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The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, in the Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga, New York, was established in 1986 and is the only museum in the nation dedicated entirely to dance. It contains photographs, videos, artifacts, costumes and biographies. The museum is located in the former Washington Bath House and was founded in 1986 by Marylou Whitney. It is related to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and also provides dance classes and master classes through the Lewis A. Swyer School for the Arts, which hosts the New York State Summer School of the Arts during the months of July and August.[

List of the inductees into the Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Dance (United States).

Famous Ballerinas

Famous Dancer

Modern Dancers

  • Martha Graham
  • Twyla Tharp
  • Isadora Duncan
  • Katherine Dunham
  • Ruth St. Denis
  • Mary Wigman

Ballroom Dancers

  • Ginger Rogers
  • Irene Castle
  • Julianne Hough
  • Cyd Charisse
  • Rita Hayworth

Exotic and Burlesque Dancers

  • Josephine Baker
  • Mata Hari
  • Colette
  • Lena Horne
  • Amera Eid
  • Samia Gamal

Biographies of Famous Female Dancers

Of all these famous women dancers, a few of these have become household names. The following women's biographies are full of important feats and unforgettable performances.

Martha Graham

Modern dance would be quite different today without Martha Graham, who has often been referred to as the "mother of American dance." She broke away from traditional ballet focusing instead upon the ferociously unconventional and sharp movements that would become modern dance. Her style was high-energy and fierce, involving an abrupt and jerking style that can truly only be achieved by dancers gifted in her specific school of artistry. Many argue that Graham's movements cannot be taught, as they are rather "felt" by each individual dancer.

In 1998, Martha Graham was honored as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, and her style and choreography continue to be replicated throughout the modern dance world. Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Merce Cunningham are just a few of her "descendants," and her unique brand of dance is sure to live on for future generations.

Ginger Rogers

Most known for her film performances with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers was an actress and dancer who stole the hearts of film audiences around the world. Her career took off when she entered, and won, a Charleston dance contest and was sent on a performance tour as her prize. Ending up in New York City she landed a job on Broadway, where she was discovered in the musical Girl Crazy and offered a Hollywood contract. Signing with Paramount Pictures she went on to make famous films with Fred Astaire, in which the couple flirted and danced like movie audiences had never seen before. During her film dance career, her dancing talent and charisma helped her to earn better salaries and billing than she was originally offered. In this way she was able to help the art and appreciation of dance evolve during one of its most critical periods.

Josephine Baker

Born in St. Louis, Baker left home at an early age having dropped out of school and already married by the age of 13. She set off performing on the artistic circuit of small, run-down theaters in the U.S. South, and was later discovered in New York City by an American living in Paris. She signed a contract to join the first revue in Paris that would feature African Americans and dynamic nudity, and once she arrived in Paris and started rehearsals she was quickly promoted to become one of the stars of the show. She was catapulted to instant fame by her Danse Sauvage, and later her "Banana Dance," and went on to enjoy a fifty-year successful career until her death in 1975. Known for her unforgettable sense of rhythm, her unfailing smile, and her sweet singing voice, Josephine Baker was one of the most-loved dancers of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe.