Dance in History

Events in Music

The Fatal Dance Manias of Medieval Europe

1374-06-24 Sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion

Music History

1668-02-07 Dutch Prince William III dances in premiere of "Ballet of Peace"

  • 1812-05-11 Waltz introduced into English ballrooms. Some observers consider it disgusting and immoral.
  • 1840-04-13 William Henry Lane ("Juda") perfects tap dance
  • 1896-04-25 Fight in Central Dance Hall starts fire at Cripple Creek, Colorado

Music History

1900-03-17 American modern dancer Isadora Duncan gives her first Europen performance in London, England [1]

  • 1910-03-27 Fire during a barn-dance in Ököritófülpös, Hungary, killed 312
  • 1914-07-28 Foxtrot 1st danced at New Amsterdam Roof Garden, in NYC, by Harry Fox

Execution

1917-10-15 Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany during WWI at Vincennes near Paris

  • 1923-01-04 1st broadcast of "Barn Dance Show" (WBAP - Fort Worth Texas)
  • 1923-03-31 First dance marathon in New York City; Alma Cummings sets record of 27 hours with 6 different partners
  • 1924-01-06 Francis Poulenc's ballet "Les Biches", choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska, and danced by the Ballets Russe, premieres in Monte Carlo
  • 1924-04-19 "National Barn Dance" premieres on WLS Chicago
  • 1925-11-28 Grand Ole Opry premieres as WSM Barn Dance on WSM radio Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1926-02-02 3 men dance Charleston for 22 hours
  • 1927-12-10 "Grand Ole Opry" first named as such during Barn Dance radio broadcast, in Nashville, Tennessee

Music History

1938-05-30 Walter Piston's dance work, The Incredible Flutist, written for the Boston Pops Orchestra, which premieres it, Arthur Fiedler conducting

  • 1940-04-23 Dance hall fires kills 198 in Natchez, Mississippi
  • 1941-01-03 Sergei Rachmaninoff's final composition "Symphonic Dances" premieres in Philadelphia, with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra

Music History

1946-04-24 One-act ballet "Symphonic Variations" choreographed by Frederick Ashton with music by César Franck danced by Sandler's Wells Ballet debuts at Covent Garden, London

  • 1946-11-07 Katherine Dunham's song and dance revue "Bal Nègre" opens at Belasco Theater, NYC; runs for 54 performances
  • 1950-01-20 "Dance Me a Song" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 35 performances
  • 1950-02-18 "Dance Me a Song" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 35 performances

Theater Premiere

1957-11-20 Morton Wishengrad's dramatic play "Rope Dancers", starring Art Carney, Siobhán McKenna, and Theodore Bikel, premieres at Cort Theatre, NYC; runs for 189 performances

  • 1959-04-24 Netherland Dance Theater opens (Rudi of Dantzig & Cut Flier)

The Twist Dance Craze

1960-08-06 Chubby Checker performs his version of Hank Ballard's "The Twist" on "The Dick Clark Show", starting a worldwide dance craze

  • 1961-06-16 Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects to West at Le Bourget Airport in Paris

#1 in the Charts

1962-01-13 Chubby Checker's song "The Twist", credited with starting the Twist dance craze, goes to #1 in the charts two years after first reaching number one spot

Music Recording

1962-10-18 Tony Sheridan & Beat Brothers record "Let's Dance"

  • 1965-12-06 2 trucks crashed into a crowd of dancers in Sotouboua Togo, kills 125
  • 1966-01-07 Dance Theatre of Harlem debuts
  • 1973-03-01 Robert Joffrey Dance Company opens
  • 1983-05-11 Alan Jay Lerner and Charles Strouse's musical "Dance a Little Closer" opens & closes at Minskoff Theater, NYC, after 1 performance

#1 in the Charts

1983-05-21 David Bowie's "Let's Dance" single goes #1

  • 1983-12-21 Musical "Tap Dance Kid" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 669 performances

Sports History

1984-05-19 109th Preakness: Puerto Rican jockey Ángel Cordero Jr., aboard Gate Dancer wins his second Pimlico classic

  • 1985-08-11 "Tap Dance Kid" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 669 performances
  • 1985-09-18 "Song & Dance" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 474 performances
  • 1986-11-08 "Song & Dance" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 474 performances

Album Release

1987-11-17 The Madonna compilation album "You Can Dance" is released

  • 1990-04-01 It becomes illegal in Salem Oregon to be within 2 feet of nude dancers
  • 1991-03-25 63rd Academy Awards: "Dances with Wolves", Kathy Bates & Jeremy Irons win
  • 1992-07-19 NYC ballet dancer Peter Martins is arrested for beating his wife
  • 1992-12-27 "Tommy Tune Tonite! Song & Dance Act" opens at Gershwin Theatre, NYC; runs for 10 performances

