Mlle de Lafontaine
(b c.1655; d Paris c.1738)
Often regarded as the first professional female dancer. She was born in France and little is known about her early life until she made her debut in 1681 at the Paris Opera in Lully's Le Triomphe de l'amour. She also created the leading roles in several other Lully ballets, including Phaéton (chor. Beauchamps, 1683) and Acis et Galatée (chor. Beauchamps, 1686). Much admired for her elegance, she was leading ballerina in at least eighteen ballets and operas between 1681 and 1693. She retired into a convent.