"Who Is Maria Tallchief?" by Catherine Gourley November/December 2016 AR Biography Activity

" Maria Tallchief was a ballerina, but she was not just another toe-dancer. She was America's first prima ballerina. A prima ballerina is the star of the show, the very best dancer on the stage." (p. 1)

Based upon the context clues, the word "prima ballerina" means the star of the show.

"Maria remembered how frightened her mother became during those binges." When Maria's father drank, he got mean." (pg.11)

Based upon the context clues, the word "binges" means excessive indulgence as eating and drinking alcholic beverages.

"She forced five-year-old Maria to go up on her toes before her feet were strong enough to hold her. Mrs. Sabin did not know that dancing en pionte too early could damage forever a little girl's feet." (pg. 22)

Based upon the context clues, the world "en pointe" means to be on the tips of your toes.

"Forget everything Mrs. Sabin showed you," he told his new pupils". "You must start all over and learn the basic steps." (pg.29)

Based upon the context clues, the word "pupils" means a young person who is learning under the close supervision of a teacher at school.

"Madame cast her as one of the corps." "The corps is a group of dancers who move together on stage." (Pg.35)

Based upon the context clues, the word "corps" means a group of dancers who move together on stage.

"The star of the movie was a young actress named Judy Garland. While Maria was intrigued, the dancing job was not very challenging." (Pg.37)

Based upon the context clues, the word "intrigued" means to arouse the curiosity, or by unusual things.

" Coryphees. This is a small group of dancers, quite often six. The choreographer plans their steps, and they perform together as semisoloists." (Pg.49)

Based upon the context clues, the word "coryphees" means a small group of dancers, quite often six.

"If George believed she could make a grand jete, or jump, then she would try with all her strength and concentration to do what he wished." (Pg. 60)

Based upon the context clues, the word "jete" means a jump.

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Credits:

Created with images by liakapelke - "Ballerina" • OrniCosa - "CLAUDIA" • alles - "beer bottles drinks" • wwward0 - "En Pointe" • cordens - "teacher classroom school" • ralph and jenny - "Corps de ballet" • RaphaelJa - "Intrigued" • dalbera - "Don Quichotte (Ballet de l'Opéra de Samara, Russie)" • torbakhopper - "flying high over san francisco"

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