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Margot Harling danced her way around the world

Resident Margot Harling was born in New York, in November 1932, one of four daughters of a Presbyterian minister and a homemaker.

Margot began ballet lessons at the age of eight. In high school, she travelled to New York City to continue ballet classes at various schools, where she gained strength and endurance. After graduation, she joined Radio City Music Hall Ballet for nine months. She danced and sang in the road company of Kiss Me Kate, traveling 14,000 miles in 10 weeks.

After a successful audition with the Slavenska-Franklyn Ballet Company, she travelled through the south for six weeks dancing in various ballets.

In New York, Margot continued ballet classes at School of the American Ballet through which she had the opportunity to dance in a new work by William Dollar. This led to her joining the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, rehearsing with renowned choreographers Leonard Massine and Agnes DeMille. They toured throughout the United States, Mexico, Central and South America where she experienced and lived through two revolutions.

In 1963, Margot joined the company of Space Is So Startling, a musical show, traveling to and through India where she heard news of President Kennedy’s assassination.

In 1965, she joined the staff of Up with People as a choreographer and dancer, travelling the United States, Canada and overseas until 1968.

Margot met her English husband, Denis, in California. She said yes to his third proposal at Estes Park, Colo., over a dead trout. They were married on a misty December morning (appropriate for an Englishman) and remained married for almost 40 years. Wichita became their third home in 1972.

PHOTO: Margot poses En Pointe during her days with the Slavenska-Franklyn Ballet Company.

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