Wheeldon is about as close to a rock star as it gets in the world of ballet.

Wheeldon grew up in Somerset, England and attended the Royal Ballet School. Wheeldon was 18 in 1991 when he joined the Royal Ballet Company, but he left for New York two years later, courtesy of a plane ticket he won through a Hoover vacuum promotion. While on his free trip, he attended several guest classes at the New York City Ballet, and immediately caught the eye of higher-ups, earning himself a spot in the company. In 1997, he choreographed his first dance for NYCB, becoming the company's soloist in 1998 and its resident choreographer in 1999. Along the way, he's created ballets for nearly a dozen of the world's leading companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi, and the San Francisco Ballet, and dabbled in film as well.

Known for his sophisticated musicality and sinuous moves, he formed his own company called Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. Morphoses aims to create new works, attract non-traditional audiences, and collaborate with artists from other fields. After generating raves from its first outings, Wheeldon resigned from the company in 2010 and continues to choreograph, such as his 2011 take on "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," on his own. [Image via Getty]