Best Ballet Dancers (Part 1)

Hello, everyone!

On Friday some of our students are going to be doing their ballet exam.

To give them some positive vibes we’ve collected in two posts some of the best ballet professionals, so they can see what they might become one day with a lot of hard work.

It has been so difficult choosing only ten!



Sylvie Guillem in 1998 performing in “Romeo and Juliet”

Sylvie Guillem is a French ballet dancer born in 1965. She was the top-ranking female dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, before becoming a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London.

She has also performed contemporary dance as an Associate Artist of London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Her most notable performances have included those in Giselle and in Rudolf Nureyev’s stagings of Swan Lake and Don Quixote.

In November 2014, she announced her retirement from the stage in 2015.


Mikhail Baryshnikov in “Sex and the City”

Mikhail Nikolayevich Baryshnikov nicknamed “Misha” is a dancer, choreographer, and actor born in 1948. He is often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers in history.

After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974 for more opportunities in western dance. He joined the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer to learn George Balanchine’s style of movement. After that, he danced with the American Ballet Theatre, where he later became artistic director.

Baryshnikov has spearheaded many of his own artistic projects and has been associated in particular with promoting modern dance. His success as a dramatic actor on stage, cinema and television has helped him become probably the most widely recognised contemporary ballet dancer.

In 1977, he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe nomination for his work as “Yuri Kopeikine” in the film The Turning Point. He also had a significant role in the last season of the television series Sex and the City.


Tamara Rojo in “La Bayadere”

Tamara Rojo is a Spanish dancer and director of English National Ballet born in 1974. She has gained international recognition for her unique technique, passion and acting skills; and for her outstanding performance both in classical and contemporary roles.

Rojo often participates on the juries of all the major international dance competitions, including Beijing, Lausanne and Benois. She is a Master of Theatrical Arts and a Bachelor of Dance and Choreography Honours Graduate from University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid.

She was made a CBE in 2016.


Edward Watson in “The Winter’s Tale”

Edward Watson is a British ballet dancer born in 1976. He trained at The Royal Ballet School and graduated into The Royal Ballet in 1994. He was promoted to Principal in 2005.

As of 2004, he is a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. His repertory with the Company includes major roles in works by Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, and numerous role creations for choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky.

His numerous awards include the 2012 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, the 2015 Benois de la danse and Critics’ Circle Awards in 2001 and 2008. He was awarded an MBE in 2015.


Uliana Lopatkina in “Swan Lake”

Ulyana Vyacheslavovna Lopatkina is a Russian ballet dancer born in 1973. She is currently employed as Prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Ballet in St Petersburg, Russia.

Upon graduation, Lopatkina joined the Kirov/Mariinsky Theatre Ballet in 1991, and was promoted to principal dancer in 1995.

Lopatkina stands out in classic and dramatic roles. She is a perfect example of the Russian (Kirov) school with long limbs, great strength and a classical purity of line, as well as noted musicality.

We hope you enjoyed it, we will tell you the other five dancers in our next post!

See you next week!

The Village School of Dance Team

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