Top 10 Dance Partners of All Time

Top 10 Dance Partners of All Time
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Fonteyn and Nureyev, one of the Top 10 Dance Partners of All Time. Video excerpt from

Speaking of great partnerships, as in my recent post: Great Ballet Partnerships, I found Rachel Hanson’s list of ten most memorable dance partners (not just ballet) to be in tune with my own personal taste.

Here’s what Ms. Hanson, dancer and choreographer and contributor  to Dance, Love to Know website has to say about the top 10 dance partners of all time.

Top 10 Dance Partners of All Time

Dancers all have their own grace and style, but dance partnerships often take on a life of their own. These dance partnerships, even though some of the dancers are no longer living, are immortal. The following are what may be considered the top 10 most memorable dance partnerships of all time.


1. Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev

Fonteyn and Nureyev are certainly the most-loved and celebrated ballet partnership of all time. Individually, Nureyev and Fonteyn were each worthy of joining the ranks of greats like Pavlova, Nijinsky, and Diaghilev, but when Nureyev and Fonteyn danced together, magic happened onstage. Nureyev’s youthful, brazen force, and Fonteyn’s refined elegance made their partnership a success from the start.

One of their most famous performances is the ballet Romeo and Juliet. In the Romeo & Juliet balcony scene, you can see how perfectly these two dancers are able to work together. Onstage, they were more like one entity than two separate dancers.

Balcony scene courtesy of

2. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland

Two of the greatest ballet dancers in New York at the time of their partnership, Baryshnikov was an exemplary partner for Gelsey Kirkland. Kirkland, one of the ‘Balanchine ballerinas’ needed an extremely strong partner for her pas de deux numbers because of her virtuoso talent. Baryshnikov proved able to match her onstage as his own talents in ballet were extraordinary.Some of their most famous pas de deux are the ones from Coppelia, Don Quixote, and The Nutcracker.

3. Suzanne Farrell and George Balanchine

4. Marius Petipa and Carlotta Grisi

Stage Partnerships

Onstage, beyond the world of ballet, some performers are just meant to dance together.

5. Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison

6. Michael Flatley and Jean Butler

On the silver screen, countless dance couples have stolen the hearts of generations.

7. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Affectionately known as ‘Fred and Ginger’, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were to musical movies what Fonteyn and Nureyev were to ballet. In this video of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, the grace and the passion are evident.

8. Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth

9. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey

10. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

To read all the juicy details follow this link for entire article source.

About Rachel Hanson

Rachel is a freelance writer and editor from Maine who is specialized in language, education, and dance. Rachel has spent the better part of her adult life living abroad, studying and working in France and the Netherlands. A writer since 2006, Rachel began contributing to LoveToKnow in 2008 on various topics, especially on the French language and the art of dancing.

Do you agree with me and Hanson that these 10 couples are the top 10 dance partners of all time? Do you have other couples you think should go on this list? Let us know by commenting below and help us share this great list by “Sharing” below.

I enjoy hearing from you…

Until next time!


  1. Thanks for compiling this information. It’s amazing to see the talent that has graced the stage over the years.
    Thanks again for the post.

  2. Thanks Romy, you have reminded me of some oldies & goodies. It’s a pity that we can’t seem to have any current dancing partnerships ( excluding classical ballet ones).

  3. Love watching your posted videos in the morning – so calming and helps set the focus for the day. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have a rotten memory for names but from what I recall, it seems there were a lot more long standing partners in the past. We do not seem to appreciate this type of entertainment as much these days…


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