Famous French Dancers

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 1 
Josephine Baker
(First Black Woman to Star in a Major Motion Picture, the 1927 Silent Film 'Siren of the Tropics')
Josephine Baker
5
Birthdate: June 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 12, 1975
Nicknamed Black Pearl and Creole Goddess, Josephine Baker was the first Black woman to appear in a motion picture. She was a revue dancer, famous for her signature banana costume. A civil rights activist, she helped the French military during World War II. She adopted 12 children of different ethnicities.
 2 
Benjamin Millepied
(French Dancer and Choreographer Known for His Work in the Movie ‘Black Swan’)
Benjamin Millepied
8
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.
 3 
Juliette Binoche
(Actress Known for Her Films: 'The English Patient ', 'Chocolat' and 'Certified Copy')
Juliette Binoche
5
Birthdate: March 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
French actor Juliette Binoche began her career with stage productions. She soared to fame with her Academy Award-winning role of Hana in The English Patient and her Academy Award-nominated role of Vianne in Chocolat. She has also been a marked political activist and has supported the Cambodian charity Enfants d'Asie.
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 4 
Leslie Caron
(Actress & Dancer Known for Her Films: 'Lili' and 'The L-Shaped Room')
Leslie Caron
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Seine, Paris, France
French-American actor Leslie Caron is best known for her BAFTA-winning roles in The L-Shaped Room and Lili. She has also won a Golden Globe and an Emmy. A seasoned actor, she began her career as a ballerina. She has also been a jury member at various international film festivals.
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 5 
Larry Bourgeois
(French Dancer and Choreographer)
Larry Bourgeois
9
Birthdate: December 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sarcelles, France

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.

 6 
Claudine Longet
(Franco-American Singer and Actress)
Claudine Longet
3
Birthdate: January 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
French singer Claudine Georgette Longet gained fame with Billboard-charting singles such as Here, There and Everywhere. She was charged with the murder of her boyfriend, Olympic skier Vladimir 'Spider' Sabich, in 1976 and later convicted of negligent homicide. She has remained away from the media ever since.
 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 
Sylvie Guillem
(French Ballet Dancer)
Sylvie Guillem
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

Sylvie Guillem is a French ballet dancer who worked with the Paris Opera Ballet where she was the top-ranking female dancer from 1984 to 1989. She then went on to become a principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London. Over the course of her career, Guillem has won many awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.

 9 
Jean-Baptiste Lully
(French Composer, Instrumentalist, and Dancer)
Jean-Baptiste Lully
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1632
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: March 22, 1687

Born to Italian parents, Jean-Baptiste Lully grew up to be a legendary composer who ruled the French courts. He started his journey as a violinist in Louis XIV’s band and later came to be known for his tragic operas. He had also apparently invented the French overture.

 10 
Yanis Marshall
2
Birthdate: November 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Grasse, France

Yanis Marshall is a French choreographer and dancer who specializes in a style in which dancers wear high-heeled shoes irrespective of their gender. In 2014, Marshall appeared in the popular British talent show competition Britain's Got Talent and became one of the finalists. He has also worked as a coach in popular shows like Dancing with the Stars.

 11 
Gabriella Papadakis
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clermont-Ferrand, France

Gabriella Papadakis is a French ice dancer who won the silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Along with her skating partner Guillaume Cizeron, Papadakis has won five successive European championship titles, six French national championship titles, four World Championships, and two Grand Prix Final championships. Papadakis and Cizeron have broken 29 world records so far.

 12 
Guillaume Cizeron
(Ice dancer)
Guillaume Cizeron
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1994
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montbrison, France

Guillaume Cizeron is a French ice dancer who won the 2018 Olympic silver medal along with his skating partner Gabriella Papadakis. Cizeron and Papadakis have also won four World Championship titles, five successive European Championship titles, two Grand Prix Final championship titles, and six French National Championships. The pair has broken 29 world records so far.

 13 
Sylvain Longchambon
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint-Priest, France

Sylvain Longchambon is a French ice dancer who won two silver medals in the ISU Junior Grand Prix series along with his skating partner Caroline Truong. The pair has also won bronze medals at the 2001 Ondrej Nepela Memorial and at the 2002 French Championships. In 2011, Sylvain Longchambon appeared in the popular television series Dancing on Ice.

 14 
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.

 15 
Zizi Jeanmaire
(Ballet dancer)
Zizi Jeanmaire
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 17, 2020

Zizi Jeanmaire was a French actress, ballet dancer, and singer. Jeanmaire achieved popularity in the 1950s after portraying the title role in the popular ballet Carmen which was created by Roland Petit and staged at the Prince's Theatre in London. She went on to marry Roland Petit, who created several revues and ballets for her.

 16 
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.

 17 
Nathalie Péchalat
(Ice dancer)
Nathalie Péchalat
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rouen, France

Nathalie Péchalat is a French former ice dancer who won two European championships, five French national championships, and five medals at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final along with her skating partner Fabian Bourzat. She is currently serving as the president of the French Federation of Ice Sports.

