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​Janet Collins

Janet_Collins.jpegJanet Collins (March 7, 1917 – May 28, 2003) was born in Fort Worth, Texas. She was a ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She performed on Broadway, in films, and appeared frequently on television.  She was among the pioneers of black ballet dancing, and one of the few classically trained black dancers of her generation.  In 1951 Janet became the first black dancer to appear with the Metropolitan Opera Company.  In 1974, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater paid homage to her and Pearl Primus as pioneering black women in dance. Collins received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1989. In 2007, in recognition of Collins' great work and dedication, her renowned cousin Carmen De Lavallade established the Janet Collins Fellowship to honor aspiring talented ballet dancers.