Allegra Kent

by Mikayla from Glenbrook

"All we actually have is our body and its muscles that allow us to be under our own power." ~ Allegra Kent

When you think about a hero, what comes to mind? It could be many different things like dedication, leadership, being an inspiration to someone, or being courageous. I think being a hero requires all of that and much more.

Allegra Kent (also known as Iris Margo Cohen), an accomplished ballerina, is a person whom I consider a hero. She was an inspiration to many who proclaimed her to have muscular lyricism. She made all of her performances seem unreal.

Allegra realized her dream of being a ballerina at the young age of ten, and started training at eleven. At thirteen she was accepted into the School of American Ballet, on scholarship, and moved to New York. Famed choreographer, George Balanchine, discovered her talent. Allegra became a permanent member of the New York City Ballet at age fifteen

Allegra became a principal dancer at age 18 and was the star of the New York City Ballet. She was George Balanchine’s inspiration and was known for her Balanchine style. Allegra studied dance with many different people and performed many dances for a number of choreographers.

People were mystified by her beautiful dance technique, and when she started to miss shows for the New York City Ballet it added to her mystique. She quietly left the company in the 1980s but never stopped coaching and teaching.

Allegra married Bert Stern in 1959 and they had three children, but they later divorced. Joseph Cornell was an artist who was inspired by Allegra. He dedicated some of his collages to her and her children.

Allegra is an author of two physical therapy books: The Dancers’ Body Book and Allegra Kent’s Water Beauty Book. Allegra also wrote an autobiography entitled, Once a Dancer.

Allegra is an extremely talented author, dancer, and mother and for that she is my hero.


“Intersections: Allegra Kent, Balanchine’s Ballerina.” 19 January 2004. February 2008

“Allegra Kent Biography (1938- ).” A&E Television Networks. 1996-2007. February 2008

“Allegra Kent.” Biography Resource Center-Biography Display. 1 January 1993. 15 February 2008

Page created on 8/11/2008 10:34:12 AM

Last edited 8/11/2008 10:34:12 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

NPR - Arts and Culture - "Intersections: Allegra Kent, Balanchine's Ballerina"
The Ballerina Gallery - Images of Allegra Kent