As with any form of entertainment, there are the people that we always think of when we hear the word ballet. One of the most famous ballerinas in the world is the Russian born Anna Pavlova, and even people who are not fans of the ballet will have heard of this remarkable lady. She was the principal artist of the Russian Imperial Ballet and is iconic for her role in Swan Lake and her dying swan routine is widely known. She started training at the age of 10 and in 1906 she was named Prima Ballerina after an amazing performance in Giselle. She later moved to England and imparted her wisdom here.
As for the men, Rudolph Nureyev is another Russian who is iconic in the world of dance. He was famously sent away from the Kirov's European Tour in 1961 for talking with foreigners during the tour and, fearing imprisonment if he returned to Russia, he ran to France and just a week later he was dancing in Sleeping Beauty! Nureyev did made popular televised ballet performances and rather than pursue an acting career he opted to focus solely on ballet and toured all over the world with different companies. Sadly he died of AIDs in 1992 a few months after receiving the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the highest cultural award in France.