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Maria started ballet lessons at five in Tecumseh, Michigan, where she grew up. She dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina like her namesake, Maria Tallchief. Eclipsing her small hometown, known for producing the two worst mass murderers in U.S. history, she would put it on the map as the home of the greatest dancer ever.
Dancing was her life, her everything. She danced her way through the University of Michigan. After graduating, she was rejected by every major dance company. It was devastating. Today, she dances in the street in her hometown, pirouetting for honks, change falling at her toes.