Tulsa Ballet members with Mahlia and Samantha Venegas. Photo by Kara Przybyl
Tulsa Ballet knows a thing or two about giving back to the community. Each year the company reserves its opening night Nutcracker performance for social service clients and non-profit agencies, an event called Hope for the Holidays. And according to a recent article in Tulsa World, last weekend TB teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation during a performance of The Sleeping Beauty to honor four-year-old Mahlia Venegas’ dream of becoming a ballerina. Mahlia is currently in remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but will not be considered cancer free until March 2016. “When Make-A-Wish came to us with this idea, everyone at the ballet, including the dancers, were so excited about it,” Kara Przybyl, TB’s communications and public relations manager, told Pointe via e-mail.
According to the article, representatives of the charity brought Mahlia, her mother and grandmother to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center last weekend, where she was given a backstage tour and a short ballet lesson with TB Center for Dance Education teacher Lexie Sweeney. Afterwards, the company gave Mahlia the star treatment: a hair and makeup session, a Princess Aurora-style costume donated by Black and Pink Dancewear and a special visit by TB dancers Erin Pritchard and Maine Kawashima, who presented homemade, tutu-decorated cupcakes and a pair of Kawashima’s pointe shoes. After watching the performance, she joined the entire cast for a group photo--the perfect momento for a perfect dream day.