Music History

1994-07-23 American dancer, actor, and director Gene Kelly suffers a mild stroke

  • 2004-05-15 49th Eurovision Song Contest: Ruslana for Ukraine wins singing "Wild Dances" in Istanbul
  • 2007-06-10 Novelty dance song "I'm a Gummy Bear" by German band Gummibär released

Music History

2013-06-17 Dance hit "Wake Me Up" released by Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii with vocals by Aloe Blacc

Music History

2015-06-30 Misty Copeland becomes the 1st African American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre

  • 2016-12-02 Fire during a dance party at an Oakland warehouse kills 36

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 369

  • 1710-04-15 Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo, French dancer, born in Brussels, Spanish Netherlands (d. 1770)
  • 1724-02-29 Eva Marie Veigel [La Violette], Austrian ballet dancer and wife of actor David Garrick, born in Vienna, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1822)
  • 1727-04-29 Jean-Georges Noverre, French dancer and choreographer (ballet d'action), born in Paris (d. 1810)
  • 1729-04-18 Gaétan Vestris, French ballet dancer, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1808)
  • 1733-03-05 Vincenzo Galeotti [Tomazelli], Italian dancer/choreographer
  • 1741-12-08 Maximilien Gardel, French ballet dancer and choreographer (Menuet Reine), born in Mannheim, Germany (d. 1787)
  • 1748-08-31 Jean-Etienne Despreaux, French ballet dancer and composer, born in Paris (d. 1820)
  • 1758-02-04 Pierre-Gabriel Gardel, French ballet dancer/choreographer
  • 1760-03-27 Marie-Jean Auguste Vestris, French ballet dancer, born in Paris (d. 1842)
  • 1815-12-22 Lucien Petipa, French ballet dancer, born in Marseille, France (d. 1898)
  • 1817-05-11 Fanny Cerrito, Italian ballet dancer (d. 1909)
  • 1819-03-11 Marius Petipa, French ballet dancer/choreographer (Don Quiotte)
  • 1821-02-17 Lola Montez, Irish dancer and courtesan, born in Grange, Ireland (d. 1861)
  • 1821-09-17 Arthur Saint-Leon, French composer and dancer, born in Paris (d. 1870)
  • 1835-02-02 Luigi Manzotti, Italian mime artist, dancer, and ballet choreographer, born in Milan (d. 1905)
  • 1835-03-15 Eduard Strauss, Austrian dance band conductor, and composer, born in Vienna (d. 1916)
  • 1844-03-10 Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer (Spanish Dancer), born in Pamplona, Spain (d. 1908)
  • 1856-03-09 Eddie Foy Sr. [Edwin Fitzgerald], Irish-American actor, singer and dancer (A Favorite Fool), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 1928)
  • 1859-11-22 Cecil Sharp, British collector of English folk music and dance, born in London, England (d. 1924)
  • 1872-03-31 Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, Russian dance master (Imperial Ballet)

Mata Hari

1876-08-07 Mata Hari [Margaretha Geertruida Zelle], Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and convicted German WWI spy, born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (d. 1917)

  • 1877-01-20 Ruth St. Denis, ballerina (Dances of the 5 Senses), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1968)

Isadora Duncan

1877-05-26 Isadora Duncan, American free form/interpretative dancer, born in San Francisco, California (d. 1927)

Bill Robinson

1878-05-25 Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, American actor and tap dancer (Stormy Weather; The Little Colonel), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1949)

