Famous American Dancers

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From Michael Jackson's moonwalk and Elvis Presley's pelvic thrust to Britney Spears' hair flip and Miley Cyrus' twerking, America has given the world some mind-blasting, gravity defying, booty banging, signature moves that has totally redefined the way we jig today. But you will be surprised to know these dancing legends with their oh-so-famous dance moves aren't exactly counted among the top dancers of the land. That is right! Over the years, the land has some legendary dancers and we have seen some pretty amazing foot-works that has made the world sit up and take notice. Be it hip hop, tap dance, jazz, ballet, or burlesque — you name it and the Americans have nailed it. Without losing another moment, let us waltz down the inspiring lives of some of America's most famous dancers in the biographies below. Rest assured their life, timeline, trivia and amazing facts would get you jumping in awe and wonder.
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 1 
Michael Jackson
(One of the Most Significant Cultural Figures of the 20th Century Popularly Known as the 'King of Pop')
Michael Jackson
23
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 
Maddie Ziegler
(Actress, Dancer)
Maddie Ziegler
31
Birthdate: September 30, 2002
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Maddie Ziegler owes her fame to the show Dance Moms and to Sia’s music videos Chandelier and Elastic Heart. Named one of Time’s 30 Most Influential Teens thrice, she has written a bestselling memoir, works for charities, has appeared in movies and on magazine covers, and owns a fashion line.

 3 
James Brown
(Central Progenitor of Funk Music and Referred to as 'Godfather of Soul')
James Brown
9
Birthdate: May 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barnwell, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2006

Referred to by honorific nicknames, such as Godfather of Soul, James Brown was a prominent figure of 20th century music. A progenitor of funk music, Brown influenced the development of many music genres. An inductee of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame, Brown is ranked seventh in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

 4 
Fred Astaire
(The Greatest Dancer in Film History)
Fred Astaire
10
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.

 5 
Usher
(Singer-Songwriter)
Usher
8
Birthdate: October 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States
 6 
Derek Hough
(Professional Dancer and Six Times Winner of the Dance Competition Series 'Dancing with the Stars')
Derek Hough
11
Birthdate: May 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Derek Hough is an American Latin and ballroom dancer and choreographer. After winning the dance competition TV series, Dancing with the Stars, for a record six times, Hough used his popularity to launch his acting and singing career. Also a writer, his book Taking the Lead was featured in The New York Times Best Seller list.

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 7 
Ginger Rogers
(Actress and Dancer Best Known for Her Film ‘Kitty Foyle’)
Ginger Rogers
7
Birthdate: July 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Independence, Missouri, United States
Died: April 25, 1995

Ginger Rogers was an American actress, singer, and dancer. Often regarded as an American icon, Rogers played an important role in popularizing the Golden Age of Hollywood. After winning the Academy Award for portraying the title character in Kitty Foyle, Rogers became one of the highest-paid actresses during the 1940s. Her life inspired a musical titled Backwards in High Heels.

 8 
Eugene Curran Kelly
(Actor, Dancer, Singer, Filmmaker, and Choreographer)
Eugene Curran Kelly
6
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.

 9 
Misty Copeland
(The First African-American Woman to Serve as the 'American Ballet Theatre' Company's Principal Dancer)
Misty Copeland
25
Birthdate: 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Ballet dancer Misty Copeland is known for her association with American Ballet Theatre and is the first Black woman to become the principal dancer there. She also gained fame as a public speaker and stage performer. Named to Time 100, she has also written a memoir and narrated a documentary.
 10 
Jennifer Lopez
(Singer, Actress, Dancer)
Jennifer Lopez
32
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Castle Hill, 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.

