Great dancers of all time who didn’t get much recognition for their talent


While most people have heard of the world’s most famous dancers, there are many great dancers who you may not be as familiar with. 

In this blog post, we’re going to highlight a few of these lesser known performers.

Some people might say that the most notable thing about our list is that it has no mention of Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire. 

The truth is, these two dancers are already well known by many, and it’s nearly impossible to think of great dancers who haven’t studied them (and countless others). 

Campus Doc has some more information about the great dancers of all time who didn’t get much recognition for their talent.

If you know of any dances that were left out, feel free to comment below!

1. Freda Kelly (Ireland).

Born in Ireland in 1928, Freda Kelly is a retired tap dancer and actress. Her most notable performances include roles as a chorus member in musicals such as “Singin’ In The Rain” and “Top Hat”, as well as a lead role in a production called “Play It Again Sam”. 

While she isn’t an internationally known artist, her body of work is more than worthy of some recognition.

2. Mary Lou Williams (USA).

Mary Lou Williams was a great jazz pianist in the 20th century. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, she was a musical prodigy who took piano lessons from the age of 3. 

At 14, her parents sent her to Philadelphia so that she could be tutored by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, a Polish pianist and politician. 

In 1944, she formed a trio with Maxine Sullivan and Ina Ray Hutton that was highly influential at the time. Her band was the first group to use the bebop jazz style that became popular in the 1940s.

3. Grace Kelly (USA).

Grace Elizabeth Kelly was an American actress and socialite, who rose to fame as Princess of Monaco. She is best known for her roles as Princess Rainier of Monaco in “High Society” and as Valeria in “The Swan”. 

Although she never won an Academy Award, she didn’t need to: her ability and sheer beauty were enough to secure her many acting roles and otherwise prestigious awards and positions throughout her career.

4. Madeline Kahn (USA).

Madeline Kahn was an American actress and musician. She was well known for her work in the early 1960s and for her roles in films such as “The Graduate”, “The Owl and the Pussycat”, and “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”. She would later go on to appear in films such as “Stop Making Sense” and “Citizen Cohn”.

5. Irene Ryan (Ireland).

Irene Ryan was a dancer who became famous for appearing in several silent films of the 1920s. Born in Ireland, her most famous role is that of a boxer named Pat O’Malley in the film “Lonely Heart”. 

Such was her contribution to the film industry, that she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973.

6. Toto (Germany).

Toto is a German-Italian musician and filmmaker who is best known as the lead singer and drummer of the band “Toto”. 

The band has sold over 40 million records worldwide, and won 4 Grammy awards for their work. Their most notable albums include “Hydra” and “Turn Back”.

7. Fanny Blankers-Koen (Netherlands).

Fanny Blankers-Koen was a Dutch athlete who competed in several Olympic Games between 1948 and 1952. 

She earned four medals during her career: three golds and one silver. Her most famous Olympics are the 1952 Summer Olympics, in which she won gold in swimming, and the 1952 European championships, in which she won three gold medals. 

She was also an Olympic champion in the 100m freestyle at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

8. Daphne Oram (Australia).

Daphne Oram was an Australian author and writer. Her most famous work is “Howards End”, which earned her a shared 1984 Booker Prize for fiction with Penelope Fitzgerald, Kate Atkinson and W.G. Sebald. 

Her other books include “The Silent Woman”, “The Dreaming of Berenice”, and “Heroes”.

9. Agnes de Mille (USA).

Agnes de Mille was an American choreographer, dancer, and director. Her most notable work includes “All About Eve”, “Oklahoma!”, and the musicals “Gaiety Girls” and “The King and I”. 

While her choreography has been criticized for being too similar to that of Fred Astaire, she is undisputedly one of the greatest choreographers in the history of Hollywood.

10. Hedda Hopper (USA).

Hedda Hopper was an American writer who worked as a gossip columnist for the Hearst newspaper company. 

She was a prominent figure in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, and was known for being a staunch supporter of Republican politicians. 

She was also an outspoken critic of Frank Sinatra, believing that his behavior made him unfit to represent the U.S.


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