  • 1879-06-24 Agrippina J. Vaganova, Russian ballet dancer, and pedagogue (Fundamentals of the Classical Dance), born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1951)
  • 1879-12-15 Rudolf von Laban, Czech-German choreographer (modern dance), born in Bratislava, Austria-Hungary (d. 1958)
  • 1880-02-14 Aida Overton Walker, African-American dancer & singer (In Dahomey, Salome), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1914)
  • 1880-04-26 Mikhail Fokine, Russian choreographer and founder of modern dance, born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1942)
  • 1881-08-19 George Enesco, Romanian violinist, conductor, and composer (Romanian Dances), born in Liveni, Dorohoi, Romania (d. 1955)
  • 1882-01-22 Theodore Kosloff, Russian-born actor, ballet dancer and choreographer, born in Moscow, Russian Empire (d. 1956)
  • 1882-05-25 Harry Fox [Arthur Carringford], American vaudeville dancer, comedian and actor (Talent Scout), born in Pomona, California (d. 1959)
  • 1883-05-26 Mamie Smith, American vaudeville singer, dancer and actress (Crazy Blues), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1946)
  • 1884-01-12 Louis Horst, American dance choreographer and composer, born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1964)
  • 1885-02-26 Lili Green [Alice Sally Mary], Dutch English dancer, born in Bromley, England (d. 1977)
  • 1885-04-29 Wallingford Riegger, American cellist, composer (New Dance; Cooper Square), and educator, born in Albany, Georgia (d. 1961)
  • 1886-11-13 Mary Wigman, German dancer and choreographer, born in Hanover, Germany (d. 1973)
  • 1887-05-02 Vernon Castle, English-American dancer, born in Norwich, Norfolk, England (d. 1918)
  • 1887-11-23 Eduardo Corrochio, Spanish-born dancer (d. 1943)
  • 1889-01-19 Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Davos Switzerland, painter, sculptor and dancer
  • 1889-11-24 Albert J Sylvester, England, ballroom dancer (Alex Moor Award-1977)
  • 1890-02-28 Vaslav Nijinsky, Russian ballet dancer 'the God of Dance', born in Kyiv, Ukraine (d. 1950) 3/12 NS
  • 1890-03-12 Vaslav Nijinsky, Ukrainian/US ballet dancer (Petroesjka) [OS=Feb 28]
  • 1891-10-21 Ted Shawn, US dancer/choreographer (Dance We Must)
  • 1893-04-17 Irene Castle, American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, and animal rights activist, born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 1969)
  • 1893-07-25 Dorothy Dickson, American actress and dancer (Paying The Piper; Danny Boy), born in Kansas City, Missouri (d. 1995)
  • 1893-09-03 Florrie Rodrigo, Dutch dancer, choreography and teacher (Schepelingen), born in Amsterdam (d. 1996)
  • 1893-10-27 Johan G Dancer, Dutch poet (Meetings)
  • 1895-04-04 Arthur Murray [Moses Teichman], American ballroom dancer and businessman (Arthur Murray Dance Party), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)
  • 1896-08-09 Leonide Massine, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer (Diaghilev Ballet Russe 1914-20), born in Moscow, Russian Empire (d. 1979)
  • 1896-09-10 Adele Astaire [Lady Charles Cavendish], American dancer and entertainer, sister of Fred Astaire (Last Man on Earth; Millie), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1981)
  • 1896-11-23 Ruth Etting, American dancer, singer and actress (Roman scandals), born in David City, Nebraska (d. 1978)
  • 1896-11-28 Lilia Skala, Austrian actress (House of Games, Flashdance, Charly), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1994)
  • 1898-01-31 Fred Rich, Polish-American jazz pianist and dance band leader ("I'm Tickled Pink with a Blue-Eyed Baby"; The Abbott and Costello Show), born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1956)
  • 1898-02-21 Vassily Vainonen, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer (Gayaneh)
  • 1898-05-02 Henry Hall, British bandleader (BBC Dance Orchestra), born in Peckham, South London, England (d. 1989)
  • 1898-09-08 Queenie Smith, American character actress and dancer (Funny Side; Little House On The Prairie), born in Texas (d. 1978)
  • 1899-02-20 Leon Woizikowsky, Polish dancer (Ballets Russes, 1916-29), ballet master and teacher, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1975)

Fred Astaire

1899-05-10 Fred Astaire [Austerlitz], American stage and screen tap dancer, singer ("Night And Day"; "Cheek To Cheek"; "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"), and actor (Royal Wedding; Easter Parade; Swingtime), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1987)

  • 1900-08-25 Mary Bruce, American tap dance teacher, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • 1900-12-12 Sammy Davis Sr., American vaudeville dancer (Mr. Wonderful), born in Wilmington, North Carolina (d. 1988)
  • 1901-01-10 Pauline Starke, American actress (Dante's Inferno, Dance Magic), born in Joplin, Missouri (d. 1977)
  • 1901-07-22 Charles Weidman, American choreographer and modern dancer (Candide), born in Lincoln, Nebraska (d. 1975)
  • 1901-10-24 Gilda Gray [Marianna Michalska], Polish-American stage and screen actress (Piccadilly), and dancer (The Shimmy), born in Krakau, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1959)
  • 1902-01-08 Gret Palucca, German dancer/choreography (Silent Song)
  • 1902-02-09 Blanche Calloway, American jazz vocalist, band leader (Twelve Clouds of Joy), civil rights activist, and broadcaster, born in Rochester, New York (d. 1978)
  • 1902-02-19 John Bubbles, American rhythm tap dancer (No Maps on My Taps), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1986)
  • 1902-04-03 Henri Garat, French actor and singer (Les dieux s'amusent; Congress Dances), born in Paris, France (d. 1959)

