Rosella Hightower was born in 1920 in Ardmore, OK, USA. She studied with Dorothy Perkins in Kansas City. Danced with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo 1938-41, American Ballet Theatre 1941-5, Massine's Ballet Russe Highlights Co. 1945-46, Original Ballet Russe 1945-46. In 1947 she joined the de Cuevas Ballet. As it's prima ballerina she toured the world and was one of the most popular dancers in Europe. She had an enormous repertory, including many creations for Taras, Bournonville's La Sylphide and Sleeping Beauty. She danced the Black Swan Pas de deux with Rudolf Nureyev in his London debut in 1961.
Since 1962 she has directed the Centre de Danse Classique in Cannes which attracts dancers from all over the world and where many of her famous collegues give guest classes.