60+ Famous Dance Quotes & Sayings To Inspire Dancer Students

From the greats like Martha Graham to the up-and-comers, quotes from many dancers have been written down in the history book as the most famous dance quotes of the ages.

These quotes offer not only wisdom and motivation but also deeper insights into the art of dance. If you’re an aspiring dancer seeking guidance or inspiration, this collection of quotes is for you!

This article will show you some of the legendary dancers’ most thought-provoking and inspirational quotes.

60+ Famous Dance Quotes & Sayings

Inspirational dance quotes by famous dancers

  1. “There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” – Vicki Baum.
  2. “The truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music. Bodies never lie.” – Agnes de Mille.
  3. “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”- Merce Cunningham
  4. “Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye, but the dance lives on.” – Michael Jackson.

famous dance quotes by Michael Jackson

  1. “Do a loony-goony dance, ‘cross the kitchen floor, put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before.” – Shel Silverstein.
  2. “When the music changes, so does the dance.” – African proverb.
  3. “The problem is not making up the steps, but deciding which ones to keep.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov.
  4. “If you look at a dancer in silence, his or her body will be the music. If you turn the music on, that body will become an extension of what you’re hearing.” – Judith Jamison.
  5. “Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can”. – Martha Graham.
  6. “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham.
  7. “To follow, without halt, one aim: There’s the secret of success.” – Anna Pavlova.
  8. “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov.
  9. “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” – Isadora Duncan
  10. “What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.” – Martha Graham.
  11. “If you’re at a dead end, take a deep breath, stamp your foot, and shout “Begin!” You never know where it will take you.” – Twyla Tharp.
  12. “I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.” – Misty Copeland.
  13. “We have the capacity to receive messages from the stars and the songs of the night winds.” – Ruth St. Denis.
  14. “Better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds.” – Twyla Tharp.
  15. “There’s nothing wrong with fear; the only mistake is to let it stop you in your tracks.” – Twyla Tharp.
  16. “Dance for yourself. If someone understands, good. If not, no matter. Go right on doing what interests you, and do it until it stops interesting you.” – Louis Horst.
  17. “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” – Agnes De Mille.
  18. “The problem is not making up the steps, but deciding which ones to keep.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov.
  19. “The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.” – Margot Fonteyn.
  20. “Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity. There’s a light inside of you.” – Judith Jamison.
  21. “I knew that I just didn’t have it in me to give up, even if I sometimes felt like a fool for continuing to believe.” – Misty Copeland.
  22. “Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.” – Margot Fonteyn.
  23. “People have nothing to do and therefore they interfere with the life of others. I don’t want to interfere with the life of others.” – Vaslav Nijinsky.
  24. “Knowing that it has never been done before makes me want to fight even harder.” – Misty Copeland.
  25. “I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living.” – Martha Graham.
  26. “You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.” – Martha Graham.
  27. “Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery – what it all means…” – Martha Graham.

Inspirational dance quotes from Martha Graham

  1. “The moment is everything. Don’t think about tomorrow; don’t think about yesterday: think about exactly what you’re doing right now and live it and dance it and breathe it and be it.” – Wendy Whelan.
  2. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham.

Check more: 100+ Truly Awesome Abby Lee Miller Quotes

Funny dance quotes

  1. “The most essential thing in dance discipline is devotion.” – Merce Cunningham.
  2. “The job of feet is walking, but their hobby is dancing.” – Amit Kalantri.
  3. “Dance every performance as if it were your last.” – Erik Bruhn.
  4. “The truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music. Bodies never lie.” – Agnes de Mille.
  5. “When you dance, you can enjoy the luxury of being you.” – Paulo Coelho.
  6. “The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.” – Charles Baudelaire.
  7. “Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
  8. “I have no desire to prove anything by dancing…I just dance.” – Fred Astaire.
  9. “He who cannot dance puts the blame on the floor.” – Hindu Proverb.
  10. “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” – Ann Richards.
  11. “All I ever needed was the music and the mirror.” – A Chorus Line.
  12. “Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but the living room…” – Kurt Vonnegut.
  13. “We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” – Japanese Proverb.
  14. “Dancing is like a shower: one wrong turn and you’re in hot water!” – Mad Magazine.
  15. “Dance is a little insanity that does us all good.” – Edward Demby.
  16. “Those who can’t dance say the music is no good.” – Jamaican Proverb.
  17. “Dancing is like bank robbery. It takes split-second timing.” — Twyla Tharp.
  18. “Dancing is the art of getting your feet out of the way faster than your partner can step on them.” – Unknown.
  19. “Dancing is like breathing – missing a day doing either is very bad.” – Vera Ellen.
  20. “Bleeding feet will bond us.” – Liza Minelli.

Read more: 60+ Famous Hip-Hop Dance Quotes & Sayings

Famous short dance quotes

famous short dance quotes

  1. “Dancing is silent poetry.” – Simonides.
  2. “The only sin is mediocrity.” – Martha Graham.
  3. “Dancing is the poetry of the foot.”  – John Dryden.
  4. “Falling is one of the ways of moving forward.” – Merce Cunningham.
  5. “Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!” – Constanze Mozart.
  6. “Do it big; do it right; and do it with style.” – Fred Astaire.
  7. “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” – Martha Graham.
  8. “The body says what words cannot.” – Martha Graham.
  9. “To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.” – Indian Proverb.
  10. “Dance is art; paint your dream and follow it.” – Steven Thompson.

