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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

‘Bald Ballerina’ Maggie Kudirka Inspires At iDance4ACure

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

On Saturday, Nov. 11, iDance4ACure had its 2nd Annual LA Dance Day to raise money for childhood cancer research. Dance Network was one of the proud sponsors of the memorable evening of dance. Global Dance Initiative Ambassador Doriana Sanchez spearheaded the event in conjunction with the iDance4ACure organization founded by Lisa Miller. 

Besides featuring master classes with So You Think You Can Dance All-Star Kathryn McCormick and choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan, there was also a class with Marlon Pelayo, the assistant choreographer for Rob Marshall’s 2018 film, Mary Poppins Returns. The dancers were also treated to a performance by Maggie Kudirka aka the Bald Ballerina, a former Joffrey Concert Group dancer who was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer at the age of 23.

“Her cancer is incurable and terminal. She will be in treatment for the rest of her life. The median expectancy is two to three years,” Sanchez said to the dancers while introducing Kudirka. “When the treatments stop working, she will die. Cancer treatment is very expensive and in the three years of treatment, they have cost $700,000.”

That staggering amount translates to $12,000 a dose for Kudirka. This is why raising research dollars are so important in finding a cure. For the Bald Ballerina, it is dance that has given her a purpose through her toughest fight.

“Dance has kept me alive and helped me get through difficult periods. I am grateful for every day that I feel well enough to dance,” shared Kudirka. “I cherish each performance because it could be my last.”

She has made it her mission to educate her fellow dancers that cancer can strike someone at any age and that metastatic breast cancer can be found in women under the age of 40. 

“It’s important to know your body. Live every moment like it could be your last in today’s world. You never know what could be around the corner, Kudirka advised. “It’s important to live each moment to the fullest and not take any moment in the studio for granted.”

For more information on iDance4ACure, visit their website.

Learn more about Maggie Kudirka’s journey at her Bald Ballerina website.


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