American ballerina, choreographer, and dance teacher who was one of the only classically trained black ballerinas in her time and was the first black ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera. She is the namesake for the Janet Collins Fellowship, which attempts to aid young dancers on their path to success.
She began dancing at the age of four and received recognition for her work in Broadway shows like Aida, Carmen, and Cole Porter's Out of This World.
Although she struggled with racism and her work was often hindered, she toured with her own original choreography which was widely respected.
After her retirement, she joined the Benedictine order. Her cousin established the Janet Collins Fellowship, which provides support for aspiring ballet dancers.
She paved the way for African-American singer Marian Anderson to be hired by the Met.