 11 
Bob Fosse
(American Choreographer and Director Known for His Works ‘The Pajama Game’ and ‘Damn Yankees’)
Bob Fosse
7
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. 
 12 
Mikhail Baryshnikov
(One of the Greatest Ballet Dancers of the 20th Century)
Mikhail Baryshnikov
10
Birthdate: January 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia

Latvian-born Russian-American dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov was a prominent male classical dancer of the 1970s and 1980s. Born in Latvian SSR, he moved to America where he joined the New York City Ballet. Within years, he became one of the most widely recognized contemporary ballet dancers in the world. He is also a dramatic actor.

 13 
Pink
(Singer and Songwriter Known for Her Rock-Influenced Pop Songs, Distinctive Raspy Voice and Acrobatic Stage Presence)
Pink
9
Birthdate: September 8, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States

Pink is an American singer-songwriter known for her acrobatic stage presence and raspy voice. Having sold more than 90 million records worldwide, Pink is one of the best-selling musicians in the world. A recipient of several prestigious awards, Pink was named in VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music list. Her work has inspired many other artists like Taylor Swift.

 14 
Sammy Davis Jr.
(Singer, Dancer and Actor Known for His Song ‘The Candy Man’)
Sammy Davis Jr.
11
Birthdate: December 8, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: May 16, 1990

Nicknamed “Mister Show Business,” posthumous Grammy-winner Samuel Davis Jr. was a multifaceted performer who excelled in dancing, singing, and acting. From delivering vaudeville performances as a child, Samuel graduated to creating Billboard charters and performing with Frank Sinatra as part of the Rat Pack. Sadly, he died in debt.

 15 
Donny Osmond
(Actor, Singer, Dancer)
Donny Osmond
6
Birthdate: December 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ogden, Utah, United States
 16 
Paula Abdul
(Her Album 'Forever Your Girl' was One of The Most Successful Albums in 1988)
Paula Abdul
21
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.

 17 
Julianne Hough
(Judge on Dancing with the Stars)
Julianne Hough
16
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.
 18 
Rita Hayworth
(American Actress, Dancer, Producer and One of the Most Glamorous Screen Idols of the 1940s)
Rita Hayworth
8
Birthdate: October 17, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 14, 1987

Rita Hayworth was one of the most glamorous Hollywood actresses of the 1930s and 1940s. Her filmography includes 61 films among which the most notable ones are The Strawberry BlondeGilda and Cover Girl. The personal life of the actress, who was also known as the Love Goddess, was marked by a series of failed marriages.

 19 
Isadora Duncan
(American Dancer and Choreographer)
Isadora Duncan
7
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. 

 20 
Jordan Fisher
(Actor and Singer Known for His TV Series ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’)
Jordan Fisher
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Jordan Fisher is well-known for his acting, singing, and dancing skills. He won the 25th season of the popular dance competition television series Dancing with the Stars. As a singer, he has released singles, such as All About Us and Lookin' Like That. He also served as a commentator at the 2019 Fortnite World-Cup, an annual e-sports competition.

 21 
Tinashe Kachingwe
(Her Single "2 On" featuring 'Schoolboy Q' Reached Number One on The Rhythmic Airplay Chart)
Tinashe Kachingwe
5
Birthdate: February 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Tinashe started as a child actor, appearing as a motion-capture model in The Polar Express and as Robin Wheeler in Out of Jimmy's Head. She later began performing with The Stunners. She has delivered Billboard-charting hits such as 2 On and has collaborated with the likes of Britney Spears.
 22 
Gregory Hines
(Actor, Choreographer and One of the Most Celebrated Tap Dancers of All Time)
Gregory Hines
6
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.
 23 
Dita Von Teese
(Dancer, Actress)
Dita Von Teese
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1972
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rochester, Michigan, United States
 24 
Danny Kaye
(Actor, Comedian and Singer)
Danny Kaye
6
Birthdate: January 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: March 3, 1987
Danny Kaye is best remembered for his pantomimes, physical comedy, and patter songs, one of the most popular being Inchworm. Some of his most notable movies were the 1947 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Court Jester, and Hans Christian Andersen. He was UNICEF’s first ambassador-at-large.
 25 
Roselyn Sánchez
(Singer-songwriter, Actress)
Roselyn Sánchez
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Roselyn Sánchez is a Puerto Rican singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, model, producer, and writer. She is best known for playing Elena Delgado in the popular police procedural drama TV series Without a Trace, for which she received the 2008 ALMA Award. Roselyn Sánchez also works with organizations like Fundación de Niños San Jorge, which helps sick children from poor families.

