The Australian Ballet

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Ballet and Hollywood

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Brigitte Bardot and Michel Renaud, Télé Variétés 1958
Photo AFP

The Hollywood stars who trained in ballet before breaking into the film industry.

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Channing Tatutm and Charlize Theron dance at the Academy Awards
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Charlize Theron

South African born Charlize Theron attended the esteemed Joffrey Ballet School in New York City before she suffered a knee injury that led to her pursuing other career paths. Now an Academy Award-winning actress, Theron has been known to do her own stunts, going so far as to injure herself during filming for Æon Flux while performing a series of back handsprings.


Zoe Saldana

The bad girl of ballet in the hit film Center Stage, Zoe Saldana’s scene stealing role may have been more than just acting. Saldana is now the star of some of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar and Star Trek. While she's saving the world as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy these days, she still says that ballet was her “first passion.”

Tom Holland Billy Elliot West End

Tom Holland

Spiderman star Tom Holland might be a marvel superhero now, but his performing roots go back to dance. Holland was noticed by a choreographer during a hip hop class who arranged for him to audition for the West End musical Billy Elliot. He was cast as Billy’s best friend in 2008 before stepping up to the lead role of Billy in 2010. In 2018 he showed off his impressive skills in a lip sync battle of Singing in the Rain/Umbrella.

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Brigitte Bardot in 1955
Photo AFP

Brigitte Bardot

Screen siren Brigitte Bardot studied ballet at the Paris Conservatoire and was an aspiring ballerina before she became the most famous French actress of the 1960s.

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Sarah Jessica Parker in the ballet studio
Photo Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Sarah Jessica Parker

Before she became Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker trained in ballet at The School of American Ballet and made her debut in Broadway musicals. Parker’s love of ballet came full circle when Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov guest starred in season six of Sex and the City.

“It was very typical for people—and I mean working-class people—to send their kids to dancing school.” — Christo­pher Walken
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Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice music video
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Christopher Walken

When Christopher Walken starred in Fatboy Slim’s music video Weapon of Choice, audiences were shocked to learn the Annie Hall and Pulp Fiction star was a trained dancer. He began dancing at just three years old, taking ballet, jazz and tap classes, and got his start on Broadway, touring in musicals with a young Liza Minnelli!

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Elisabeth Moss
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Elisabeth Moss

The Handmaid’s Tale star trained at the School of American Ballet with former New York City Ballet ballerina and George Balanchine’s muse Suzanne Farrell. More recently Moss produced a ballet documentary called Ballet Now.

“Being a ballet dancer, you take things really seriously at a young age.” — Elis­a­beth Moss

Read more about French film star Brigitte Bardot.

Ballet and Brigitte Bardot