Five Celebrities Who Shine on Dance Floor

Man dancing on dance floor

Movie stars light up the big screen, but many got their start on the dance floor. Fred Astaire Dance Studios compiled a list of five celebrities who started their careers studying dance.


As movie theaters reopen and cinephiles prepare for the launch of this summer’s blockbusters, Fred Astaire Dance Studios is highlighting some performers whose acting skills are on par with their ability to find the beat of the music and bust a move. Dancing can help movie stars improve their acting prowess. Dancing helps people get comfortable with their bodies and adjust to moving for an audience. Alleviating stage fright will help actors nail auditions and learn to express themselves. Dancing is a form of nonverbal expression and will help an actor convey the plot through body movement. As a result, many celebrities got their start on the dancing stage.

Here are five famous movie actors who got their start dancing for a crowd.


  1. Christopher Walken. Walken is best known for his intense dramatic performances in movies like “The Deer Hunter” and “Catch Me If You Can,” or as a neurotic father in “Blast from the Past.” It is difficult to imagine that Walken got his start studying tap and jazz and attended the School of Performing Arts in New York. If you need proof he can dance, check out this tap scene from the movie “Pennies from Heaven.”


  1. Gal Gadot. The “Wonder Woman” star trained for her role as a female superhero by horseback riding and gym workouts, as well as two years in the Israeli army. Yet during her early years, dancing took center stage. She spent more than 12 years studying ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern dance. She credits her skills on the dance floor for helping her execute the intense fight scenes in her movies. Take a look at this scene from Gadot’s performance in “Wonder Woman.”


  1. Tom Holland. Holland is another superhero who shines on the dance floor. The young actor was recruited for the movie “Billy Elliot” while attending one of his hip-hop classes. Gymnastics and dance training helped him prepare for his debut as Spiderman, where he makes the web-wielding hero look natural. Here’s a behind-the-scenes clip that showcases his smooth moves.


  1. Zhang Ziya. If you’ve seen “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which came out in 2000, you’ll be surprised to learn that actress Ziyi does not have professional training in martial arts. The young performer joined the Beijing Dance Academy at age 11 and won a national youth championship at age 15.


  1. Alfonso Ribeiro. While he is best known for his performance on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Silver Spoons,” Ribeiro got his start as a dancer. He appeared in the Broadway musical “Tap Dance Kid,” as well as several commercials before his stint on television. In later years, Ribeiro’s dance skills gained nationwide attention when he won season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Here he is performing his signature dance move.


Express Yourself by Learning to Cut a Rug

Take a note from these actors and consider scheduling a ballroom dance lesson to help make you a better communicator. Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers private or group dance lessons, where you can learn to foxtrot, waltz, and salsa. Ballroom dancing is a low-impact aerobic exercise that will allow you to express yourself while improving your physical and mental health. Fred Astaire Dance Studios also offers streaming lessons you can take from the comfort of your home through its Online Lesson Platform.


Contact Your Local Fred Astaire Dance Studios

If you are ready to learn a new skill this summer, contact your closest Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to schedule your first lesson and learn about your special introductory offers.