 26 
Kelly Ripa
(Actress, Dancer)
Kelly Ripa
7
Birthdate: October 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stratford, New Jersey, United States
 27 
Cassie Ventura
(Singer Known for Her 2006 Hit Single 'Me & U')
Cassie Ventura
4
Birthdate: August 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New London, Connecticut, United States

Singer, songwriter, model, actress, and dancer Cassie Ventura is a multifaceted lady. Beginning her career as a model at the age of 14, she didn’t take long to venture into singing and dancing as well. After enjoying considerable success as a singer, she made her acting debut in a dance film in 2008. 

 28 
Eartha Kitt
(Singer with a Distinctive Voice Known for her Hits "Let's Do It", and "C'est si bon")
Eartha Kitt
8
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 29 
Joel Grey
(Actor, Singer, Dancer)
Joel Grey
5
Birthdate: April 11, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Joel Grey is an American actor, dancer, singer, photographer, and director. He is best known for his portrayal of the Master of Ceremonies in the popular musical Cabaret, for which he won the 1967 Tony Award. He then reprised his role in the 1972 film adaptation, winning an Academy Award and a British Academy Film Award for his performance.

 30 
Lisa Niemi
(Writer, Director and Lead Actress of the Film 'One Last Dance')
Lisa Niemi
4
Birthdate: May 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Lisa Niemi is known for her appearance in Steel Dawn and One Last Dance, with her former husband Patrick Swayze. She also released memoirs, both New York Times bestsellers and one of them co-written by Swayze. Swayze’s death due to pancreatic cancer led her to spread awareness about the ailment.
 31 
Teyana Taylor
(Singer-Songwriter Who Appeared on MTV's 'My Super Sweet 16')
Teyana Taylor
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1990
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

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.

 32 
Debbie Allen
(Actress Best Known for Her Work in the Musical-Drama Television Series 'Fame')
Debbie Allen
7
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. 

 33 
Teri Garr
(Actress & Comedian)
Teri Garr
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lakewood, Ohio, United States

Teri Garr is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Sandra Lester in Tootsie. Fans also loved her in Mr. Mom, One from the Heart, and After Hours. After revealing her long struggle with multiple sclerosis, she began raising awareness about the condition and retired from acting.

 34 
Bebe Neuwirth
(Actress)
Bebe Neuwirth
5
Birthdate: December 31, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey
Bebe Neuwirth is best known as Lilith Sternin from Cheers and its spin-off, Frasier, a role that won her two Emmys. She is also a talented stage actor, who has delivered Tony Award–winning performances in Sweet Charity and Chicago. A cat lover, she has donated to various animal charities.
 35 
MC Hammer
(One of the Most Significant Rappers and Dancers of All Time)
MC Hammer
4
Birthdate: March 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Rap legend MC Hammer, a pioneer of the pop-rap genre, became the first hip-hop artist to earn the “diamond” status. He is also known for his chartbusting tracks such as U Can't Touch This and his signature "Hammer pants." He later became a preacher and hosted his own reality show.
 36 
Harry Shum Jr.
(Actor Best Known for His Roles in the TV Series: 'Glee' and 'Shadowhunters')
Harry Shum Jr.
8
Birthdate: April 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Actor and Dancer Known for His Role as ‘Mike Chang’ on the Fox Television Series ‘Glee’

Harry Shum Jr. is an actor, dancer, choreographer, and singer. He is best known for his work in films like Step Up 2: The Streets, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, and Crazy Rich Asians. Also a popular TV actor, Harry's award-winning portrayal of a bisexual person in Shadowhunters gained him a large fan following within the LGBT community.