George Murphy

1902-07-04 George Murphy, American politician (US Senator, California), actor and dancer (MGM Parade), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1992)

  • 1902-10-07 Willemina J H "Mascha" ter Weene, dancer/ballerina
  • 1903-02-04 Edwin Denby, Tientsin China, US dance critic/poet (Snoring in N)
  • 1903-06-13 Filip Kutev, Bulgarian composer (State Ensemble for Folk Song and Dance), born in Aytos, Burgas (d. 1982)
  • 1904-01-03 Boris Kochno, Russian ballet dancer (La Chatte)
  • 1904-01-10 Ray Bolger, American dancer, actor, and singer (Wizard of Oz - "Scarecrow"; Partridge Family - "Grandpa Renfrew"), born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1987)
  • 1904-02-29 Rukmini Devi Arundale, Indian dancer and founder of Kalakshetra (d. 1986)
  • 1904-03-30 Akarova [Marguerite Acarin], Belgian dancer and choreographer (Les Biches)in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium (d. 1999)
  • 1904-04-03 Sally Rand, American burlesque dancer, vedette, and actress known for her ostrich feather fan and balloon bubble dances, born in Elkton, Missouri (d. 1979)
  • 1904-07-27 Anton Dolin [Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-kay], British dancer (Girl From Petrovka), born in Slinfold, Sussex, England (d. 1983)
  • 1904-11-15 Tilly Losch, Austrian dancer and actress (Duel in the Sun, Garden of Allah), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1975) birth date disputed
  • 1905-04-02 Serge Lifar, Russian-French dancer, choreographer (Paris Opera Ballet), born in Kyiv, Ukraine (d. 1986)
  • 1905-08-04 Boris Alexandrov, Soviet-Russian conductor (Alexandrov Ensemble, 1946-86), and composer, chiefly of patriotic and military music, born in Bologoye, Russian Empire (d. 1994)
  • 1905-09-01 Elvera Sanchez, Puerto Rican dancer (d. 2000)
  • 1905-09-18 Agnes De Mille, American dancer and choreographer (Oklahoma), born in NYC, New York (d. 1993)
  • 1905-10-09 May Moxon, Scottish dance producer, born in Townhead, Glasgow (d. 1996)
  • 1905-10-15 Edna Deane (née Sewell) British dancer, choreographer and drama teacher, born in Orange Free State of South Africa (d. 1995)
  • 1905-12-14 Sydney Lipton, British dance band leader, born in London (d. 1995)
  • 1906-02-20 Jack Jackson, British trumpeter, dance band leader, and influential BBC disc jockey, born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England (d. 1978)
  • 1906-03-17 Tamara Geva, Russian-born dancer and actress, born in St. Petersburg (d. 1997)

Josephine Baker

1906-06-03 Josephine Baker, American-French song and dance revue artist (Folies-Bergere), actress, and civil rights activist, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1975)

  • 1906-06-21 Helene Costello, American dancer and actress (Love Toy), born in NYC, New York (d. 1957)
  • 1906-09-15 Kathryn Murray, American dancer (Arthur Murray Dance Party), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1999)
  • 1906-12-27 Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer and actor (An American in Paris; Dance of Life), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1972)
  • 1907-04-20 William Dollar, American ballet dancer and choreographer, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1986)
  • 1907-11-03 Jim Hepburn, British tap-dancer and socialist, born in London, England (d. 1995)
  • 1908-01-12 Jose Limon, Mexican-American dancer & choreographer (I, Odysseus), born in Culiacán, Mexico (d. 1972)
  • 1908-04-23 Frederick Hawkins, American dancer and choreographer, born in Trinidad, Colorado (d. 1994)
  • 1908-06-24 Guru Gopinath, Indian classical dancer, born in Champakulam, Kuttanad (now Kerala), British India (d. 1987)
  • 1908-11-24 Ray Carter, American orchestra leader (Arthur Murray Dance Party), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1909-04-09 Robert Helpmann, Australian actor, choreographer and dancer (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Don Quixote), born in Mount Gambier, South Australia (d. 1986)
  • 1909-06-22 Katherine Dunham, American dancer (Casbah; Stormy Weather), choreographer (Metroplitan Opera, 1963; Joplin's Treemonisha, 1972), and social activist, born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2006)
  • 1909-08-25 Ruby Keeler, Canadian actress, singer, and dancer (Dames; 42nd Street), born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (d. 1993)

Weddings in Music

  • 1848-03-20 King Louis I of Bayern abdicates to marry dancer Lola Montez

Mata Hari

1895-07-11 Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan and accused spy Mata Hari (18) weds Dutch colonial army Captain Rudolph MacLeod in Amsterdam

