Tulsa Ballet's Maria Coelho dances with charm, personality and sparkling technique. A sharp turner, she possesses killer attack behind her sunny smile, making her a natural standout. As a first-year corps dancer last season, Coelho caught a big break, named second cast in the lead role of Rosalia in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Vendetta, A Mafia Story. Unfortunately, the performances were postponed in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Coelho in company class at Tulsa Ballet
Kate Luber, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet
The 22-year-old Coelho, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, began dancing as a remedy for her flat-footedness as a child. She studied at Rio's Balletarrj Escola de Dança, winning a host of awards on the ballet competition circuit. At age 15, she was awarded a scholarship to American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She then spent three years with Tulsa Ballet II before joining the main company in 2019.
Having spent the COVID-19 pandemic honing her technique in areas she says she normally wouldn't have had time for, Coelho is eager to get back into the studio to finally sink her teeth into Vendetta, now rescheduled for March, 2021.
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