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America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100

Dance comprises an entire world of spiritual and secular ideas, stories, emotions, and human experience, understood and expressed through movement. The rich history of dance in America serves as a reflection and a record of the nation's increasingly diverse, dynamic culture.

In the Fall of 1999, the Dance Heritage Coalition solicited nominations for America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100. Over 900 nominations from across the full range of American dance artistry, forms, and traditions were submitted and vetted through a three-stage process of selection committees made up of experts from across the country.

The list of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: the First 100 is intended to heighten public interest in the magnificence and richness of America's dance heritage and the imperative to document and preserve it for future generations.

An irreplaceable dance treasure has:

  • Made a significant impact on dance as an art form
  • Demonstrated artistic excellence
  • Enriched the nation's cultural heritage
  • Demonstrated the potential to enhance the lives of future generations
  • Shown itself worthy of national and international recognition
Alvin Ailey
American Ballet Theatre
American Bandstand
American Dance Festival
Fred Astaire
Charles "Cholly" Atkins
George Balanchine
Balasaraswati
Ballet Russe
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Michael Bennett
Bennington School of the Dance
Busby Berkeley
Adolph Bolm
Trisha Brown
John W. Bubbles
Irene and Vernon Castle
Charleston
Lucia Chase
Christensen brothers
Jack Cole
Honi Coles
Aaron Copland
Merce Cunningham
Asadata Dafora
Dance Notation Bureau
Dance Theater Workshop
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Alexandra Danilova
Chuck Davis
Agnes de Mille
Edwin Denby
Isadora Duncan
Katherine Dunham
Suzanne Farrell
Federal Dance Project
NEA Dance Program
Bob Fosse
Savion Glover
Martha Graham
José Greco
Anna Halprin
Erick Hawkins
Margaret H'Doubler
Martha Hill
Gregory Hines
Hip-Hop
Hanya Holm
Lester Horton
Hula
Doris Humphrey
Sol Hurok
Jacob's Pillow
Robert Joffrey
Bill T. Jones
Master Juba
Judson Dance Theater
Gene Kelly
Lincoln Kirstein
Bella Lewitzky
José Limón
Eugene Loring
Iolani Luahine
Matteo and Carola Goya
Donald McKayle
Meredith Monk
Lillian Moore
Mark Morris
Arthur Murray
Native American dance
New Dance Group
New York City Ballet
Dance Division (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts)
Nicholas Brothers
Bronislava Nijinska
Alwin Nikolais
Rudolf Nureyev
The Nutcracker
Ruth Page
Anna Pavlova
Eleanor Powell
Pearl Primus
Jerome Robbins
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
Ruth St. Denis
San Francisco Ballet
Savoy Ballroom
Bessie Schönberg
School of American Ballet
Ted Shawn
Oliver Smith
Anna Sokolow
Square dance
Swing dance
Helen Tamiris
Paul Taylor
Twyla Tharp
Jennifer Tipton
Antony Tudor
Edward Villella
Charles Weidman