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Ruth St. Dennis Dance Pose

Stage Name

Birth Name

Ruth St. Denis Ruth Denis

    Miss Ruth, as she was affectionately called, started acting out theater and ballet as a little child. Ruth started out as a cloak model, a six day bicycle race participant, a Skirt dancer, Toe dancer  (Ballet) and actress. Denis had practically no ballet training except for a single class (Some say 3) with Bonfanti, but was kicked out of class. Genevieve Stebbins was very inspirational to Miss Ruth. Later in life she devoted herself to Christianity, and formed a church ( Divine Dance) and formed the Society of Spiritual Arts. David Belasco nicknamed her Saint, due to her air.

   Her first experience with staging a play was with Egypta, but was abandoned due to expenses. She followed it by Radha in 1906 at the Hudson Theater in New York for a group of managers and a few other spots then back to the Hudson as a full dance program... it was a success. She would then leave for her first tour of Europe. While touring, she met great success abroad except in England, however Germany loved her. Returning home in 1909, she finally produced Egypta and O' Mika.

    Dennis teamed with then dancer Ted Shawn in 1914 and soon after married forming the Denishawn Company and later a dance studio. The two separated in 1932 and she continued to run the school, till financial troubles forced her to close the doors. She would semi-retire until 1940, when she teamed with La Meri and found new interest in Hindu and Oriental dance. Ruth moved to southern California during W.W.II. Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn had a major impact on dance, Ballet, and Modern especially.
Ruth St. Denis Autograph

Birth Place

Birth Date



Newark, New Jersey 1/20/1877 - 7/21/1968 Ted Shawn      

Dances / Ballets


Dance Partners

Bakwali   Miriam Ballet Charles Weidman 
Black & Gold Sari O'Mika Cobra Dance La Meri
Cobras, the Peacock Early Ballroom Martha Graham
Cuadro Flamenco Radha Ethnic Dances Ted Shawn
Egypta Salome Hindu Dances      
Green Nautch Spirit Of The Sea Incense Dance      
Incense Yogi Modern Dance      
Ishtar White Jade Nautch (Lewisoh Stadium)      
Liebestraum Xochitl Oriental Dance      
      Religious Dances      
      Dance of Salome      

Night Clubs

Theaters, etc.


n/a Bijou Theatre (1901) 1900 - Zaza
      Criterion Theatre (1900) 1901 - The Auctioneer
      Hampden's Theatre (1928) 1901 - Du Barry
      Hudson Theater 1928 - The Light of Asia
      Jacobs Pillow  
      Lewisoh Stadium (1928)  
      Ziegfeld Theater  




$ 1913 - Dance of the Ages*   n/a 8/1925 - Theater Magazine
$ 1915 - Denishawn*       Book: Biography of a Divine Dancer
$ 1940s - Ruth St. Denis by Baribault*       Book: Wisdom Comes Dancing
$ 1950 - A Day at Jacob's Pillow*       Book: Soaring, Diary of a Denishawn
$ 1953 - Incense*       Book: Drama of Denishawn Dance
( Teachers* - can rent above films)       Book: Ruth St. Denis, an Unfinished...
$1988 - Denishawn - Birth of... [DVD]