Famous Russian Dancers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Russian Dancers

 1 
Mikhail Baryshnikov
(Choreographer, Dance)

Mikhail Baryshnikov
9
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.

 2 
Rudolf Nureyev
(Choreographer & One of the Greatest Male Ballet Dancers of His Generation)

Rudolf Nureyev
4
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.

 3 
Alexander Godunov
(Ballet Dancer)

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.
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 4 
Anna Pavlova
(Ballet dancer)

Anna Pavlova
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1881
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 23, 1931

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.

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 5 
Artem Chigvintsev
(Latin Dancer)

Artem Chigvintsev
8
Birthdate: June 12, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Izhevsk, Russia
Dancer Artem Chigvintsev won the eighth season of Strictly Come Dancing, in 2010, with partner Kara Tointon, becoming one of four people to win the show as a first-timer. He has previously been part of the live dance show Burn the Floor and has performed at Broadway and West End.

 6 
Vaslav Nijinsky
(Ballet dancer)

Vaslav Nijinsky
3
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. 

 7 
Pasha Kovalev
(Ballroom and Latin Dancer, Best Known as Participant of 'So You Think You Can Dance')

Pasha Kovalev
4
Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia
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.
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 8 
Sergei Polunin
(Ballet Dancer)

Sergei Polunin
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1989
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kherson, Ukraine

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. 

 9 
Katya Jones
(Dancer)

Katya Jones
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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.

 10 
Galina Ulanova
(Ballet Dancer, Choreographer)

Galina Ulanova
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 21, 1998
Born to dancer parents, Soviet ballerina Galina Ulanova was destined to follow in their footsteps. The dancer who had performed with both Mariinsky and Bolshoi theaters remains the only two-time Hero of Socialist Labour winner. She amazed audiences in Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet.

 11 

Svetlana Zakharova
2
Birthdate: June 10, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lutsk, Ukraine

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.

 12 
Sergei Diaghilev
(Art Critic)

Sergei Diaghilev
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chudovsky District, Russia
Died: August 19, 1929

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.

 13 
Maya Plisetskaya
(Former ballet dancer, choreographer)

Maya Plisetskaya
2
Birthdate: November 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 2, 2015

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. 

 14 
Natalia Osipova
(Ballet dancer)

Natalia Osipova
2
Birthdate: May 18, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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. 

 15 
Olga Khokhlova
(Ballet dancer)

Olga Khokhlova
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nizhyn, Ukraine
Died: February 11, 1955

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.

 16 
Natalia Makarova
(Ballet dancer, Choreographer)

Natalia Makarova
2
Birthdate: November 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

 17 

Kristina Rihanoff
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russia

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.

 18 
George Balanchine
(The Father of American Ballet)

George Balanchine
0
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.

 19 
Aliona Vilani
(TV personality)

Aliona Vilani
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kazakhstan

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. 

 20 
Diana Vishneva
(Ballet Dancer)

Diana Vishneva
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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.

 21 
Michel Fokine
(Choreographer)

Michel Fokine
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1942

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.

 22 
Mathilde Kschessinska
(Ballerina from the Polish noble family Krzesiński)

Mathilde Kschessinska
3
Birthdate: August 18, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ligovo
Died: June 7, 1971

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. 

 23 
Pati Behrs
(Ballet dancer)

Pati Behrs
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Turkey
Died: July 4, 2004

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.

 24 
Tatiana Navka
(Ice dancer)

Tatiana Navka
2
Birthdate: April 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dnipro, Ukraine

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.

 25 

Yulia Zagoruychenko
2
Birthdate: September 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belgorod, Russia

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.

 26 
Lydia Lopokova
(Ballet dancer)

Lydia Lopokova
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian
Died: June 8, 1981

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.

 27 
Elena Ilinykh
(Ice dancer, Figure skater)

Elena Ilinykh
2
Birthdate: April 25, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Aktau, Kazakhstan

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.

 28 
Fedor Andreev
(Figure skater, Ice skater)

Fedor Andreev
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1982
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

 29 
Maria Khoreva
(Ballet dancer)

Maria Khoreva
2
Birthdate: July 3, 2000
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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.

 30 
Lyudmila Vlasova
(Ballet dancer, Actress)

Lyudmila Vlasova
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 31 
Ida Rubinstein
(Former ballet Russes dancer)

Ida Rubinstein
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kharkiv, Ukraine
Died: September 20, 1960

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.

 32 
Anastasia Volochkova
(Ballet Dancer)

Anastasia Volochkova
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, 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.

 33 
Sergei Ponomarenko
(Ice dancer, Figure skater)

Sergei Ponomarenko
2
Birthdate: October 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 34 
Kseniya Ryabinkina
(Ballet Dancer)

Kseniya Ryabinkina
2
Birthdate: September 4, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 35 

Tamara Toumanova
2
Birthdate: March 2, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tyumen, Russia
Died: May 29, 1996

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. 

 36 
Léonide Massine
(Former choreographer, ballet dancer who created the world's first symphonic ballet, Les Présages)

Léonide Massine
2
Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 15, 1979

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.

 37 
Nikolai Morozov
(Ice dancer)

Nikolai Morozov
2
Birthdate: December 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

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.

 38 

Elena Grinenko
2
Birthdate: December 14, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 39 
Ulyana Lopatkina
(Choreographer, Ballet dancer)

Ulyana Lopatkina
2
Birthdate: October 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kerch

 40 
Sofya Skya
(Actress)

Sofya Skya
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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.

 41 
Victoria Sinitsina
(Ice dancer, Figure skater)

Victoria Sinitsina
2
Birthdate: April 29, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 42 
Tamara Karsavina
(Prima Ballerina)

Tamara Karsavina
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 26, 1978

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.

 43 
Ivan Bukin
(Ice dancer)

Ivan Bukin
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 44 
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.

 45 
Nikita Katsalapov
(Ice dancer)

Nikita Katsalapov
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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. 

 46 
Irina Baronova
(Ballerina)

Irina Baronova
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 28, 2008

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.

 47 
Alexandra Stepanova
(Ice dancer, Figure skater)

Alexandra Stepanova
2
Birthdate: August 19, 1995
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

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.

 48 
Agrippina Vaganova
(Ballet Teacher)

Agrippina Vaganova
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1879
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 5, 1951

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.

 49 

Vladimir Vasiliev
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

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.

 50 
Evgenia Obraztsova
(Ballet dancer)

Evgenia Obraztsova
2
Birthdate: January 18, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leningrad, Soviet Union

Russian ballerina Evgenia Obraztsova is best known for her performances as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Born into a family of ballet dancers, she joined the Vaganova Academy and then performed as part of the Mariinsky Ballet.