 37 
Alexander Godunov
(American Ballet Dancer, Actor and Member of the ‘Bolshoi Ballet’)
Alexander Godunov
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sakhalin, Russia
Died: May 18, 1995
Russian ballet dancer Alexander Godunov was part of the Bolshoi Ballet. He defected to the U.S. in 1979, causing significant U.S.-Soviet tension. He had also appeared in many films, such as Anna Karenina and Die Hard. His final days were marked by alcoholism, which also eventually caused his death.
 38 
Abby Lee Miller
(Dancer, Choreographer and Founder of ‘Abby Lee Dance Company’)
Abby Lee Miller
15
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.

 39 
Dulé Hill
(Actor)
Dulé Hill
4
Birthdate: May 3, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Orange, New Jersey, USA
 40 
Matthew Morrison
(Actor)
Matthew Morrison
11
Birthdate: October 30, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Ord, California Fort Ord, California, United States
 41 
Mark Ballas
(Singer, Dancer, Choreographer, Stage actor, Guitarist)
Mark Ballas
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston
 42 
Caity Lotz
(Actress, Dancer and Singer)
Caity Lotz
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

Caity Lotz is an American actress, singer, and dancer. A trained martial artist, Lotz is best known for playing Sara Lance / White Canary in superhero TV series, such as Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman. She is also credited with co-founding a women's empowerment organization called SheThority.

 43 
Buddy Ebsen
(Actor and Dancer Known for His Role as ‘Jed Clampett’ on the TV Serise ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’)
Buddy Ebsen
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Belleville, Illinois, United States
Died: July 6, 2003

Actor and dancer Buddy Ebsen is best remembered for playing Jed Clampett in the CBS television sitcom, The Beverly Hillbillies. In a career spanning seven decades, he appeared in numerous films and TV shows, playing versatile roles. Beginning his career as a dancer, he soon ventured into acting. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 44 
JC Chasez
(Singer-songwriter, producer best known as a former member of the boy band NSYNC)
JC Chasez
6
Birthdate: August 8, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bowie, Maryland, United States
 45 
Dorothy Dandridge
(The First African-American Film Star to be Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress,)
Dorothy Dandridge
4
Birthdate: November 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: September 8, 1965

Actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge was one of the earliest African-American women stars to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Incredibly successful in her career, she was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a singer, she used to perform in night clubs. Unfortunately, she died under mysterious circumstances at 42.

 46 
Mayte Garcia
(Actress & Dancer Known as the World’s Youngest Professional Belly Dancer)
Mayte Garcia
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Rucker, Alabama, United States

Mayte Garcia is an American dancer, singer, and actress. She has worked with popular artists like Britney Spears. Mayte Garcia was married to record producer and musician, Prince, from 1996 to 2000. Mayte Garcia has also written a book titled The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince which was published in 2017.

 47 
Randy Jackson
(Singer-songwriter)
Randy Jackson
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
 48 
Allison Holker
(American Dancer, Choreographer, and Actress Known for Her TV Dance Competition ‘So You Think You Can Dance’)
Allison Holker
6
Birthdate: February 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Anoka County, Minnesota, United States

Allison Holker is an American dancer known for appearing in the reality TV dance competition show, So You Think You Can Dance. She has also worked in several concert tours, films, and television series. In 2007, she was adjudged the National Senior Dancer of the Year. In 2013, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination under the Outstanding Choreography category.

 49 
Todrick Hall
(Singer)
Todrick Hall
4
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.
 50 
Michael Flatley
(Irish-American Dancer and Choreographer Known for His Work in Shows: 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Riverdance')
Michael Flatley
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Born in Chicago, Irish-origin entertainer Michael Flatley took to dancing inspired by his step dancer mother and music-loving father. Initially a gambler and stockbroker, he later performed with The Chieftains and then choreographed the globally renowned show Riverdance. He later launched shows such as Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger.