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.
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.
One of the first ballerinas to travel extensively around the world, Anna Pavlova had first gained an interest in the dance form after watching an adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty. She initially gained fame dancing with Mikhail Mordkin and later made waves with her iconic role in The Dying Swan.
Sergei Polunin is a Soviet-born ballet dancer, model, and actor. He is of mixed ethnicity, but has "always regarded himself as Russian". He started training in gymnastics at the age of four and then switched to ballet. At 19, he became the Royal Ballet's youngest ever principal dancer. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prix de Lausanne.
Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario, patron, and art critic. He is credited with founding the popular ballet company Ballets Russes, which has produced some of the greatest and popular choreographers and dancers like Tamara Karsavina, Lydia Sokolova, Serge Lifar, and Alicia Markova. Sergei Diaghilev is remembered for placing the needs of his company and dancers above his own.
Svetlana Zakharova is a Russian ballet dancer best known for her association with the popular classical ballet company, Bolshoi Ballet. Zakharova achieved international recognition in the 2000s, performing as a principal dancer in places like France. She is the first Russian principal dancer to perform in Paris. She has also hosted TV programs and appeared in the 2006 documentary Ballerina.
Maya Plisetskaya was a legendary Soviet and Russian ballerina. Growing up in a war-torn region, she had a difficult childhood. She sought solace in ballet and pursued a career as a dancer. She was remarkably fluid in her movements and soon became internationally renowned. She later became a ballet director and choreographer. She was married to composer Rodion Shchedrin.
Katya Jones is a Russian dancer, environmentalist, and choreographer. She is known for competing in the popular British TV dance contest Strictly Come Dancing. After winning the show in 2017 with Joe McFadden, Jones went on to compete in the show in 2020 along with retired boxer Nicola Adams, becoming the first same-sex couple in the history of the show.
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.
Natalia Osipova is a Russian ballerina. She is currently a principal ballerina with The Royal Ballet in London. Beginning her formal ballet training at the age of nine, she proceeded to study at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. She began her professional career at 18 and has since performed in several musicals. She has won many awards.
Kristina Rihanoff is a Russian professional ballroom dancer, author, choreographer, and instructor. She achieved popularity after competing in the popular British television dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Kristina Rihanoff works closely with a children's charity named The Dot Com Foundation, which helps children handle challenging situations.
Olga Khokhlova was a Ukrainian ballet dancer. She also served as one of Pablo Picasso's early artistic muses before marrying him in 1918. Olga met Picasso at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris where the latter had designed the set and costumes for a ballet titled Parade, in which Olga performed. She left her ballet group after meeting Pablo Picasso.
Michel Fokine was a Russian dancer and choreographer whose pieces are performed internationally to this day. Fokine is credited with choreographing the works of popular dancers like Anna Pavlova. Renowned for his groundbreaking works, such as Le Pavillon d'Armide, Michel Fokine has been portrayed in a couple of films, namely Nijinsky and A Woman for All Time.
Diana Vishneva is a Russian ballerina who is currently associated with the Mariinsky Ballet where she is a principal dancer. Over the years, Vishneva has won several prestigious awards, such as the People's Artist of Russia, State Prize of Russia, and the Golden Mask theatre prize.
Pati Behrs was a Russian-American actress and prima ballerina. In addition to being a celebrity, Pati Behrs was also an animal rights advocate who worked closely with the California-based non-profit corporation, Actors and Others for Animals. She presented Actors and Others with her famous baby grand piano, which was later sold to help animals in need.
Aliona Vilani is a Russian-Kazakh dancer and TV personality best known for appearing as a professional dancer in the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing. She started training in different forms of dance as a child and joined the Kaiser Dance Academy. She later turned professional and appeared in several TV shows. She also performs in stage musicals.
Mathilde Kschessinska was a Russian ballerina hailing from the Polish noble family Krzesiński. She was the daughter of Feliks Krzesiński, who danced in Saint Petersburg. As a young woman, she married Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia. She later opened her own ballet school and trained students, such as Margot Fonteyn, Alicia Markova, and André Eglevsky.
Popular Russian figure skater Tatiana Navka has not just won the national and European championships thrice but is also a two-time world champion and an Olympic gold medalist. She is also a regular participant on various TV and ice shows and has her own show named the Navka Show.
Apart from being a renowned Russian ballerina, Lydia Lopokova was also the wife of well-known economist John Maynard Keynes and was thus known as Lady Keynes. She toured across Europe and America and appeared in plays such as The Lady of the Slipper and Age of Reason.
Best known for her phenomenal performances with partner Ruslan Zhiganshin, retired Russian ice dancer Elena Ilinykh is a former national champion. Though initially trained in single skating, she later moved on to ice dancing. She also has two Olympic medals, including a gold, and three European championship medals in her kitty.
Born in America, ice dancer Diana Davis, the daughter of skating coach Eteri Tutberidze, was raised in Russia and was the Russian junior national bronze medal winner with her partner Gleb Smolkin. She developed partial hearing loss due to an incorrect dosage of antibiotics and never regained her full sense of hearing.
Ten-time Latin Dance Champion Yulia Zagoruychenko had begun dancing at the tender age of 4 and started teaching ballroom dance at age 11. She later stunned audiences with her remarkable performances with her dance partner and husband Riccardo Cocchi. She was named an American by Choice by Carnegie Corporation.
Victoria Sinitsina is a Russian ice dancer who won the gold medal at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships along with her skating partner Nikita Katsalapov. A successful ice dancer, Sinitsina also won gold medals at the 2020 European Championships and 2012 World Junior Championships.
Russian ballet prodigy and the first soloist of the Mariinsky Ballet, Maria Khoreva bagged a Nike endorsement even before graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She is a popular face on Instagram, too, where she is known as marachok. She has also penned a book named Teach Me Ballet.
Soviet ballet dancer Lyudmila Vlasova was raised singlehandedly by her mother, who was part of the Red Army Theater. Known for her long stint with the Bolshoi Theater, she was also praised for her performances with her partner and husband Alexander Godunov, a renowned ballet dancer himself.
Sergei Ponomarenko is a Russian retired ice dancer who represented the Unified team of the Soviet Union at the 1992 Olympic Games, World Figure Skating Championships, and European Championships, winning gold medals in all three tournaments. He has also represented the Soviet Union in many World Championships and European Championships, winning two and three gold medals respectively.
Ida Rubinstein was a Russian dancer, art patron, and actress. She is best remembered for performing with the popular itinerant ballet company, the Ballets Russes. She also served as a subject for Russian painter Valentin Alexandrovich Serov's portrait Salomé.
Tamara Toumanova was a Georgian-American ballet dancer and actress. She achieved international recognition at a young age when she came to be known as one of the Original Ballet Russe's Baby Ballerinas along with Irina Baronova and Tatiana Riabouchinska. She then performed across Europe and went on to establish herself as an actress, appearing as a dancer in several films.
Nikita Katsalapov is a Russian ice dancer who won the gold medal at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships along with Victoria Sinitsina. A successful and popular ice dancer, Nikita Katsalapov has also won gold medals at the 2020 European Championships, 2014 Olympic Games, and 2010 World Junior Championships.
Léonide Massine was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer who created Les Présages, the first symphonic ballet in the world. Between 1915 and 1921, Massine worked at Sergei Diaghilev's popular company Ballets Russes where he served as the principal choreographer. In 2002, Léonide Massine was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.
Ivan Bukin is a Russian ice dancer who has won three bronze medals and a silver medal at European Championships along with Alexandra Stepanova. He also won the 2021 Russian national championship. Overall, Bukin and his skating partner Stepanova have won three Finlandia Trophy titles and seven Grand Prix series medals.
Kseniya Ryabinkina is a Russian ballet dancer and actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Marina, a circus trapeze artiste, in the 1970 classic Bollywood film Mera Naam Joker. In addition to being an actress and ballerina, Kseniya Ryabinkina also mentors young artists and dancers in Russia.
Anastasia Volochkova is a Russian former prima ballerina who was trained by Natalia Dudinskaya at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy. Volochkova achieved popularity in 1996 when she won the first prize at the Lifar International Ballet Competition. Apart from her career as a dancer, Anastasia Volochkova has also appeared in magazines and works as an actress and model.
Alexandra Stepanova is a Russian ice dancer who has won three bronze medals and a silver medal at European Championships with Ivan Bukin. She also won the 2018 Grand Prix of Helsinki championship as well as the 2021 Russian national championship. Overall, Stepanova and her skating partner Bukin have won three Finlandia Trophy titles and seven Grand Prix series medals.
Nikolai Morozov is a Russian retired ice dancer, choreographer, and figure skating coach. Morozov represented Belarus at the 1998 Winter Olympics and World Championships. He is credited with coaching Japanese figure skater Shizuka Arakawa at the 2006 Olympics where she won the gold medal. Nikolai Morozov also coached Miki Ando to a couple of world titles.
Irina Baronova was a Russian actress and ballet dancer whose popularity peaked during the 1930s when she came to be known as one of the Original Ballet Russe's Baby Ballerinas along with Irina Baronova and Tatiana Riabouchinska. In 2005, she appeared in a documentary titled Ballets Russes and also published her autobiography in the same year.
Sofya Skya is a Russian ballet dancer, actress, and acting coach. Renowned for her good looks, Skya has won a number of beauty contests and pageants. She also supports various charity organizations and events like Meet For Charity.
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.
Elena Grinenko is a ballroom dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Grinenko is best known for her participation in the popular American dance competition TV series, Dancing with the Stars. As a ballroom dancer, Elena Grinenko competes in national and world Championships.
Tamara Karsavina was a Russian ballet dancer who served as a principal artist at Sergei Diaghilev's popular company The Ballets Russes. Karsavina also taught ballet and is credited with co-founding modern British ballet. After settling in Britain, Tamara Karsavina popularized the dance form in Britain and helped establish The Royal Academy of Dance as well as The Royal Ballet.
Vladimir Vasiliev is a ballet dancer and choreographer. From 1995 to 2000, Vasiliev worked at the internationally acclaimed ballet company Bolshoi Ballet where he served as a principal dancer and director. Renowned for his powerful leaps and turns, Vasiliev won the People's Artist of the USSR in 1973. He has also received other prestigious awards like the Russian State Prize.
The person behind the development of the Vaganova method, Agrippina Vaganova was a significant name in the Russian ballet scene. She also penned Fundamentals of the Classical Dance, which is the most-followed text on ballet. At Mariinsky Ballet, she was known as the queen of variations.