1. Audrey Hepburn studied under one of the leading figures of Dutch ballet, but her height and poor nutrition during WWII prevented her from pursuing ballet.
Hepburn put her training to use in 1952’s Secret People, her first significant role before she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday.
2. Diane Kruger attended the Royal Ballet School in London before an injury ended her ballerina dreams.
In 2004, she played a dancer in Wicker Park.
3. Amy Adams apprenticed at a local dance company in hopes of becoming a ballerina and was a professional dancer at various dinner theaters early in her career.
Dinner theater. Dinner AND a show!
4. Charlize Theron studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York before a knee injury turned her to acting.
Theron showcased her dancing chops onstage at the 2013 Oscars with Channing Tatum.
5. Neve Campbell trained at the National Ballet School of Canada, but injuries forced her to give up dance at 15.
She put her skills to use in the 2003 film The Company.
6. Jessica Brown-Findlay trained with the National Youth Ballet before a botched ankle surgery ended her dancing career.
She was so good, the summer she was 15, the Kirov Ballet invited her to dance with them at the Royal Opera House.
7. Michelle Yeoh studied at the Royal Academy of Dance in London before she suffered a spinal injury. She went on to become an international kickass action hero.
8. Mia Wasikowska started ballet at age nine and was dancing 35 hours a week before turning to acting.
She later spoke of her decision to change courses, stating, “dance is about perfection” and films inspired her because of “the imperfections they showed in people” and how that felt more interesting to pursue.
9. Summer Glau started dancing at age 5 and said it “soon became her life.” She did ballet professionally until a foot injury led her to acting at age 19.
In a guest role as a ballerina on the series Angel, she caught director Joss Whedon’s eye, who then cast her as River Tam in his series Firefly.
10. Deborah Kerr did her training at the Sadler Well’s ballet school before acting lured her away.
11. Jennifer Garner started dancing ballet at age three which led her to musical theater and acting.
12. Sarah Jessica Parker studied at the American Ballet Theater in the ’70s. Before she was Carrie Bradshaw of SATC, she was Janey Glenn of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
She also developed, produced, and narrated a docuseries called City.Ballet in 2013.
13. Zoe Saldana studied at the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy but quit ballet to find her voice in acting.
She broke out in 2000’s dance film Center Stage, still a cult favorite of dance kids everywhere, and has been unstoppable since. It looks like Zoe found her voice.
14. Naomi Campbell enrolled at the age of 10 at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts for ballet to follow in her dancer mother’s footsteps, but thought she was too tall to continue dancing.
15. Jenna Elfman was classically trained at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in ballet.
16. Kim Basinger started dancing at age three before pursuing beauty pageants and acting.
17. Brigitte Bardot was schooled for three years at the Paris Conservatory before winning a modeling contest and going into acting.
In this interview, Bardot claims to have graduated third in her class. Bravo, Bardot.
18. Penelope Cruz studied ballet at Spain’s National Conservatory for nine years to help her get rid of her extra energy.
19. Elisabeth Moss trained at the School of American Ballet in NYC and the Kennedy Center in D.C. for ballet.
20. Megan Mullally studied at the School of American Ballet in New York and was once a soloist dancer for the Oklahoma City Ballet before getting involved with acting.
She hilariously auditioned for Dancing With The Stars on her now defunct talk show. No, but seriously, why hasn’t she been on Dancing With The Stars