Learn about the Five Moons Ballerinas in honor of National American Indian Heritage Month
November is National American Indian Heritage Month and we want to take a moment to honor the many ballet dancers of American Indian Heritage who have contributed to our art form. The most well-known are the “Five Moons” ballerinas from Oklahoma who each made a tremendous impact in shaping ballet in America during the 20th century, including Rosella Hightower of Choctaw heritage, Moscelyne Larkin, a member of the Shawnee-Peoria tribe, Yvonne Chouteau of Shawnee and Cherokee heritage, and sisters Marjorie and Maria Tallchief, members of the Osage Nation.
Each one of these dancers performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo before going on to have incredible careers on the stage and in leadership roles with major companies like New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and the Paris Opéra Ballet. Their influence continues to inspire and their trailblazing legacies have left a huge imprint on the history of ballet.
We invite you to take a deeper dive into their individual life stories through the videos and links to articles and resources we’ve assembled below…