Maria Tallchief, Primary Dancer, New York City Ballet (1925-2013)

Considered to the first American Prima Ballerina, she and her husband George Balanchine essentially established ballet in the United States.

Tallchief, born in the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, set the standard for American ballet from the late 1940s to 1960, with her passion and talent for speed, composure, and artistry.  In her later years, she was an activist who spoke out against stereotypes and prejudice against Native Americans.

Stacy Pratt.  “10 Native Women You Should Have Learned About in History Class: On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, learn about the inspiring leaders our history textbooks missed.”  HelloGiggles (website).  HelloGiggles.Com., 24 March 2017.  Revised and expanded by Kitty Lindsey, 29 March 2019.  Des Moines, IA: Meredith Beauty Group.  Meredith Corporation.  Accessed 28 December 2021.

“Maria Tallchief.”  Wikipedia (website).  Accessed 28 December 2021.