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Actors who started as ballet dancers 

'Flesh and Bone' Executive Producer Moira Walley-Beckett and Sarah Hay. Photo courtesy of Starz network.
'Flesh and Bone' Executive Producer Moira Walley-Beckett and Sarah Hay. Photo courtesy of Starz network.

Before they graced the red carpet and the big screen, they were doing their pliés and grand jetés just like you. Here, Dance Informa takes a look at some actors who first started as ballet dancers. 

Elisabeth Moss

Now most well-known for her award-winning role in the dark and dramatic The Handmaid’s Tale, Elisabeth Moss danced as a child. She studied at the School of American Ballet and trained with former New York City Ballet ballerina Suzanne Farrell.

Neve Campbell. Photo- Fanpop.

Neve Campbell. Photo: Fanpop.

Zoe Saldana

You may remember her role in Center Stage, and that ballet port de bras wasn’t all just acting. The actress started as a ballet dancer and has since gone on to wow viewers in hot movies like Guardians of the GalaxyAvatar and Star Trek

Neve Campbell

Here’s another dancer-turned-actress who found her way full circle in a dance film, The Company. Neve Campbell, who grew up in Canada, trained at the National Ballet School of Canada and even performed in The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty

Sarah Jessica Parker

The Sex and the City star was always a performer. She trained in ballet and singing as a youngster and landed on Broadway before the TV and big screen. 

Jennifer Garner

Perhaps the biggest ballet fan, Jennifer Garner studied ballet as a child. Nowadays, the actress re-posts New York City Ballet videos on her Instagram account and even fun dance clips with Tiler Peck.

Sarah Hay

She danced with Semperoper in Dresden before being cast as the lead in Flesh and Bone. The Golden Globe-nominated actress has been in Jim Carrey’s comedy series I’m Dying Here and HBO’s Room 104.

Sasha Radetsky in 'Don Quixote'. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.

Sasha Radetsky in ‘Don Quixote’. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Charlize Theron

The gorgeous star, originally from South Africa, attended the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC before a knee injury sidelined her dance career. 

Sasha Radetsky 

The former American Ballet Theatre soloist made quite the career for himself as a ballet dancer. He got his first taste of acting in Center Stage, starring as dreamy Charlie. He retired from the stage in 2014 but has continued his acting, appearing in the Starz TV drama Flesh and Bone and Hallmark Channel movie, Nutcracker Christmas

Diane Kruger 

Fashion model-turned-actress, who has appeared in Troy and Inglourious Basterds, among other films, first attended the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, although an injury ended her ballet career. 

Gal Gadot

The Wonder Woman star was a dancer for 12 years and trained in ballet, hip hop, modern and jazz. She once thought she wanted to be a choreographer. And those dancing skills and flexibility sure came in handy when playing the fierce Wonder Woman.

Christian Bale

Believe it or not, this studly Batman star took ballet classes as a young child. 

Jamie Bell in 'Billy Elliot'. Photo_ Mirror.

Jamie Bell in ‘Billy Elliot’. Photo: Mirror.

Jamie Bell

The British actor first took dance classes after accompanying his older sister to ballet. Jamie Bell was then chosen out of 2,000 young boys to star in the film Billy Elliot. Since then, he’s acted in various movies, including The Adventures of Tintin, Jane Eyre and Fantastic Four.

Summer Glau

Before scoring a role in the TV series Firefly, Summer Glau was a serious ballet student (who also studied tango and flamenco!). She was even homeschooled to accommodate her dance training for most of her adolescent years. A broken toe, however, curbed her dance career and pushed her to make the move to L.A. to pursue acting. 

Kristen Wiig

You may not know it, but this hilarious actress studied ballet for seven years as a child.

Emily Tyra

Also a Flesh and Bone actress, Emily Tyra first trained seriously in ballet, as is evident in her work on the dramatic ballet-related series. She’s since gone on to score more acting jobs, including the role of Noa Kean in season two of Code Black

Channing Tatum

This heartthrob may not have had the formal dance training that some of these other celebs had, but he sure can dance. Channing Tatum was first cast as a dancer in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video and is well known for his role in Magic Mike and of course the dance film, Step Up.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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