Born in 1881, Anna Pavlova was an extremely talented Russian ballet dancer. While she is most famous for creating the role of the dying swan she made many other accomplishments during her career. She did not have the ideal body type for a ballerina, her feet were highly arched and her ankles were very weak. However, this led her to begin adding wood to the soles of her pointe shoes to help support her feet. At the time this was considered cheating, but it made dancing on pointe easier and less painful, thereby beginning the creation of the modern pointe shoe.
Despite her physical limitations she still managed to become an extraordinary dancer. She was described as extremely enthusiastic, graceful, and elegant. She was so incredibly talented and had such great balance that she once completed 37 turns on top of a moving elephant on a tour in China.