By Stephanie Wolf of Dance Informa.
These celebrities have found their stardom on the big screen and radio airwaves. But before they were famous, these actors and singers spent a lot of time in the dance studio.
It’s no longer a surprise that Australian actor Hugh Jackman is a great dancer. While he gained a lot of recognition for his appearances in blockbuster movies like X-Men andWolverine, Jackman began his performance career in musical theater and trained at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at the Edith Cowan University. He won a Tony for his role in the 2003 Broadway musical The Boy from Oz and received great acclaim for his 2011 concert Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway.
Emily VanCamp, star of ABC’s Revenge, seemed poised for a career in ballet as a promising pupil at the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ training program in Montreal. After visiting her sister on set of a 1999 movie calledLadies Room, VanCamp was bitten by the acting bug and enrolled in classes — the rest is history.
Before her hit single “A Thousand Miles,” Vanessa Carlton was actually a budding ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet. In interviews, Carlton is often quoted about how challenging it was leave the dance world, but she struggled with the level of discipline required to pursue it professionally and followed her affinity for music instead.
A trained dancer and singer, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones first got her start in musical theater, appearing as the lead in the British revival of the musical 42nd Street at 15. She got to show off her dancing skills again in the 2002 movie musical Chicago.
Golden Globe Award-winning actress Jenna Elfman, best known for her role on the ABC hit series Dharma and Greg, is a classically trained ballet dancer. She switched to acting in her 20s after battling several bad injuries, but continues to be a public advocate of dance — she has made several appearances as a guest judge on FOX Network’s So You Think You Can Dance.
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