85 Baby Names Inspired By Dancers and Ballet
Dance and movement are one of the most beautiful forms of art. Whether it’s ballet's grace and elegance or tap's energy and intricacy, there's a dance style for everyone. As someone with a musical theater background and only moderate tap ability, I have always loved watching dancers. I’m always in awe of how they can bend and flex their bodies. While I am not the person you will likely find on the dance floor at a wedding or in the front row of the chorus for a dance show, I admire and love observing dancers.
Dance, specifically ballet, has produced quite a few famous names, and if you’re a dance enthusiast looking for a baby name, choosing a ballet name or another famous dancer’s moniker might give you the unique name you're searching for!
We’ve broken down famous dance names by dance style and have included boy names, girl names, and unisex names. So whether you’ve been inspired by the New York Ballet or are a modern dance enthusiast, we’ve got you covered!
- Anton - Latin. Priceless. Anton Dolin was an English ballet dancer and choreographer.
- Charles - Old English. Free man. Charles Jude is a French ballet dancer and choreographer.
- Cyril - Greek. Lordly. Cyril Atanassoff is a French ballet choreographer.
- Emmanuel - Hebrew. God is with us. Emmanuel Thibault is a French dancer who studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
- Erik - Scandinavian. Eternal ruler. Erik Bruhn was a Danish ballet dancer.
- Ethan - Hebrew. Frim, strong, and enduring. The perfect name for a dancer! Ethan Steifel is an American ballet dancer and was a principal dancer for the American Ballet from 1997-2012.
- George - Greek. Farmer. George Balanchine was a choreographer who is most famous for his choreography of the Nutcracker.
- Pierre - French. Pierre is the French form of the Greek name Peter which means rock. Jean-Pierre Bonnefous is a French ballet dancer and teacher.
- Jose - Spanish. Jose is the Spanish form of Joseph. Jose Manuel Carreno is a Cuban ballet dancer who performed with the English National Ballet, Royal Ballet, and The American Ballet Theater.
- Marcelo - Frech/Latin. Little warrior. Marcelo Gomes is a Brazilian ballet dancer who spent most of his career dancing at the American Ballet Theater.
- Mikhail - Russian/Hebrew. A form of Michale, he who is like God. Few names are more synonymous with ballet than Mikhail Baryshnikov. He is a Latvian-born Russian American dancer and considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time.
- Nicholas - Greek. Victorious people. Nicholas Le Riche is a French dancer, director, and choreographer.
- Pavel - Latin. Little one. Pavel Gerdt was a Russian dancer, teacher, and the Danseur Nobel of the Imperial Theatre for fifty-six years.
- Rolando - Spanish. From the famous land. Rolando Sarabia is a Cuban-American ballet dancer who was a premier dancer for the Washington Ballet.
- Rudolf - German. Wolf. Rudolf Nureyev was a Soviet ballet dancer known for his leaps and turns.
- Anna - Hebrew. Grace. Anna Pavlova is most famous for her role as the Dying Swan in the famous ballet Swan Lake.
- Allegra - Latin. Joyous. A musical term for fast and lively tempo.
- Aurora - Latin. Dawn. The name of the princess from Sleeping Beauty.
- Clara - Latin. Bright and clear. The principal female character from The Nutcracker.
- Mathilde - German. Battle maiden or strong in war. Mathilde Kschessinska was a Polish-born dancer who performed at the St Petersburg Imperial Theater. By marriage, she became Princess Romanovskaya-Krasinskaya.
- Margot - Greek/French. Pearl. Margot Fonteyn was an English ballerina who danced her entire career with the Royal Ballet.
- Misty - American. Covered with dew or mist. Misty Copeland is an American ballet dancer who gained fame by performing the role of Clara in The Nutcracker for the first time after only studying ballet for eight months.
- Moira - Irish. A variation of Mary. Moira is the red-haired ballerina in The Red Shoes.
- Nina - Spanish. Little Girl. Nina Ananiashvili is a Georgian ballerina and artistic director.
- Odette - German. Wealthy. The good swan from Tchaikovksy’s Swan Lake.
- Olga - Russian. Holy. Olga Preobrajenska was a dancer with the Russian Imperial Ballet and a dance instructor.
- Suzanne - French. Lily. Suzanne Farrel is an American ballerina who founded the Suzanne Farrel School of Dance.
- Sylvie - Latin. Woodland maid. Sylvie Guillem is a French ballet dancer who performed with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London.
- Jean - English. God is gracious. Jean-Pierre Bonnefous is a French ballet dancer and teacher.
- Jeremie - Hebrew/French. The Lord is exalted. A variation of Jeremy. Jeremie Belingard is a French ballet dancer who performed with the Paris Opera Ballet.
- Misha - A nickname for the Russian name Mikhail, but it could be used for girls too.
Tap & Jazz Names
- Bill - English. A diminutive form of William that means strong-willed warrior. Bill Robinson was an American tap dancer and singer.
- Bob - English. A nickname for Rober that means bright flame. Few choreographers have made an impact on dance like Bob Fosse.
- Fred - German. Peaceful ruler. Fred Astair ruled the movie screens when it came to American dance films from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
- Gene - Greek. Wellborn Nobel. Following in Fred Astair’s footsteps was dance legend Gene Kelly who directed, danced in, and choreographed movies from the early 1940s through the late 70s. His final film was Xanadu in 1980.
- Gregory - Greek. Vigilant watchful. Gregory Hines was one of the most talented tap dancers of his time, hitting peak popularity in the 1980s.
- Gus - English. Great. Gus Giordano was an American jazz choreographer.
- Howard - Anglo Saxon. Heart brave. Howard Sims was an American tap dancer who got his start in vaudeville. He was nicknamed the sandman because of a unique dance he would perform by sprinkling sand to alter and amplify the sound of his steps.
