Anna Pavlova was the most celebrated ballerina of her time. Born in 1881 in St Petersburg, Russia she studied at the Imperial School of Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre from 1891, joined the Imperial Ballet in 1899 and by 1906 was a prima ballerina. After leaving the Imperial Ballet, Anna formed her own ballet company and went on tour, introducing her classical style of ballet to the world. She visited several countries travelling over 500,000 miles by boat and train and giving over 4,000 performance. She died of pneumonia while on tour in the Netherlands just before her 50th birthday.