Choreographers

Choreographers are the creative administrators of any activity or piece in a motion, like a dance or theater choreography. They are in charge of designing the structure of the piece, the notations, the narration, the specification of movements and finally, provide their support in the execution of the composition. Nowadays, choreographers are found in a range of other fields other than dance including ice skating, choirs, theatre, synchronized sports, cheerleading, cinematography and gymnastics. Dance choreography, specifically known as dance composition, is one of the largest originators of choreographers, who specialize in a plethora of dance forms including jazz, ballet, contemporary, Latin American dances, folk dances, classical dances, Oriental dance forms etc. In dance choreography, choreographers are given the responsibility of designing a dance piece, arranging the sequence of steps, understanding the dancers’ weaknesses and strengths, honing the dancers’ skills and extracting the best from them in a composition. This is either done by applying either one or two of the basic choreographic methods viz., improvisation or planned choreography. Popular choreographers include Debbie Allen, Bob Avian, Lea Anderson, Fred Astaire and Paula Abdul to name a few. Scroll down for a more comprehensive list of choreographers. Explore details about them in their biographies, which include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.

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
4
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
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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.

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 3 Bob Fosse

Bob Fosse
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: June 23, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
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 Mikhail Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov
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Famous As: Ballet Dancer
Birthdate: January 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riga

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.

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 5 Benjamin Millepied

Benjamin Millepied
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Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: June 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
French dancer Benjamin Millepied was initially associated with the New York City Ballet. He launched the LA Dance Project and was the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. He gained fame as the choreographer of the iconic movie Black Swan, and later married its lead actor, Natalie Portman.

 6 Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines
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Famous As: Dancer and Actor
Birthdate: February 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, 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.

 7 Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan
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Famous As: Dancer & Choreographer
Birthdate: May 27, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco
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. 

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 8 Eugene Curran Kelly

Eugene Curran Kelly
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Famous As: American 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.

 9 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.

 10 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.

 11 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.

 12 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.

 13 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.

 14 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.

 15 Martha Graham

Martha Graham
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Famous As: Modern dancer and choreographer
Birthdate: May 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allegheny County
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.  

 16 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. 

 17 Rob Marshall

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

 18 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.

 19 Pawan Kalyan

Pawan Kalyan
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Famous As: Film director, Actor, Choreographer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bapatla

 20 Margot Fonteyn

Margot Fonteyn
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Famous As: Ballerina, Choreographer
Birthdate: May 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reigate, England
Died: February 21, 1991

 21 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

 22 Prabhu Deva

Prabhu Deva
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Famous As: Film director, Actor, Choreographer, Dancer
Birthdate: April 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mysore

 23 Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell
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Famous As: Ballerina
Birthdate: April 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London

 24 Ashley Roberts

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

 25 Larry Bourgeois

Larry Bourgeois
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: December 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sarcelles

Larry Bourgeois became an international sensation performing as part of the hip-hop dance duo Les Twins, with his identical twin brother, Laurent Bourgeois. The French-born dancer first gained fame when a YouTube video of the duo went viral in the U.S. He has also modeled at the Paris Fashion Week.

 26 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.

 27 Vaslav Nijinsky

Vaslav Nijinsky
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Famous As: Ballet dancer
Birthdate: March 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: April 8, 1950

Vaslav Nijinsky was a ballet dancer and choreographer. He is counted among the greatest male dancers of the early 20th century. He was known for the intensity of his characterizations. He was brilliant and could dance en pointe, a rare skill few male dancers of his era possessed. He suffered from mental health issues in his later life. 

 28 George Balanchine

George Balanchine
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Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: January 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 30, 1983
George Balanchine was a Georgian-American ballet choreographer. One of the most prominent choreographers of the 20th century, Balanchine won several prestigious awards like the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. Referred to as the father of American ballet, Balanchine is credited with co-founding the New York City Ballet. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1988.

 29 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.

 30 Pasha Kovalev

Pasha Kovalev
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Siberia, Soviet Union
Pasha Kovalev is a Russian ballroom and Latin dancer. He soared to fame with the shows So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing. He had earlier moved to the U.S. with his dance partner Anya Garnis. He has also appeared in the Broadway production Burn the Floor.

 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 Witney Carson

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

 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 Bruno Tonioli

Bruno Tonioli
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Famous As: Choreographer
Birthdate: November 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna
Italian choreographer Bruno Tonioli gained fame as a Latin and ball dancer. He was a judge on the dance reality shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars and also appeared on DanceX and Dance War. He is gay and has often spoken of the homophobia he has faced.

 35 Q'orianka Kilcher

Q'orianka Kilcher
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schweigmatt, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany

 36 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

 37 Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Valentin Chmerkovskiy
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Famous As: Dancer
Birthdate: March 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Odessa

Ukrainian-American professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy is best known for his appearances in the US version of the reality dance competition TV show Dancing with the Stars, which he won twice. A versatile and brilliant dancer, he is also a 14-time US National Latin Dance champion. He is the co-owner of nine social dance studios as well. 

 38 Rudolf Nureyev

Rudolf Nureyev
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Famous As: Ballet Dancer & Choreographer
Birthdate: March 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Irkutsk, Russia
Died: January 6, 1993

Born into a Tatar Muslim family, Rudolf Nureyev grew up to gain fans both for his exceptional ballet skills and for his sharp cheek bones. One of the greatest male ballet dancers ever, he gained fame performing with stars such as Margot Fonteynhe. A closeted homosexual, he died of AIDS.

 39 Kevin Clifton

Kevin Clifton
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Famous As: Professional Dancer
Birthdate: October 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waltham, United Kingdom
Professional dancer Kevin Clifton won Strictly Come Dancing with partner Stacey Dooley in 2018. He had started learning Latin and ballroom dance as a child and competed across the world with his sister, Joanne. The former youth world number 1 dancer was ranked seventh in the world when he retired.

 40 Gates McFadden

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

 41 Peta Murgatroyd

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

 42 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

 43 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.

 44 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.

 45 Ann Reinking

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

 46 Adam Rippon

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

 47 Toni Basil

Toni Basil
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 48 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. 

 49 Kimberly Wyatt

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

 50 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
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