Dance is an amazing thing to learn that helps you both physically and mentally. It is also a great preparation for a range of other activities and even careers. One of those is to become an actress – the skills and discipline learned is an excellent foundation for a career in acting. And to prove it, here are some of the most famous actresses who also took dance when they were younger.
Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones may be best known for her roles in films such as Ocean’s Twelve, the Mask of Zorro and Entrapment but the Welsh actresses attended a dance school from the age of four. Later she had both dance and ballet lessons and by nine, was playing in a West End production of Annie. She also went on to be a teen national tap-dancing champion before attending the Arts Educational Schools in London studying musical theatre.
Jennifer Lopez or J.Lo as she is known is an actress, singer, designer and businesswoman. At the age of five, she started taking singing and dancing lessons as her parents wanted her to have a good work ethic. They would perform at home to ‘keep out of trouble’ and also took gymnastics and other sports.
Charlie Theron started her career as a model and dancer and attended Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Her career path took a change towards acting after a knee injury meant she could no longer dance professionally.
Natalie Portman may have played a trouble ballerina in the movie Black Swan but her dance lessons as a child would have put her in a good position to do this. She studied ballet and modern dance in her early teens before moving into acting.
Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is known for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and also modelled for Ralph Lauren, Chanel and L’Oréal. But her roots were in dance. She spent nine years studying in the National Conservatory in Spain where she took classical ballet. She then went on to spend another three years training in ballet and four years theatre training. She credited this time as giving her the discipline needed for a successful career in acting.
Amy Adams initially trained as a ballerina in her early years but realised that she wasn’t going to make it professionally. She then made the change to musical theatre at the age of 18 and continued with this for four years. She has since had roles on stage as well as her acting parts in films and on TV.
Elizabeth Moss is known for her roles on TV including in West Wing and Mad Men. She originally dreamed of being a professional dancer and studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Later she worked in the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and studied dance right through her teenage years. She also combined these studies with early TV roles and later moved into acting full time.