I’ve been dancing since I was four years old. Naturally, International Dance Day is my favorite holiday. I’ve done nearly every style you could possibly think of. And with the help of YouTube, dance exhibitions, and real-life encounters with some amazing choreographers, the people I’ve watched and worked with over the years have truly changed the world, and my life as a dancer.
This remarkable woman hardly needs an introduction. In 2015, she became the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer. She completely shattered the role of what a typical ballerina looks like, giving women everywhere the inspiration to achieve and strive to make it into the realm of ballet.
Eleanor Powell was most famous for her marvelous contributions to the world of tap dancing. She was a superstar in the 1930s and 1940s and has rightfully earned the title of “The Queen of Taps.” She defied all norms for choreography at the time, constantly choreographing her own numbers at an exceptionally high skill level. She is one of the few tappers who is as fantastic, if not better, than the legendary Fred Astaire.
Ballroom Dancing is a style that is definitely underrated — I’m biased; it was my first style and is still my favorite. Probably the one female ballroom dancer who changed the world of ballroom dance forever was Gaynor and her partner, Donnie Burns. The duo is most famous for their undefeated championship streak of 13 years from 1984 to 1996; they were professional World Latin Dance Champions and International Latin American Dance Champions.
Martha Graham was one of the first dancers in history to truly put meaning, purpose, and theme behind a piece of choreography. She has a trademarked style of dance, called “Graham technique,” which is completely based on emotional and physical tension and resistance. She has danced and choreographed for over 70 years and “continues to challenge and inspire generations of performers and audiences,” according to marthagraham.org.
This firecracker took the world by storm after videos of her constantly slaying choreography continuously appeared on YouTube. She has the ability to completely master any piece of choreography and vibe off any audience. Complete with over the top energy and her hard hits, she’s definitely a force to be reckoned with. What else? She’s only 17.