- Jared - Hebrew. Descent. Jared Grimes is an award-winning Broadway dancer and choreographer.
- Joe - Hebrew/English. God will increase. Joe Frisco was an American vaudeville dancer and performer.
- John - Hebrew. Graced by God. John W. Bubbles was an American vaudeville performed and tap dancer.
- Savion - Hebrew. Our savior. Savion Glover is one of America's most famous modern tap dancers and choreographers.
- Cassie - Greek. Unheeded prophetess. One of the central characters of the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.
- Chita - Spanish. Conception. Chita Rivera is a Broadway performer and dancer best known for her roles in Chicago and West Side Story.
- Gwen - Welsh. Fair, white, blessed. Gwen Verdon was a four-time Tony award-winning dancer and actress.
- Peggy - Greek. Pearl. A nickname for Margaret. Peggy Sawyer is the chorus girl who rises to fame in the iconic tap musical 42nd Street.
- Ruby - French. Red gem. Ruby Keeler was a dancer who started her career on Broadway and moved to film.
- Vera - Latin. True. Vera-Ellen was known for dancing alongside the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Gelly but was also a solo performer.
- Jazz - American. A style of music and dance.
- Rhythm - American. Describe the beat and pace of the music. A unique name idea, but it has a fun vibe to it.
- Sammy - Hebrew. To Hear. Sammy Davis Jr. was a singer, dancer, and part of the famous Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.
- Sutton - Old English. Southern Settlement. Few Broadway stars are a triple threat like leading lady Sutton Foster. She has seven Tony nominations and two wins.
Modern Dance Names
- Conrad - German. Brave counsel. Conrad Birdie is the main character in the rock and roll musical Bye Bye Birdie.
- Garth - English. Garden keeper. Garth Fagan is a Broadway choreographer who choreographed Julie Taymor’s iconic The Lion King.
- Graham - Scottish. Gravelly homestead. Martha Graham is a famous choreographer.
- Jackson - English. Son of Jack. The last name of the iconic pop star is Michael Jackson, and his sister who is also a talented dancer Janet.
- Michael - Hebrew. Who is like God? Michale Jackson belongs in his own category, but we’ve included him in modern dance because he was a trendsetter like none before.
- Ted - English. Wealthy guardian. Ted Shawn was a famous modern dancer and founded a dance school.
- Paul - Latin. Small. Paul Taylor was an American dancer who performed with the Marth Graham company for eleven years.
- Calypso - Greek. She who hides. A fun, upbeat style of dance and music.
- Isadora - Egyptian. Gift of the isles. Isadora Duncan was famous for dancing barefoot and was fond of natural, free movements in her dancing.
- Juliane - Latin. Youthful downy, favored. Juliane Hough is a contemporary dance star.
- Lindy - German. A variation of Belinda, which means pretty one. The Lindy hop was born in the 1920s in New York among African American communities and is a popular swing dance.
- Martha - Aramaic. Lady. Martha Graham is known as the mother of modern dance.
- Tina - Old English. Few female performers are more iconic and known for dancing than Tina Turner.
- Twyla - American. Twilight. Twyla Tharp is a modern choreographer with her own dance company.
- Barry - Irish. Spear thrower. Barry Lather is a dancer and choreographer who has worked with Michale Jackson, Prince, Debbie Gibson, Paula Abdul, and more!
- Darin - Old English. Rocky Hill. Darin Hanson is a choreographer who has worked with the Spice Girls, Jennifer Lopez, Prince, Brittney Spears, ‘NSYNC, and more!
- Justin - Latin. Just. Justin Timberlake is known for his dancing and singing. Now a solo artist, he was once a member of the boy band ‘NSYNC.
- Nils - Norwegian. People of victory. Nils Robitsky is considered the founder of breakdance in Europe.
- Seth - Egyptian/Hebrew. Set or appointed. Seth Stewart is a contemporary dancer who performed in the original casts of the Broadway productions In the Heights and Hamilton.
- Britney - English. Land of Brittons. Popular on name lists of the 80s and 90s, Britney Spears shot to stardom as a dancer and pop singer after a stint on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- Beyonce - African origins. Beyond others. The single-name phenomenon is known for her iconic dance style.
- Christina - Latin. Follower of Christ. Christina Aguilera is a pop star known for her dance moves and powerful voice.
- Missy - Greek. Missy is a diminutive form of Melissa which means honey bee. Missy Elliott is a singer and rapper also known for her dancing ability.
- Paula -Latin. Small. 80s and 90s pop icon Paula Abdul was famous for her dance moves.
Ballroom Dance Names
- Mirko - Persian. Peaceful glory. Mirko Gozzoli is a contemporary Latin ballroom dancer.
- Donnie - Scottish. A form of Donald that means world leader. Donnie Burns won fourteen World Professional Latin dance competitions.
- Richard - English. Brave ruler. Richard Gleave is an eight-time world champion.
- Slavik - Slavik. Military Glory. Slavik Kryklyvyy found glory on the dance floor and won the U.S. Professional Latin championship five times.
- Alessia - Italian. Defender. Alessia Betti defended her title many times over on the dance floor.
- Charlotte - French. A feminine version of Charles. Charlotte Jorgense was a child prodigy who began dancing at the age of two! She placed near the top in the World Professional Ballroom Championship.
- Fei - Chinese. To dance in the air. This baby girl name evokes images of a ballroom dancer gliding across the floor.
- Gaynor - Welsh. Fair Phantom. Gaynor Fairweather won fourteen World Professional Latin Dance championships with partner Donnie Burns.
- Kym - English. Regal hill. Kym Johnson is one of the most famous ballroom dancers of all time.
For more baby names and inspiration, check out our Baby Name Center.
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