 18 
Michèle Mercier
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nice, France

Michèle Mercier is a French actress best known for playing Angélique Sancé de Monteloup in the 1964 historical romance film Angélique, Marquise des Anges. Over the course of her illustrious career, Mercier has worked with prominent directors like Dino Risi, François Truffaut, Mario Monicelli, and Ken Annakin. She has also appeared alongside popular actors like Marcello Mastroianni and Charles Bronson.

 19 
Micheline Bernardini
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colmar, France

Micheline Bernardini is a French retired nude dancer who worked at the Casino de Paris. Bernardini is best known for modeling Louis Réard's first two-piece swimsuit, which he later called the bikini. After achieving immense popularity by modeling the first bikini in 1946, Micheline Bernardini went on to appear in several revues at the Tivoli Theatre from 1948 to 1958.

 20 
Isabelle Duchesnay
(Ice dancer)
Isabelle Duchesnay
2
Birthdate: December 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aylmer, Gatineau, Canada

Isabelle Duchesnay is a former ice dancer who won the 1991 World Championship title and the silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics along with her brother and skating partner Paul Duchesnay. Born to a Canadian father and French mother, Isabelle Duchesnay has represented both France and Canada. In 1992, she released her book Notre passion.

 21 
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.

 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 
Liliane Montevecchi
2
Birthdate: October 13, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 29, 2018

Liliane Montevecchi was a French-Italian actress, singer, and dancer. She is best remembered for her performance in the 1957 movie The Living Idol. After starting her career as a ballet dancer, Montevecchi went on to establish herself as an actress. In 1982, she won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance in Nine. She also participated in many humanitarian causes.

 24 
Marika Rivera
(Actress)
Marika Rivera
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 14, 2010

Marika Rivera was a French-born actress and dancer best remembered for playing important roles in movies like Hôtel du Paradis and Eat the Rich. After starting her career as a dancer, Marika Rivera went on to establish herself as an actress. However, her personal life, which includes her marriage with acclaimed painter Jean Paul Brusset, eclipsed her professional achievements.

 25 
Marina Anissina
(Ice dancer)
Marina Anissina
2
Birthdate: August 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Marina Anissina is a French-Russian ice dancer who represents France in major tournaments, such as the Olympics. She won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and is a six-time French national champion. She has also represented France in European Championships, where she has won two gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze medal.

 26 
Alessandra Martines
(Dancer, Actress)
Alessandra Martines
2
Birthdate: September 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Alessandra Martines is an Italian-French actress and dancer best known for playing the title role in the popular Fantaghirò TV film series. Her portrayal of Fantaghirò has earned her several prestigious awards, such as the Best Actress Telegatto. In 2014, she was honored with the Kineo Award for lifetime achievement at the Venice International Film Festival.

 27 
Violette Verdy
(French Ballerina and Choreographer)
Violette Verdy
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pont-l'Abbé, France
Died: February 8, 2016

Violette Verdy was a French ballet dancer, teacher, choreographer, and writer. From 1958 to 1977, Verdy served as the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet where she was a star. She also served as the director for popular ballet companies like the Boston Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. During her lifetime, Verdy was honored with several awards.

 28 
Yvette Chauviré
(French Prima Ballerina)
Yvette Chauviré
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 19, 2016

Yvette Chauviré was a French actress and ballet dancer. Regarded as the greatest ballerina from France, Chauviré also served as the coach of prima ballerinas like Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Sylvie Guillem. Her life and career inspired a documentary film titled Yvette Chauviré: une étoile pour l'example which was released in 1983. In 1964, she was awarded the Legion of Honour.

 29 
Emmanuelle Bouaziz
2
Birthplace: France

Emmanuelle Bouaziz is a French actress, singer, and dancer. After studying dance at the prestigious Rick Odums Performing Arts Institute, Bouaziz went on to appear in several musicals, such as Mamma Mia!, Roméo et Juliette, and 1789: Les Amants de la Bastille. Her performance in musicals earned her opportunities to act in films and TV series.

 30 
Roland Petit
(French Ballet Company Director, Choreographer and Dancer)
Roland Petit
2
Birthdate: January 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Villemomble, France
Died: July 10, 2011

Roland Petit was a French dancer, choreographer, and ballet company director. Renowned for his creative ballets, Petit is credited with choreographing several internationally acclaimed dancers. He is also credited with founding the Ballet National de Marseille in Marseille, France. In 1994, Roland Petit was honored with the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse for his contribution as a choreographer.

 31 
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.

 32 
Jean-Georges Noverre
(French Dancer, Balletmaster and the Creator of 'Ballet D’Action')
Jean-Georges Noverre
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1727
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 19, 1810

Jean-Georges Noverre was a French balletmaster and dancer. It is widely believed that he created ballet d'action, a predecessor of the story ballet of the 19th century. Noverre's works continue to inspire and influence several ballet dancers around the world. Such was his contribution to ballet that Jean-Georges Noverre's birthday is celebrated as International Dance Day.

