Famous Indian Dancers

In India, dance is synonymous to a form of expression, be it anger as is expressed in the ‘Tandava Nrutya’ or the subtle gestures in Mohiniyattam, Odishi and other classical dance forms. Each state has its own folk dance which upheld its own traditional forms like the Bahngra and Gidda of Punjab, Bihu dance of Assam, Garbha in Gujarat, Chhau dance of West Bengal. The country has been a home to many exceptionally talented classical as well as contemporary dancers. In Bollywood, we have seen marvelous dancers like Saroj Khan, Shiamak Davar and Prabhudeva. There are many artists who have made a name for themselves in the world of contemporary dance like Ashley Lobo, Terence Lewis and Uday Shankar. Many of these famous Indian dancers have come up with their own dance academies to train the young budding dancers. Here we bring to you their inspiring life stories on how they braved financial obstacles and social opposition but never lost sight of their dreams. Explore through our collection of biographies of these famous Indian dancers to know more about their works and achievements, timelines and some interesting facts and trivia related to their lives.

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 
Nora Fatehi
(Dancer & Actress)

Nora Fatehi
36
Birthdate: February 6, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Nora Fatehi is a popular figure in the Indian film industry. Although born and raised in Canada. Nora has worked in Malayalam, Telugu, and Hindi language films. She was part of one of the highest-grossing Indian films ever - Baahubali: The Beginning. Apart from appearing in films, she has also made a mark in the TV industry.

 2 
N. T. Rama Rao Jr.
(Actor, Dancer)

N. T. Rama Rao Jr.
10
Birthdate: May 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hyderabad

Nicknamed the Young Tiger and Jr. NTR, N. T. Rama Rao Jr. is the grandson of legendary Telugu actor-politian N.T. Rama Rao. A talented Kuchipudi dancer in his youth, he was a child actor, too. Now known for films such as Nannaku Prematho and Yamadonga, he also won two Filmfare Awards.

 3 
Prabhu Deva
(Film director, Actor, Choreographer, Dancer)

Prabhu Deva
11
Birthdate: April 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mysore

Born Prabhu Sundaram, Prabhu Deva soared to fame with the song Mukkabla from Kadhalan. Born to a movie choreographer father, he followed in his footsteps to learn classical dance at an early age. The Padma Shri- and two-time National Award-winning dancer later gravitated to acting and direction.

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 4 
Pawan Kalyan
(Film director, Actor, Choreographer, Screenwriter)

Pawan Kalyan
10
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bapatla

Pawan Kalyan is an Indian actor, screenwriter, director, stunt coordinator, politician, and philanthropist. Best known for his work in the Telugu film industry, Pawan Kalyan is one of the most popular actors of his generation. He is also known for his humanitarian work; he is credited with establishing a charitable organization called Common Man Protection Force.

 5 

Aditi Rao Hydari
10
Birthdate: October 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

With two royal lineages, Aditi Rao Hydari is the great-granddaughter of Akbar Hydari, the PM of colonial Hyderabad. Trained in Bharatanatyam since childhood, she grew up to deliver award-winning performances in movies such as Yeh Saali Zindagi and Padmaavat. She was also secretly married at 21 but separated later.

 6 
Hema Malini
(Actor, Politician, Film director, Film producer, Dancer, Film actor)

Hema Malini
13
Birthdate: October 16, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tamil Nadu

Hema Malini is an Indian actress, writer, director, dancer, producer, and politician. She was one of the leadings actresses of Hilndi films during 1970s and 1980s. Hema Malini is also known for her association with social causes; she is a supporter of organizations like PETA India. Her life and career have inspired three biographical books so far.

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 7 
Malaika Arora
(Actress)

Malaika Arora
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Thane, Maharashtra, India

The quintessential item girl of Bollywood, Malaika Arora is known for her sultry looks and dance moves. She has the reputation of drawing audiences into theatres despite appearing in just one song in the entire film. Malaika Arora ended her 18 years old marriage to actor Arbaaz Khan in 2017. 

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 8 

Raghav Juyal
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: India

Raghav Juyal is an Indian dancer, actor, and television presenter. He is best known for reinventing and popularizing the Slow Motion Walk dance move in India. He is nicknamed King of Slow Motion for his unusual dance moves that look like a slow-motion video clip. He has appeared in many Indian dance films like ABCD 2 and Street Dancer 3D.

 9 

Sanjeeda Sheikh
5
Birthdate: December 20, 1984
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kuwait City

Sanjeeda Sheikh is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi television industry. Over the years, Sanjeeda Sheikh has cemented her position as one of the most beautiful, popular, and talented actresses in the television industry. Also renowned for her dancing skills, she has won dance reality competition shows like Nach Baliye 3 and Zara Nachke Dikha 2.

 10 

Amala Akkineni
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Apart from being a fine actor, Amala Akkineni is also a talented Bharatnatyam dancer. A true animal lover, she has also co-established the NGO Blue Cross of Hyderabad. She gained recognition with her debut in Mythili Ennai Kaathali. She is now married to legendary actor Nagarjuna.

 11 
Shobana
(Actress)

Shobana
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Shobana is an Indian Bharatanatyam dancer and film actress. Widely regarded as one of the best Bharatanatyam dancers, Shobana was honored with the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award, in 2006. She is also renowned for her acting skills, winning two National Film Awards for Best Actress for her performances in Manichitrathazhu (1993) and Mitr, My Friend (2001).

 12 
Remo D'Souza
(Dancer)

Remo D'Souza
11
Birthdate: April 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Celebrated choreographer Remo D'Souza was a skilled athlete in his school days and quit studies after the 12th standard. The self-taught dancer revered Michael Jackson in his younger days. His choreography in Bajirao Mastani won him a National Award. He has also judged several seasons of Dance India Dance.

 13 
Asha Parekh
(Actress)

Asha Parekh
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India

Asha Parekh is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi film industry. Parekh was one of the most successful and highest-paid actresses of the 1960s and 1970s. She is also regarded as one of the most influential Bollywood actresses of all time. In 1992, she was honored with India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

 14 

Javed Jaffrey
3
Birthdate: December 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Malliwala, Uttar Pradesh, India

Javed Jaffrey is an Indian comedian, actor, and dancer best known for his work in Hindi television shows and films. He is also known for his contribution as a voice-over artist; he was the narrator of the Hindi version of the popular Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle

 15 
Revathi
(Actress)

Revathi
5
Birthdate: July 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cochin, Kerala, India

Revathi was discovered by director Bharathi Raja when he chanced upon a photo of hers, clicked at a school fashion show and later featured on a magazine cover. The three-time National Award-winning actor is known for movies such as Mitr, My Friend and Thevar Magan. She is also a talented Bharatanatyam dancer.

 16 

Kavya Madhavan
5
Birthdate: September 19, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kasargod, Kerala, India

Kavya Madhavan made her film debut with Malayalam film Chandranudikkunna Dikhil as a ninth-grader. The Kerala State Film Award-winning actor later soared to fame with films such as Gaddama. She owns a charitable foundation and a textile shop. She has also released a collection of memoirs.

 17 

Sudha Chandran
13
Birthdate: September 27, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India

Popular Indian dancer and actor Sudha Chandran was a phenomenal dancer since her early years. She was 16 when she lost her right leg after developing gangrene, following an accident. Sudha continued to perform, wearing a prosthetic leg, and went on win a National Award for the film Mayuri.

 18 
Vani Ganapathy
(Classical Dancer)

Vani Ganapathy
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Indian classical dancer Vani Ganapathy now owns a Bangalore-based dance school called Sanchari. She is also known as veteran actor Kamal Haasan’s first wife and appeared with Haasan in a dance sequence in the Tamil film Melnaattu Marumagal. She was also Haasan’s costume designer for a while.

 19 
Terence Lewis
(Dancer & Choreographer)

Terence Lewis
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai
Indian choreographer Terence Lewis is best known for his choreography in Hindi films such as Lagaan and Jhankaar Beats, and has won an American Choreography Award for the former. He has judged shows such as Dance India Dance and Nach Baliye 5. He also owns a dance academy in Mumbai.

 20 

Surveen Chawla
6
Birthdate: August 1, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chandigarh, India

While she initially made her mark as Charu in the soap Kahin To Hoga and as Kasak in Kasautii Zindagi Kay, Surveen Chawla later stepped into films with movies such as Hate Story 2 and Himmatwala. She also won a IFFLA award for her performance in Parched.

 21 
Padmini
(Actress)

Padmini
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Thiruvananthapuram, India
Died: September 24, 2006

Along with her sisters Lalitha and Ragini, Padmini was part of the Travancore sisters of the 1940s’ South Indian film industry. A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, she later won a Filmfare award for the Hindi movie Kajal and a Filmfare nomination for Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai.

 22 
Gracy Singh
(Actress)

Gracy Singh
5
Birthdate: July 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Delhi, India

Gracy Singh is an Indian actress best known for portraying the role of Gauri in the 2001 musical sports film Lagaan. She then went on to play another prominent role in the popular comedy-drama film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. Gracy Singh is also a trained Odissi and Bharatnatyam dancer. 

