First Black woman ballet dancer to perform on Metropolitian Opera House stage

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Janet Collins, born March 7, 1917 is an African-Americanballet dancer and a painter. She is from New Orleans, Louisianaand moved with her family to Los Angeles City Collegeand Los Angeles Art Center School.

       Because she was such a skilled painter, she was

able to pay to relocate to New York and pursue

a career in ballet dancing. (It’s amazing to be able

to use your talent to get you where you want to go,

especially money-wise)

                    The year 1941,

she performed with the new and world renowned

Black dance troupe put together and directed

by Katherine Dunham.

            By 15 years old, Collins made success

when she  auditioned for the Ballet Russe

de Monte Carlo at the Philharmonic.

            1949 was the year she made her New York

debut in a solo concert. By 1951, she became

the first Black Artist to perform on the stage of the

Metropolitan Opera House in  New York. When

she starred in the 1951 production of Cole

Porter’s Out of this World, Collins won the

Donaldson Award. THat award represents that

she is the best dancer on Broadway. (Its great to have such

skill and even better to be the best dancer on Broadway.

I wonder how many people get that title. Well at least we

know she did.)

                    She continued with the MEt until the year 1954.

Later she toured the USA and Canada in solo dance concerts.

Janet taught at colleges and dance institutions in

New York as well as California. Then she retired and

resided in Seattle.

            All information found here comes from:

http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/734/Janet_Collins_a_Prima_Ballerina__

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