Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ballet or Football? Mabee Red Shield kids explore the arts

About 40 kids from the Mabee Red Shield Boys & Girls Club received a rare treat Wednesday when they got an inside look at the Tulsa Ballet. After watching the dancers practice a dance for their first performance in the fall, the resident choreographer and principal dancer, Ma Cong, talked about his life in ballet and answered the kids’ questions. The first one was “Do you think football or ballet is harder?”
Ma answered “ballet”, but talked about some of the difficulties of football.

"What inspired you to learn ballet?"
Ma said he grew up in China and from the time he was very young, his mother took him to lots of dance festivals where he fell in love with dancing and ballet. He said the Tulsa Ballet dancers are from 14 different countries.

The third question was from a boy who looked about 12.
“With all the girl dancers around, are there any that you like?” Ma answered that he liked all of them because they were so talented and dedicated to ballet.

The Red Shield kids toured the rest of the Tulsa Ballet’s headquarters on South Peoria, including the practice rooms and the wardrobe room where most of the Nutcracker costumes are stored.  In the practice room, a staff member demonstrated the five basic feet positions of ballet and let some kids volunteer to try them, including a boy, about 12. Like Ma, he seemed to like all of his fellow female dancers. Someday, he may ask himself: ballet or football? At Mabee Red Shield, the odds favor football, but the kids are blessed to be learning about both.


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