Maria Tallchief: The Osage prima ballerina

Happy Native American Heritage Month

In honor of this month we will post a fact everyday to educate the history of Native Americans and the hidden truths not known

Fact of the day:
If you managed to get through school without hearing about Maria Tallchief, you missed out on hearing about a pioneering woman who changed the world. Tallchief, whose father was a member of the Osage Nation, dreamed of being a ballet dancer from the time she was a little girl. At 17, she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a ballerina but racism stood in her way. She was advised many times to change her last name so her Native American heritage wouldn’t be readily apparent, but Tallchief refused. Maria Tallchief eventually broke barriers as the first American to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. She became the prima ballerina at the New York City Ballet and was regarded as one of the greatest dancers in the world.

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