Ballet Names (Girls)

  1. Alina
    • Origin:

      Slavic
    • Meaning:

      "bright, beautiful"
    • Description:

      Alina has been drifting up the US popularity charts since the early 1980s, now nearing the Top 100. But Alina's real strength is in its international flexibility: The name ranks highly in a wide range of European, English speaking, and Latin American countries.
  2. Allegra
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "joyous"
    • Description:

      In music, the term allegro means "quickly, lively tempo," which makes this quintessential Bohemian ballet dancer's name all the more appealing. Allegra is one of the most distinctive yet accessible girl names starting with A.
  3. Anna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, offering a touch of the international to English speakers and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann or Anne.
  4. Antoinette
    • Origin:

      French feminine diminutive form of Antoine
    • Meaning:

      "priceless one"
    • Description:

      This feminization of Anthony, like other early French forms, such as Babette and Nanette, is not heard as often as it once was, but it could be time for a reappraisal of this delicate Gallic choice.
  5. Anya
    • Origin:

      Russian diminutive of Anna
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anya is a Russian variation of Anna, which came from the Hebrew name Hannah. Anya is the form found most frequently in Russia, Poland, and other East European countries, while Anja is the spelling usually preferred in Germany Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and The Netherlands. In the Hungarian language, Anya also means mother.
  6. Ashley
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller near the ash tree meadow"
    • Description:

      Ashley was a sensation in the 1980s and 1990s; it hit Number 1 in 1991. Ashley is still pretty but more and more parents are turning to newer names like Ashlyn and Aubrey, and spellings such as Ashleigh and Ashlea. If you hear the name Ashley in a playground today, it's more likely to be the mom than the little girl.
  7. Asta
    • Origin:

      Norwegian
    • Meaning:

      "divine strength"
    • Description:

      This Scandinavian name was made famous in English-speaking countries as the name of the dog in the "Thin Man" series. Danish actress Asta Nielsen was another famous bearer. Asta can be considered as a short form of Astrid or Augusta.
  8. Beatrice
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness; blessed"
    • Description:

      Beatrice is back. Stored in the attic for almost a century, the lovely Beatrice with its long literary (Shakespeare, Dante) and royal history is being looked at with fresh eyes by parents seeking a classic name with character and lots of upbeat nicknames, like Bea and Bee.
  9. Cecilia
    • Origin:

      Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecilia is a lovely classic name deservedly enjoying a new turn in the sun. Always among the Top 500 girls' names in the US, Cecilia is now at its highest point ever.
  10. Courtney
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "short nose"
    • Description:

      Among the Top 20 names of the 1990s, today's Courtney is more apt to be the babysitter than the baby. Courtney has dropped since its peak at Number 17 in 1995. Familiar from Courtney Love and Courtney Cox.
  11. Darcy
    • Origin:

      Irish or French
    • Meaning:

      "dark one, or from Arcy, or from the fortress"
    • Description:

      Delicate ballerina name with grace, charm, and heft courtesy of Jane Austen's Mr.
  12. Ekaterina
    • Origin:

      Slavic variation of Catherine
    • Meaning:

      "pure"
    • Description:

      This international variation was publicized by Olympic skater Ekaterina Gordeeva.
  13. Eleonora
    • Origin:

      Italian, German, Dutch, and Polish variation of Eleanor
    • Description:

      Makes a serious name frilly and feminine, which, depending on your viewpoint, might be a good or a bad thing. In this case, we vote good.
  14. Fonteyn
    • Irina
      • Origin:

        Russian from Greek
      • Meaning:

        "peace"
      • Description:

        Irina is a Russian ballet-inflected classic, one of the Three Sisters in the Chekhov play. While some Americans will pronounce this like Irene with three syllables, the pronunciation used throughout Europe, where it's widely used, starts with a short i as in it or if and a strong emphasis on the second syllable.
    • Kent
      • Origin:

        English surname and place-name
      • Meaning:

        "edge"
      • Description:

        Kent is a no-nonsense, brief, brisk one-syllable name, almost as curt as Kurt.
    • Laura
      • Origin:

        English from Latin
      • Meaning:

        "from Laurentum or bay laurel"
      • Description:

        Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any of its more decorative counterparts and one of the most classic girl names starting with L.
    • Ludmila
      • Origin:

        Slavic
      • Meaning:

        "beloved of the people"
      • Description:

        This Slavic classic name might begin to make its mark with American parents, what with the growing popularity of the short form Mila. Borne by a tenth century saint who had been a princess from Bohemia, Ludmila is widely used in Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria.
    • Mara
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "bitter"
      • Description:

        Mara is the evocative ancient root of Mary, appearing in the Book of Ruth, in which Naomi, devastated after the death of her two sons, says "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara." It's one of the girl names starting with M that both fits in and stands out.
    • Margot
      • Origin:

        French, diminutive of Margaret
      • Meaning:

        "pearl"
      • Description:

        Margot is suddenly a star again. After a nearly-half century absence, it hopped back on the Top 1000 list in 2013 and is on the rise. The Margot spelling is now given to three times as many baby girls as the Margo one.