Twyla Tharp
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It is essential to help educate yourself and your dancer about the legends and pioneers of the dance world. They have paved the way and opened the doors for dance to flourish into what it is today! This is a fun project to complete with your dancer.  Sit down with your dancer and google some of these names. Maybe they can share what they learned with your family at dinner or use one of these people for a school project.

It’s important for training dancers to have a hero. It will help your dancer be inspired and encouraged, as many overcame great obstacles to follow their dreams. This knowledge can also give them a much needed advantage in the dance world. It is important  be familiar with and truly respect these amazing individuals.  You never know.  Your next audition might require you to improve in the Fosse style of Jazz Dance.  Knowing more about Bob Fosse, his physical limitations and therefore his very unique style of dancing is essential …and gives you or your dancer the edge!

This is not a comprehensive list of dance legends and/or heroes by any means…

But if one were to ask me to list my favorite Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Tap and Hip Hop dance heroes, in no particular order and off the top of my head… these are the names that I would quickly start to list.

They have all inspired me greatly in some way. Hopefully they can help you too!

Alvin Ailey
Debbie Allen
Fred Astaire
George Balanchine
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Michael Bennett
Terri Best
Nickolas Brothers
Donald Byrd
Dee Caspary
Enrico Cecchetti
Jack Cole
Misty Copeland
Crazy Legs
Merce Cunningham
Grover Dale
Jacques d’Amboise
Sammy Davis Jr.
Marguerite Derricks
Tyce Diorio
Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo
Isadora Duncan
Katherine Dunham
Margot Fonteyn
Bob Fosse
Brian Friedman
Loie Fuller
Gus Giordano
Savion Glover
Martha Graham
Frank Hatchett
Erick Hawkins
Gregory Hines
Hanya Holm
Lester Horton
Doris Humphrey
Judith Jamison
Finis Jhung
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane
Gene Kelly
Michael Kidd
Alonzo King
Marty Kudelka
Tina Landon
Barry Lather
Nick Lazzarini
Denise Leitner
José Limón
Murray Louis
Kevin Maher
Natalia Makarova
Donald McKayle
Mia Michaels
Rhonda Miller
Mandy Moore
Mark Morris
Alwin Nikolais
Vaslav Nijinsky
Rudolf Nureyev
Kenny Ortega
David Parsons
Anna Pavlova
Michael Peters
Ann Reinking
Judy Rice
Desmond Richardson
Jerome Robbins
Bojangles/Bill Robinson
Wade Robson
Dwight Rowden
Gregg Russell
Dave Scott
Adam Shankman
Jason Samuels Smith
Sam Solomon and the Electric Boogaloos
Ruth St. Denis
Patrick Swayze
Sonya Tayeh
Paul Taylor
Shirley Temple
Tony Testa
Twyla Tharp
Stacey Tookey
Joe Tremaine
Wes Veldink
Travis Wall
Denise Wall
Charles Weidman
Mr. Wiggles
Lester Wilson
Svetlana Zakharova



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