Isadora Duncan

1922-05-02 Dancer Isadora Duncan (44) weds Sergei Esenin (26)

James Cagney

1922-09-28 American stage and film actor, dancer, and singer James Cagney (23) weds American dancer Frances Vernon in NYC

Frank Lloyd Wright

1928-08-25 Architect Frank Lloyd Wright (61) weds dancer and writer Olga Ivanovna

Ginger Rogers

1929-03-29 American actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (17) weds her dancing partner Jack Pepper (26); divorce in 1931

Lou Costello

1934-01-30 American comedian and actor Lou Costello (27) weds American burlesque dancer Anne Battler (21)

  • 1934-11-13 American actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (23) weds "All Quiet on the Western Front" actor Lew Ayres (25); divorce in 1940

Nat King Cole

1937-01-27 Musician Nat King Cole (17) weds dancer Nadine Robinson in Ypsilanti, Michigan

  • 1937-07-11 Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas (22) marries dancer Caitlin McNamara (22) in Penzance, Cornwall

Guy Gibson

1940-11-23 RAF pilot Guy Gibson (22) weds show dancer and actress Eve Moore in Penarth’s Anglican Church

Vera-Ellen

1941-02-04 American dancer and actress Vera-Ellen (19) weds fellow American dancer Robert Hightower; divorce in 1946

Louis Armstrong

1942-10-12 Jazz musician Louis Armstrong (41) weds dancer Lucille Wilson (28)

  • 1948-05-15 American dancer and actress Cyd Charisse (26) weds American pop singer Tony Martin (34)

Louis Jordan

1951-11-14 American swing musician Louis Jordan (43) weds dancer Vicky Hayes

Jerry Lewis

1983-02-13 Film genius Jerry Lewis (56) marries 2nd wife dancer SanDee Pitnick

Andrew Lloyd Webber

1984-03-22 Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (36) weds singer/dancer Sarah Brightman (23) in Hampshire, England

  • 1987-05-16 American singer David Crosby (45) weds Jan Dance (35) at Hollywood Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles, California

Tom Selleck

1987-08-07 "Magnum, P.I." actor Tom Selleck (42) weds actress and dancer Jillie Mack (29) in Incline Village, Nevada

  • 1992-06-06 "The Montel Williams Show" talk show host Montel Williams (35) weds burlesque dancer Grace Morley

Prince Rogers Nelson

1996-02-14 American singer Prince Rogers Nelson (37) weds belly dancer Mayte Garcia (22) in Minneapolis; divorce in 1999

Paula Abdul

1996-10-25 Singer-dancer Paula Abdul (33) weds sportswear designer Brad Beckerman (30) at Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel

Wayne Brady

1999-04-05 Talk show host Wayne Brady (26) weds dancer Mandie Taketa

Jennifer Lopez

2001-09-29 American singer-actress Jennifer Lopez (32) weds dancer-choreographer Cris Judd (32) in Calabasas, California; divorce in 2004

LeAnn Rimes

2002-02-23 "Blue" country and pop singer LeAnn Rimes (19) weds backup dancer Dean Sheremet (21) at Perkins Chapel in Dallas, Texas

Britney Spears

2004-09-18 Pop star Britney Spears (22) weds rapper-dancer Kevin Federline (26) in Studio City, California

Michael Flatley

2006-10-14 "Celtic Tiger" choreographer Michael Flatley (48) weds fellow dancer Niamh O'Brien at St. Patrick's Church in Fermoy, Ireland

  • 2007-09-01 "Dancing with the Stars" TV personality Alec Mazo (29) weds fellow dancer Edyta Sliwinska (28) in San Francisco, California

Natalie Portman

2012-08-04 Actress Natalie Portman (31) weds ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied (35) in Big Sur, California

  • 2012-08-18 "Melrose Place" actor Grant Show (50) weds "The Campaign" actress and former ballet dancer Katherine LaNasa (45) at The Oak Grove at Ribbit Tree & Plant Nursery in Topanga, California
  • 2013-09-06 Actor Josh Charles (41) weds ballet dancer and author Sophie Flack at a private residence in Manhattan, New York City
  • 2013-09-29 Actor and musician Jackson Rathbone (28) weds burlesque dancer Sheila Hafsadi in Malibu, California
  • 2013-10-12 Former Guns N' Roses Matt Sorum (52) weds singer and dancer Adriane Harper in Palm Springs, California
  • 2015-06-18 Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Lindsay Arnold (21) weds highschool sweetheart Samuel Lightner Cusick in Salt Lake City
  • 2015-07-11 Professional dancer Kevin Clifton (33) weds fellow dancer Karen Hauer (33) at One Great George Street in Westminster

