- Maria Tallchief's Native American heritage made her a true trailblazer in the ballet world. Her success broke barriers and inspired future generations of diverse dancers!
- Tallchief joined some of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, including Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the New York City Ballet. In 1947, she became the first American to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet.
- As the first Prima of the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine was so inspired by her that he created iconic roles for her in "The Firebird" and "The Nutcracker," where her Sugar Plum Fairy helped to elevate the holiday classic from relative obscurity in the U.S. into one of ballet’s most popular, annual productions.
- Her sister, Marjorie Tallchief, was also a renowned dancer, and danced with the Paris Opera Ballet.
- In her retirement she became the founder and artistic director of the Chicago City Ballet.
- In honor of her contribution to the arts, Maria Tallchief has been selected to be featured on the American quarter! The coin features Tallchief in a flying saut de chat wearing her costume from "The Firebird." Her Osage name, Wa-Xthe-Thonba, which means "Two Standards" is written in Osage orthography underneath her image.
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