdate: January 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: January 1, 1928

 43 Flex Alexander

Flex Alexander
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 44 Chachi Gonzales

Chachi Gonzales
3
Famous As: Choreographer & Dancer
Birthdate: January 23, 1996
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

 45 Kenny Wormald

Kenny Wormald
3
Famous As: Actor, Dancer, Choreographer, Television producer
Birthdate: July 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Boston

 46 Marge Champion

Marge Champion
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Famous As: Actor, Choreographer, Dancer, Stage actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 47 Benny Urquidez

Benny Urquidez
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Famous As: Kickboxer
Birthdate: June 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, United States

Benny Urquidez is an American actor, martial arts choreographer, and kickboxer. One of the pioneers of full-contact karate in the United States, Urquidez held six world titles in five weight divisions during his illustrious 27-year career. In 1978, he was named Competitor of the Year by Black Belt magazine. Benny Urquidez has also played important roles in films like 1408.

 48 Michael Kidd

Michael Kidd
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Famous As: Choreographer, Ballet Dancer
Birthdate: August 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 23, 2007

 49 Agnes de Mille

Agnes de Mille
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Famous As: American dancer and choreographer
Birthdate: September 18, 1905
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 7, 1993

 50 Gene Anthony Ray

Gene Anthony Ray
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Famous As: Actor, Choreographer, Television actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 14, 2003