Misty Copeland

2016-07-31 Ballet dancer Misty Copeland (33) weds attorney Olu Evans in Laguna Beach, California

Elliot Page

2018-01-03 Actress Ellen Page reveals she has married dancer Emma Portner


Divorces in Music

Nat King Cole

1948-03-22 Musician Nat King Cole (29) divorces dancer Nadine Robinson after 11 years of marriage

José Ferrer

1953-07-07 Actor José Ferrer divorces dancer and actress Phyllis Hill after 5 years of marriage

Andrew Lloyd Webber

1990-01-03 Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (41) divorces singer/dancer Sarah Brightman (29) after almost 7 years of marriage

Prince Rogers Nelson

1999-02-14 American singer Prince Rogers Nelson (40) divorces belly dancer Mayte Garcia (25) after 2 years of marriage

Wayne Brady

2007-07-02 Dancer Mandie Taketa divorces talk show host Wayne Brady (34) due to irreconcilable differences after 8 years of marriage

  • 2007-07-05 Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese (34) divorces rocker Marilyn Manson (38) due to irreconcilable differences after a year of marriage

Britney Spears

2007-07-30 Pop star Britney Spears (25) divorces rapper-dancer Kevin Federline (29) due to irreconcilable differences after over two years of marriage

LeAnn Rimes

2010-06-19 Backup dancer Dean Sheremet (29) divorces Grammy Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes (27) after nearly eight years of marriage


Deaths in Music

Deaths 1 - 100 of 237

  • 1770-04-28 Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo, French dancer, dies at 60
  • 1787-03-11 Maximilien Gardel, French ballet dancer and choreographer (Menuet Reine), dies at 45
  • 1808-09-27 Gaétan Vestris, French ballet dancer, dies at 79
  • 1810-10-19 Jean-Georges Noverre, French dancer and choreographer (ballet d'action), dies at 83
  • 1816-12-16 Vincenzo Galeotti [Tomazelli], Italian dancer/choreographer, dies at 73
  • 1820-03-26 Jean-Etienne Despreaux, French ballet dancer and composer, dies at 71
  • 1822-10-16 Eva Marie Veigel [La Violette], Austrian ballet dancer and wife of actor David Garrick, dies at 98
  • 1842-12-05 Marie-Jean Auguste Vestris, French ballet dancer, dies at 82
  • 1870-09-02 Arthur Saint-Leon, French composer and dancer, dies at 48

Johannes Brahms

1897-04-03 Johannes Brahms, German composer and conductor (Hungarian Dances; A German Requiem), dies at 63

  • 1898-07-07 Lucien Petipa, French dancer/choreograph/ballet leader, dies
  • 1899-06-10 Ernest Chausson, French Romantic composer (Poème; Solitude dance le bois), dies in a cycling accident at 44
  • 1905-03-15 Luigi Manzotti, Italian mine dancer and ballet choreographer, dies at 70
  • 1910-07-01 Marius Petipa, French ballet dancer/choreographer (Casse-noisette), dies at 92
  • 1916-12-28 Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer (318 dances), dies at 81

ExecutionMata Hari

1917-10-15 Mata Hari [Margaretha Geertruida Zelle], Dutch dancer, courtesan and convicted German WWI spy, executed by firing squad at 41

  • 1918-02-15 Vernon Castle [Blyth] English-American vaudeville, stage, and screen ballroom dancer, and fighter pilot, dies in a plane crash at 30
  • 1924-06-23 Cecil Sharp, British collector of English folk music and dance, dies at 64

Isadora Duncan

1927-09-14 Isadora Duncan, American free form/interpretative dancer, dies at 50 due to her scarf becoming entangled in her car's wheel

  • 1927-11-01 Florence Mills [Winfrey], American cabaret singer, dancer and comedian, known as 'the Queen of Happiness', dies of tuberculosis at 31
  • 1928-02-16 Eddie Foy Sr. [Edwin Fitzgerald], Irish-American actor, singer and dancer (A Favorite Fool), dies at 71
  • 1929-01-29 La Goulue [Louise Weber], French can-can dancer (Moulin Rouge), known as the Queen of Montmartre, dies at 62
  • 1929-03-15 Clarence "Pinetop" Smith, American jazz pianist and singer (Boogie Woogie Piano), dies of a gunshot wound in a dance-hall fight at 24
  • 1929-08-19 Serge Diaghilev, Russian ballet director (founder of the Ballets Russes), dies at 57
  • 1941-04-17 Al Bowlly, South African-British dance band vocalist ("Midnight, The Stars, And You"), and bandleader, dies in a German bombing raid of London at 43
  • 1942-08-22 Mikhail Fokine, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, dies at 62
  • 1943-10-18 Benedictus H Dancer, botanist, dies at 52
  • 1946-09-16 Mamie Smith, American vaudeville singer, dancer and actress (Crazy Blues), dies at 63