Famous quotes by dance genres

Ballet Quotes & Sayings

  1. “Everyone wants to be successful. Until they see what it actually takes.” – Unknown.
  2. “Ballet is a universe of the imagination, a place of magic and enchantment, beauty and romance.” – Trudy Garfunkel.
  3. “I dance because there’s no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear.” – Unknown.
  4. “Dance is a little insanity that does us all good.” – Edward Demby.
  5. “Dance is an art, paint your dream and follow it.” – Steven Thompson.
  6. “Do it big, do it right, and do it with your style.” – Fred Astaire.
  7. “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham.

Famous Pole Dance Quotes

  1. “Passion is endless, the more you give, the more you receive. Sharing is the greatest gift of a teacher.” – Venessa Clack.
  2. “Train like an athlete – perform like an Artist.” – Unknown.
  3. “I am not telling you it’s going to be EASY. I am telling you it’s going to be WORTH IT.” – Unknown.
  4. “The greatest gift pole dance can give you is to allow you to realize that you are a dancer and you have a story worth sharing.” – Unknown.
  5. “What seems impossible today will one day be your warm-up.” – Unknown.

Famous Tap Dance Quotes

  1. “When you dance to your own rhythm. Life taps its toes to your beat.” – Terri Guillemets.
  2. “Listen to my feet and I will tell you the story of my life.” – John Bubbles.
  3. “I think ‘tap dogs’ has lasted so long because people have a natural interest in tap dancing. This form of dancing can’t be dated, it’s such an intriguing form of dance because the feet are also an an instrument.” – Adam Garcia.
  4. “Tap Dance isn’t just about the sounds you make, it’s also about the sounds you don’t make!” – Anthony Locascio.
  5. “In third grade, I was taking tap-dance lessons, and about six weeks before recital I wanted to quit. My mom said, “No, you’re going to stay with it.’ Well, I did it, and I was bad, too! But my parents never let their kids walk away from something because it was too hard.” – Rebecca Lobo.
  6. “We’ve danced in the risk of each other. Would you like to dance around the world with me?” – Dave Matthews Band.
  7. “I took several years of dance lessons that included ballet, tap and jazz. They helped a great deal with body control, balance, a sense of rhythm, and timing.” – Lynn Swann.

Famous Ballroom Dance Quotes

  1. “Dance till the stars come down from the rafters. Dance, Dance, Dance ’till you drop.” – W. H. Auden.
  2. “Some people seem to think that good dancers are born, but all the good dancers I have known are taught or trained.” – Fred Astaire.
  3. “My father made sure that I had lots of levels of education – from ballroom-dancing to painting, commando training, theatre, and magic.” – Baz Luhrmann.
  4. As a former football player who has carried a football more than 4,000 times, trust me, I did not go into ballroom dancing with my body being 100 percent, with no aches or pains or ailments coming with me. When you’re dancing, you’re doing stuff that your body’s not used to, and so you start to aggravate those old injuries.” – Emmitt Smith.
  5. “Ballroom is two people dancing together to music, touching in perfect harmony.” – Anton du Beke.
  6. “It’s great that ballroom dancing is being recognised. For many years ballroom dancers were misunderstood and other dance forms didn’t want anything to do with us.” – Anton du Beke.
  7. “For ballroom dancing, remember that your partners have their own distinctive styles also. Cultivate flexibility. Be able to adapt your style to that of your partner. In doing so, you are not surrendering your individuality, but blending it with that of your partner.” – Fred Astaire.

Famous Hip-hop dance Quotes

  1. “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor, it’s to enjoy each step along the way” – Wayne Dyer.
  2. “Even if I can’t speak it, I can always dance it.” – Unknown.
  3. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” – Unknown.
  4. “For things I can’t seem to put into words, THANK YOU, DANCE!” – Unknown.
  5. “If you keep dancing like that, you’ll end up on the other side of the rainbow.” – Unknown.
  6. ”Live like it’s heaven on earth – Dance like nobody is watching.” – William W. Purkey.
  7. “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” – Martha Graham.
  8. “I played a little bit of everything. I got Ace of Bass, hip-hop songs, and dance hall [music].” – Theophilus London.
  9. “Dancing with your feet is one thing… Dancing with your heart is another.” – Unknown.
  10. ”When the music changes, so does the dance”. – Unknown.
  11. “So when the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never. Because the dance with the devil might last you forever.” – Unknown.
  12. “I can dance. I like hip hop and stuff and jazz movements, but I’m horrible in ballet. I tried.” – Keke Palmer.
  13. “I prance around and dance by myself to hip-hop songs in the mirror.” – Liz Phair.
  14. “You don’t need a band to do hip-hop; you only need a DJ” – The-Dream


These famous dance quotes remind us of the importance of taking risks, having faith in our dreams, appreciating beauty, and letting go and having fun. Whether you are a dancer or a spectator, these famous dance quotes capture the spirit and joy of movement and help inspire us to reach our highest potential!

Which quote is your favorite? Why? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section down below!

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