 23 
Mrinalini Sarabhai
(Classical Dancer and Choreographer)

Mrinalini Sarabhai
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kerala
Died: January 21, 2016

Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai received a unique education, having been part of both the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Shantiniketan. She specialized in Bharatnatyam and Kathakali, and later launched her own dance academy, along with her physicist husband Vikram Sarabhai.

 24 
Manju Warrier
(One of the Most Prolific Actresses in Malayalam Cinema)

Manju Warrier
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nagercoil, Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India

Manju Warrier is an Indian actress, producer, director, dancer, and singer known for her work in the Malayalam film industry. One of the most celebrated actresses of her generation, Warrier has received many awards like Filmfare Awards South, Kerala State Film Award, and a National Film Award. She is a founding member of an organization named Women in Cinema Collective.

 25 

Vikrant Massey
10
Birthdate: April 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Vikrant Massey is an Indian actor best known for his association with the Hindi film and TV industry. Apart from appearing in films and TV series, Massey has also played important roles in several short films and web series. In 2008, Vikrant Massey was honored with the GR8! Face of the Year Award at the Indian Telly Awards.

 26 
Bhanupriya
(Actress)

Bhanupriya
6
Birthdate: January 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh

Along with her younger sister, Shantipriya, Bhanupriya rocked the Tamil and Telugu film industries in the 1980s and the 1990s. The three-time Nandi Award winner is known for hits such as Swarnakamalam and Chatrapati. She bagged her debut film, Mella Pesungal, after impressing director Bharathi Raja with her dance skills.

 27 
Saroj Khan
(Dance Choreographers)

Saroj Khan
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay State, India

Saroj Khan was an Indian dancer and choreographer best remembered for her work in Hindi cinema. The first female choreographer in Bollywood, Khan choreographed over 3000 movie songs in an illustrious career spanning more than four decades. Saroj Khan was honored with several prestigious awards, including three National Film Awards under the Best Choreography category.

 28 
Rukmini Devi Arundale
(Bharatnatyam Dancer)

Rukmini Devi Arundale
4
Birthdate: February 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: February 24, 1986

Rukmini Devi Arundale was an Indian dancer and choreographer. An exponent of Bharatanatyam, Rukmini Devi helped revive the original sadhir style of the dance form. She also popularized Bharatanatyam among Indian upper-caste elites for which she was named in India Today's 100 People Who Shaped India list. In 1956, Rukmini Devi Arundale was honored with the Padma Bhushan.

 29 
Sukumari
(Actress)

Sukumari
3
Birthdate: October 6, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nagercoil, Travancore, British India (present-day Tamil Nadu, India)
Died: March 26, 2013

Sukumari was an Indian actress known for her contribution to Tamil and Malayalam films. One of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, Sukumari acted in over 2,500 films in a career that spanned over 50 years. In 2003, she was honored with the Padma Shri. In 2011, she won the National Film Award for her performance in Namma Gramam. 

 30 
Birju Maharaj
(Kathak Dancer)

Birju Maharaj
2
Birthdate: February 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Varanasi
Died: January 16, 2022

Birju Maharaj was an Indian dancer and singer. An exponent of the popular classical dance form Kathak, he was one of the most celebrated Kathak dancers ever. He won many prestigious awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar, and India's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.

 31 
Mallika Sarabhai
(Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer)

Mallika Sarabhai
2
Birthdate: May 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ahmedabad

Mallika Sarabhai is an Indian classical dancer, activist, and actress. She is best known as the daughter of prominent space scientist Vikram Sarabhai. An accomplished Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer, Mallika Sarabhai uses the dance forms to bring about a social change. She is the recipient of Gujarat's prestigious Gaurav Puraskar and India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.

 32 
Debashree Roy
(Actress)

Debashree Roy
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, India

Debashree Roy is an Indian dancer, choreographer, actress, animal rights activist, and politician. Best known for her work in the Bengali film industry, Debashree Roy has won several awards like the National Film Award. She is credited with establishing the Debasree Roy Foundation, which aims at helping stray animals.

 33 
Vineeth
(Actor)

Vineeth
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thalassery, Kerala, India

Vineeth is an Indian classical dancer, actor, choreographer, and voice artist. He is renowned for playing important roles in many south Indian movies, especially Malayalam and Tamil films. A celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer, Vineeth is the recipient of many prestigious awards, such as the Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu government.   

