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Courtesy Dance Maker Academy

Maria and Marjorie Tallchief. Moscelyne Larkin. Rosella Hightower. Yvonne Chouteau.

These world-famous Native American ballerinas, referred to as the "Five Moons," became trailblazers in the ballet world beginning in the 1940s, when much of the industry was dominated by Russian and European dancers.

Today, Indigenous ballet dancers are few and far between, but Jenna Smith LaViolette, who is part of the same tribe as the Tallchief sisters—the Osage Nation—is working to keep the legacy of the Five Moons alive as the director of Dance Maker Academy, located on the Osage reservation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

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