Alexandra Danilova was born in 1903 in St. Petersburg. She attended the Imperial Ballet School later the Soviet Ballet School. She danced with the Soviet ballet until 1924, when she defected to the west. She then danced with the Ballets Russe and Monte Carlo Ballets Russe until 1951. She came to New York and in 1964 began teaching at the School of American Ballet. She can be seen briefly in the movie The Turning Point. A crater on Venus was named for her in 1991. She died in 1997.