Bill Robinson

1949-11-25 Bill Robinson "Bojangles" American famed tap dancer (The Little Colonel, Stormy Weather), dies at 71

  • 1950-04-08 Vaslav Fromich Nijinsky, Ukrainian ballet dancer, dies in London
  • 1951-11-05 Agrippina J Vaganova, Russian ballet dancer and pedagogue (Fundamentals of the Classical Dance), dies at 72
  • 1952-07-27 W de Basil [US Voskresenski], Russian ballet dancer, dies
  • 1954-12-20 Emilis Melngailis, Latvian choral composer, folklorist, and conductor (Latvian Song and Dance Festival), dies at 80
  • 1956-09-08 Fred Rich, Polish-American jazz pianist and dance band leader ("I'm Tickled Pink with a Blue-Eyed Baby"; The Abbott and Costello Show), dies at 58
  • 1956-11-22 Theodore Kosloff, Russian-born actor, ballet dancer and choreographer, dies at 74
  • 1958-07-01 Rudolf von Laban, Czech-German choreographer (modern dance), dies at 78
  • 1958-12-01 Patricia "Boots" Mallory, American dancer and actress (Handle With Care), dies from chronic throat disease at 45
  • 1958-12-29 Doris Humphrey, American dancer and choreographer (Dances of Women), dies at 63
  • 1959-02-20 Ray McDonald, American stage and screen tap dancer, dies choking on food at 38
  • 1959-07-20 Harry Fox [Arthur Carringford], American vaudeville dancer, comedian and actor (Talent Scout), dies at 77
  • 1961-04-02 Wallingford Riegger, American cellist, composer (New Dance; Cooper Square), and educator, dies from head injuries in a dog walking accident at 75
  • 1961-11-01 Joan McCracken, American stage and screen actress, dancer and comedienne (Oklahoma!; Claudia: Story of a Marriage), dies of a heart attack at 43
  • 1963-11-19 Carmen Amaya, Spanish flamenco dancer, dies at about 50
  • 1964-01-23 Louis Horst, American dance choreographer and composer, dies at 80
  • 1964-05-10 Carol Haney, dancer (Pantomime Quiz), dies at 35
  • 1968-07-21 Ruth St. Denis, American modern dance pioneer and teacher (Dances of the 5 Senses), dies at 91
  • 1969-01-25 Irene Castle, American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, and animal rights activist, dies at 75
  • 1970-08-23 Nel Rose, Dutch dance teacher, dies at 55
  • 1971-09-22 Yvonne St Clair, American dancer, dies at 57
  • 1972-12-02 Jose Limon, Mexican/US dancer (moor's pavane), dies at 64

Betty Grable

1973-07-02 Betty Grable, American singer, dancer, pin-up girl and actress (I Wake Up Screaming, How to Marry a Millionaire, Gay Divorcee), dies of lung cancer at 56

  • 1974-05-23 Kathleen Cannell, American fashion and dance writer, dies at 82

Josephine Baker

1975-04-12 Josephine Baker, American-French song and dance revue artist (Folies-Bergere), actress, and civil rights activist, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 68

  • 1978-01-15 Jack Jackson, British trumpeter, dance band leader, and influential BBC disc jockey, dies at 71
  • 1979-03-15 Leonide Massine, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer (Diaghilev Ballet Russe 1914-20), dies at 82
  • 1981-07-27 Ray Harrison, dancer (American Song), dies at 64

Vera-Ellen

1981-08-30 Vera-Ellen [Westmeier Rohe], American actress and dancer (White Christmas; Big Leaguer; On the Town), dies of cancer at 60

  • 1981-09-03 Mary Jane DeZurik, American country singer and hillbilly yodeler (The Cackle Sisters - National Barn Dance, Grand Ole Opry), dies at 64
  • 1982-02-27 Malika Sabirova, Soviet Tajik ballet dancer, dies at 39
  • 1982-11-27 Filip Kutev, Bulgarian composer (State Ensemble for Folk Song and Dance), dies at 79
  • 1983-11-25 Anton Dolin [Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-kay], British dancer (Girl From Petrovka), dies at 79
  • 1984-02-09 (Tanjore) Balasaraswathi, Indian classical dancer, dies at 65
  • 1984-09-19 June Preisser, American acrobatic dancer and actress (Babes in Arms; Strike Up the Band), dies in a car crash at 64
  • 1984-10-25 Pascale Ogier, actress (Ghost Dance), dies of heart attack at 24
  • 1985-05-02 Hal LeRoy [John LeRoy Schotte], American vaudeville, Broadway and film dancer (Ziegfeld's Follies of 1931), dies at 71 after surgery
  • 1985-09-06 Jane Frazee [Mary Jane Frehse], American actress, singer, and dancer (Beautiful But Broke, Beulah), dies at 70 of pneumonia
  • 1986-02-01 Dick James [Leon Vapnick], British dance band vocalist and Beatles' music publisher (Northern Songs), dies of a heart attack at 65
  • 1986-02-28 William Dollar, American ballet dancer and choreographer, dies at 79
  • 1986-04-01 Erik Bruhn, Danish dancer (National Ballet of Canada), dies at 57
  • 1986-05-18 John Bubbles Sublett, American tap dancer (Black & Bubbles), dies at 84
  • 1986-09-28 Robert Helpmann, Australian actor, choreographer and dancer (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Don Quixote), dies at 77
  • 1986-11-22 (Benjamin) "Scatman" Crothers, American singe, musician ("I'd Rather Be a Hummingbird"), and actor (Chico and the Man -"Louie", The Shining), dies of lung cancerat 76
  • 1986-12-15 Serge Lifar, Russian-French dancer, choreographer (Paris Opera Ballet), dies at 81
  • 1987-01-15 Ray Bolger, American dancer, actor, and singer (Wizard of Oz - "Scarecrow"; Partridge Family - "Grandpa Renfrew"), dies of bladder cancer at 83
  • 1987-02-28 Nora Kaye, American ballet dancer, and Broadway and film choreographer, dies of cancer at 67
  • 1987-04-20 Antony Tudor, English dancer and choreographer (American Ballet Theater) dies at 78

Fred Astaire

1987-06-22 Fred Astaire [Austerlitz], American stage and screen tap dancer, singer ("Night And Day"; "Cheek To Cheek"; "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"), and actor (Royal Wedding; Easter Parade; Swingtime), dies of pneumonia at 88

  • 1987-10-09 Guru Gopinath, Indian classical dancer, dies at 79
  • 1988-05-21 Sammy Davis Sr., American vaudeville dancer (Mr. Wonderful), dies at 87
  • 1988-12-22 (Thomas) "Tucker" Smith, American stage and screen dancer, singer and actor (West Side Story - "Ice"), dies of cancer at 52
  • 1989-01-27 Bayani Casimiro, Filipino dancer and actor [Okey Ka Fairy Ko!], dies at 70
  • 1989-08-23 Helen le Clerq, Dutch dancer and choreographer, dies at 57
  • 1989-10-28 Henry Hall, British bandleader (BBC Dance Orchestra), dies at 91

Sammy Davis Jr.

1990-05-16 Sammy Davis Jr., American vaudeville, stage, and screen dancer, singer ("The Candy Man"), actor (Ocean's 11), and Rat Pack member, dies of throat cancer at 64

  • 1990-09-16 Steve Condos, tap dancer, dies of heart attack at 71
  • 1991-03-03 Arthur Murray [Moses Teichman], American ballroom dancer and businessman (Arthur Murray Dance Party), dies at 95 of pneumonia
  • 1991-07-03 Irina Nijinska, Russian American dancer, dies at 77
  • 1991-08-09 Corrie Hartong, Dutch dance pioneer, dies at 85
  • 1991-08-12 Irene Campbell, British actress/dancer (Wicker Man, St Justice), dies
  • 1991-08-20 Betty Bowden, British dancer and actress (Vote for Nigel), dies at 86
  • 1991-11-10 Tutte Lemkow, dancer and director (Capt Paradise; I Am A Camera), dies at 73
  • 1991-12-27 Edward M Love, American Broadaway dancer and choreographer, dies of AIDS at 43
  • 1992-01-28 Clark Tippet, American dancer and choreographer (American Ballet Theatre) dies at 37
  • 1992-03-20 Frank Westbrook, American Broadway dancer and choreographer, dies at 82
  • 1992-05-02 Joey Cuevas, American movie dancer, dies at 34
  • 1992-09-07 Indra Kamadjojo [Broekveld], Indon/Dutch dancer (Stille Kracht), dies
  • 1992-10-26 Jerome Andrews, American-French dancer and choreographer, dies at 84
  • 1992-10-28 Joan Maloney Rio, dancer, dies of cancer at 57
  • 1992-11-12 Charles "Honi" Coles, American actor and tap dancer (Dirty Dancing), dies of cancer at 81
  • 1992-11-24 Mary Smithuysen, Dutch dancer and actress (Bridge Too Far), dies at 85