July 2, 2012
Maria Tallchief (b. 1925), whose father was a chief of the Osage Nation of American Indians in Oklahoma and whose mother was Scots Irish, was perhaps the most famous ballet dancer in mid-20th Century America. She married her choreographer George Ballanchine in 1946. He developed some of his most famous works for her. She was the prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet from 1947-1960. Dancing the sugar plum fairy in the nation's leading annual mounting of The Nutcracker, she was the foremost idol of little girls who dreamed of becoming a ballerina.
One seldom-remarked trend has been the apparent physical decline of part-American Indians since the era when Jim Thorpe was widely considered to be the greatest American athlete. Major league ballplayers who were part American Indian, such as Hall of Famers Chief Bender and Zack Wheat, were common before 1947, but have dropped off by perhaps an order of magnitude since then.