Anna Pavlova was born on February 12, 1881 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
From early on, Anna knew that she wanted to pursue ballet and dreamt about it everyday: "I always wanted to dance; from my youngest years...Thus I built castles in the air out of my hopes and dreams."
When Anna was 8 years old, she saw a performance of Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre and decided that she wanted to become a ballet dancer.
A few years later, she was accepted to the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet School. It was directed by the famous Marius Petipa.
At the Imperial Ballet School, Petipa and Anna's teachers recognized her gift. Although her physique was different from the usual ballerina at that time and it was hard for her to learn the art of ballet, she worked hard to achieve her goals. "No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius," she said.
In 1899 Anna graduated the St. Petersburg Imperial Dance School at the age of 18.
She gained fame and critical acclaim quickly and in 1905 she danced Michael Fokine's The Dying Swan, with music by Camille Saint-Saëns. This won the heart of all audiences and The Dying Swan became Anna's signature role.
In 1906, she was promoted to principal dancer,
In 1907, she took her first international tour and her second tour was in 1908.
In 1909, Anna was invited to join Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russe on its incredibly famous and important tour. Anna was able to visit places like the UK and Australia.
In 1911 Anna formed her own ballet company. She toured with her company all over the world, inspiring everyone that was lucky enough to watch her shows.
In 1930, Anna was left out in the cold and caught pneumonia. She died in The Hague, Netherlands on January 23, 1931. Before dying, she asked to see her swan costume for one last time.
Anna Pavlova remains a ballet legend until this day. She was incredibly influential in the world of ballet.