Meeting an Original Balanchine Ballerina

Yesterday afternoon, my mother, sister, and I had a visit with Una Kai. Una was one of the very first Balanchine ballerinas. She told us about how she got started in dance, and how she ended up with Balanchine. After dancing as principal with Balanchine for a while, she became the ballet mistress. Una brought us a photo album filled with old pictures of  herself, Balanchine, and the company. It was amazing to see the performance and rehearsal shots, and the casual pictures too. I loved talking with her and hearing her stories. It was exciting to talk to her because I will be going to the School of American Ballet this winter term.

My sister and I with Una

My sister and I with Una

The book Una co-wrote

The book Una co-wrote


  1. David

    It is great when young and old can appreciate each other. The young can see the heights to which the old have soared. The old get to see the young soaring to the same heights.

    That was deep wasn’t it? HA HA.

    Or, I could just write, looks like you are having a valuable and fun experience.

    Aug 18, 2011 @ 13:54

  2. Jody Anderson

    Hi Alston,

    This is Miss Jody from Rock School. I wanted you to know that Una was my ballet mistress at Kansas City Ballet for 12 years. She was an amazing mentor to me and teacher. I learned so much from her, and she really molded me into the dancer that I was. Her stories about Balanchine and NYCB were priceless. I am so happy that you got to meet her, and I look forward to getting her book. Best of luck at SAB.

    Take care,


    Sep 23, 2011 @ 16:53

  3. Alston

    Thank you Miss Jody! It is such a small world and I really enjoyed meeting Una.

    Nov 13, 2011 @ 19:32



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