 34 
Meenakshi Seshadri
(Actress, Model)

Meenakshi Seshadri
0
Birthdate: November 16, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sindri, Bihar, India

Meenakshi Seshadri is an Indian former actress, dancer, and model. A former beauty queen, Meenakhsi Seshadri became one of the leading Bollywood actresses during the 1980s and 1990s. After retiring as an actress, Meenakshi Seshadri started running Cherish Dance School in the USA. Her life and work inspired a documentary titled Meenakshi Accept Her Wings which was released in 2006.

 35 
Sukanya
(Actress)

Sukanya
3
Birthdate: July 8, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Apart from being a talented Bharatnatyam dancer, Sukanya has also made her mark as an actor in South Indian films. She won a Filmfare for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the Malayalam film Innathe Chintha Vishayam. She has also appeared in series and has released two devotional albums.

 36 
Deeksha Seth
(Film Actress)

Deeksha Seth
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Delhi, India

 37 
Vaibhavi Merchant
(Dancer, Choreographer, Actor)

Vaibhavi Merchant
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: India

 38 
Zohra Sehgal
(Actress)

Zohra Sehgal
10
Birthdate: April 27, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saharanpur, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
Died: July 10, 2014

Zohra Sehgal was an Indian dancer, choreographer, and actress. Regarded as one of the most prominent Indian dancers of all time, Zohra Sehgal influenced and inspired several aspiring Indian dancers and actresses. She had won several prestigious honors, such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship and Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award.

 39 
Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao
(Film director, Choreographer)

Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolavennu, Andhra Pradesh, India

Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, and choreographer. Best known for his work in the Telugu film industry, Rao is one of the most bankable directors of Telugu cinema ever. His contribution has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as Nandi Awards, Filmfare Awards South, SIIMA Awards, and IIFA Awards. 

 40 

Protima Bedi
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Delhi
Died: August 18, 1998

 41 
Vyjayanthimala
(Film actress, Politician)

Vyjayanthimala
1
Birthdate: August 13, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Triplicane, Chennai, India

Vyjayanthimala is an Indian actress and dancer who played a major role in the Hindi film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. One of the most popular actresses of all time, Vyjayanthimala is also known for her contribution to South Indian movies. She is the recipient of several awards, including Filmfare Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards at International film festivals.   

 42 
Muktha
(Actress)

Muktha
2
Birthdate: November 19, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kolenchery, Kerala, India

Muktha is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Tamil and Malayalam film and television industries. Apart from being an actress, Muktha is also an entrepreneur and a classical dancer. Her performance in her debut Tamil movie Thaamirabharani earned her a nomination at the Vijay Awards.

 43 

Ankush Hazra
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bardhaman, West Bengal, India

 44 

Pallavi Sharda
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Pallavi Sharda is an Australian actress and Bharatanatyam dancer. Sharda, who is of Indian origin, has appeared in many Indian films in addition to playing important roles in Australian films. Pallavi Sharda was featured in the 40 most influential Asian Australians list at the first Asian-Australian Leadership Summit in 2019.

 45 
Krishna Vamsi
(Director)

Krishna Vamsi
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tadepalligudem, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh

Krishna Vamsi is an Indian film producer, director, and choreographer best known for his work in the Telugu film industry. Vamsi is credited with directing and producing critically acclaimed as well as successful films. His efforts have been honored with four Nandi Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, and two National Film Awards so far.

 46 

Isha Sharvani
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: India

 47 
Kala
(dancer, choreographer)

Kala
2
Birthdate: February 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chennai

 48 
Maria Goretti
(Video Jockey)

Maria Goretti
3
Birthdate: January 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vasai, Maharashtra, India

Maria Goretti is an Indian video jockey who has hosted several popular shows. She was interested in music and performing from an early age and often participated in school and college programs. She went on to become a famous VJ on MTV and has also hosted shows on other channels. She is married to actor Arshad Warsi. 

 49 

Lakshmi Gopalaswamy
2
Birthdate: November 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Lakshmi Gopalaswamy is an Indian classical dancer and actress. Best known for her work in Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam films, Gopalaswamy has won many prestigious awards like Kerala State Film Awards, Karnataka State Film Awards, and Filmfare Awards South. An exponent of Bharatanatyam, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy has also appeared on TV as a judge for a dance show titled Thakadhimi.

 50 
Kalaranjini
(Actress)

Kalaranjini
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kerala, India

Kalaranjini is an Indian classical dancer and actress best known for her work in the Tamil and Malayalam film and TV industries. She is also known as the older sister of popular actresses Kalpana and Urvashi. Kalaranjini achieved popularity in the 1980s when she was regarded as one of the most successful actresses.