August 16, 2022 by The Foundation for a Better Life
Fairfax, Oklahoma, is a long way from the bright lights of Broadway. In 1925, the distance seemed even greater. But Maria Tallchief could feel music deep inside her. Something longed to express itself.
At a very young age, Maria studied music and dance, encouraged by her mother to find herself in the motions she loved. In her early teens, she and her family moved to Los Angeles in search of opportunities. Maria pursued all forms of dance but was drawn specifically to ballet. She worked relentlessly under the most renowned teachers of the day, but the opportunity she longed for would not arrive until she moved to New York City.
The big city can be daunting for a teenager, especially a dancer auditioning daily while keeping up with training. Still, Maria’s success began to build. As she traveled the globe dancing at various theaters, she became a household name — a name she refused to change when some suggested that her American Indian heritage might be standing in the way of her success.
At age 19, Maria Tallchief became a member of the New York City Ballet and later one of its principal dancers. She brought her role to life in “The Nutcracker” and helped make it the amazing success that it is today.
“Above all, I wanted to be appreciated as a prima ballerina who happened to be a Native American, never as someone who was an American Indian ballerina,” she said.
Maria Tallchief had accomplished her dreams at a very young age dancing for the New York City Ballet, but there was more. She became the first-ever prima ballerina from the United States at a time when that honor belonged mostly to European dancers. And she did it without ever giving up on her heritage. She retained her Osage name, proud of who she was and where she’d come from. She never stopped listening to the music inside her, remarking, “A ballerina takes steps given to her and makes them her own.” Indeed she did.
Later in life, Maria Tallchief taught hundreds of young girls to follow their dreams. Her work was inspired in part by her belief that “very often you are in the right place, at the right time, but you don’t know it.”
Watch video here: https://youtu.be/SzcEgWAO-N8
Photo credit: Instagram
If you would like to see more of their chalk creations, follow them on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/macairesmuse
Nominate Your Hero Today!
Please tell us about your everyday hero. The heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at: www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create.
Get Inspired, Sign Up to our PassItOn Blog:
SHARE this inspiring story with your friends and family to uplift their day. If you find these posts inspirational, consider favoriting PassItOn on Facebook so you never miss out on our weekly posts.
WWII Veteran's Dream Comes True When He Finally Meets Woman Who Wrote Him Cherished Thank-You Letter When She Was a Child
NASA Engineer Fulfils Lifelong Dream and Makes History as First Woman from Mexico to Travel to Space
A Lesson We Should Never Forget. The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.
90-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Knits Over 11,000 Newborn Hats To Donate to Her Local Hospital for Newborns.
Friends Pitch in to Gift Special Glasses for Their Friend Who Is Colorblind Giving Him the Gift of Color
How Far Would you go for a Friend? A penguin named Dindim travels 5,000 miles every year to visit with its rescuer.
Beatrice Shilling, a motorcycle daredevil turned mechanical engineer, saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll
Allie Newman not only survived cancer but also helps hospitals better meet the needs of teenage cancer patients.
An 8-year-old Girl Captured the Nation's Attention and Motivated Congress to Pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.
14-Year-old Tinkered his Way to the Technology that Broadcast the Moon Landing, Bringing the Moon to Your Living Room.
High School Team Built Powered Wheelchair for 2-year-old Boy. Born with a Genetic Condition that makes Mobility Difficult.
11-year-old 'Superhero Saves Choking Classmate and Helps Elderly Woman from House Fire on the Same Day.
Inspired by his Daughter, Dad Builds World’s Most Fully Inclusive and Accessible Special Needs Theme Amusement Park
Salon Owner and her Volunteers Transforms and Uplifts Individuals Experiencing Homelessness with Free Mini-Makeovers
Single Man Who Experienced Childhood Homelessness Adopts Abandoned Teen to Give Him a Safe, Secure Home
Click the like button above to access our facebook page, then ‘like us’ to get a dose of positivity in your feed.No thanks