 33 
Suzy Delair
(Actress)
Suzy Delair
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1917
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 15, 2020

Suzy Delair was a French actress, singer, dancer, comedian, and vaudeville artist. She is best remembered for her lead role of Chérie Lamour in the 1951 French-Italian film Atoll K which marked the final screen appearance of the popular comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

 34 
Tiffany Zahorski
(Ice Dancer)
Tiffany Zahorski
2
Birthdate: August 16, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

England-born Russian ice dancer Tiffany Zahorski began skating at the age of two, becoming British Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of eleven and French Novice Solo Dance Champion by the age of fourteen. A Russian citizen since 2016, she  represented Russia in the 2018 Winter Olympics with her partner Jonathan Guerreiro. She won  gold in the 2018 Warsaw Cup and silver in 2020 Rostelecom Cup.   

 35 
Tanaquil Le Clercq
(Ballet dancer)
Tanaquil Le Clercq
1
Birthdate: October 2, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 31, 2000
Tanaquil Le Clercq was a French ballerina who served as the prima ballerina at the famous New York City Ballet. Her career as a ballet dancer came to an end when she was affected with polio during the New York City Ballet's 1956 European tour. She is also remembered as the last wife of popular ballet choreographer George Balanchine.
 36 
Willy Cartier
1
Birthdate: September 15, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France

Willy Cartier is a French dancer, actor, and fashion model. He is best known for his association with the popular luxury perfume and fashion house, Givenchy. Apart from Givenchy, Cartier has also modeled for other famous brands, such as Chanel, Benetton, and Diesel. Willy Cartier has also appeared in several magazines like Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle Man, and Numéro.

 37 
Ludmilla Tchérina
(French Prima Ballerina, Sculptor and Actress)
Ludmilla Tchérina
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 21, 2004

Ludmilla Tchérina was a French prima ballerina, actress, sculptor, painter, author, and choreographer. In 1942, she became the youngest prima ballerina when she made her debut, creating the role of Juliet in Serge Lifar's Romeo and Juliet. Although she had a lifelong passion for sculpting and painting, Ludmilla Tchérina is primarily remembered for her skills as an actress.

 38 
Pierre Beauchamp
(French Choreographer, Dancer and Composer)
Pierre Beauchamp
1
Birthdate: October 30, 1631
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Died: January 31, 1705

Pierre Beauchamp was a French dancer, choreographer, and composer. It is widely believed that he invented Beauchamp–Feuillet notation, a system of dance notation. He served as the director of the famous Académie Royale de Danse and later worked as a ballet master at the prestigious Paris Opera. Pierre Beauchamp played a key role in the development of baroque dance.

 39 
Gwendal Peizerat
(Ice dancer)
Gwendal Peizerat
1
Birthdate: April 21, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bron, France

Gwendal Peizerat is a French retired ice dancer who won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He also won the 1998 Olympic bronze, the 2000 World Championship title, and six French national championship titles with skating partner Marina Anissina. After his skating career, Gwendal Peizerat went on to establish a consulting firm named Soléus.

 40 
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.

 41 
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.

Marie-Claude Pietragalla
0
Birthdate: February 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Marie-Claude Pietragalla, who joined the Paris Opera Ballet at age 16, is known for her versatility. Once the Paris Opera etoile, she later also won honors such as the Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur. Known for ballets such as Don Quixote, she now also owns her own ballet company.

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam
1
Birthdate: April 21, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Khorramshahr, Iran

Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is an Iranian dancer, choreographer, director, and actor. Shahrokh, who works in Paris, is credited with founding the Nakissa Art Company where he formerly served as the artistic director. Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam is the first Iranian to be associated with the popular Comédie-Française troupe.

 44 
Paul Duchesnay
(Figure skater, Ice dancer)
Paul Duchesnay
1
Birthdate: July 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Metz, France
 45 
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.  

 46 
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.

 47 
Kamel Ouali
(Choreographer)
Kamel Ouali
0
Birthdate: December 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

Born to an Algerian family in Paris, Kamel Ouali started his career with appearances in music videos before graduating to musicals. The dancer later soared to fame with his musical comedy Dracula – L'amour plus fort que la mort. He has also appeared on shows such as Star Academy.

 48 
Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo
(French Dancer Who Was the First Woman to Execute the 'Entrechat Quatre')
Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo
1
Birthdate: April 15, 1710
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: April 28, 1770

Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo was a French ballet dancer. Camargo was the first female dancer to execute a dance move which came to be known as the entrechat quatre. She was also one of the first ballerinas to dance wearing slippers instead of the then-customary heeled shoes. Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo is also credited with popularizing ballet tights.

 49 
Colette Marchand
(Ballerina)
Colette Marchand
1
Birthdate: April 29, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 5, 2015

Colette Marchand was a French actress and ballet dancer. She is best remembered for her portrayal of Marie Charlet in the 1952 British drama film Moulin Rouge for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Marchand was widely regarded as one of Europe's greatest dancers during the peak of her career.

 50 
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.