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Carol Blum Believes in Kansas City Ballet

Carol Blum took tap and ballet classes in elementary school. From then she was drawn to any and all dance performances she saw in movies or on TV. She vividly remembers watching Rudolf Nuryev and Margot Fonteyn performing excerpts from Swan Lake on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

It wasn’t until she was on a college trip to London that she would see a complete ballet on stage. She lined up to buy tickets to Sleeping Beauty and got lucky.  She was hooked.


Carol had grown up all over since her father was in the Air Force. He eventually retired to live in Topeka. Carol later went to medical school in Kansas City. Her busy schedule didn’t leave much time for hobbies. As a resident in 1980 she remembers taking care of a ballet dancer with a large cut. As a thank you, the dancer left Carol two tickets to see her perform. Carol and her husband Steve were excited to attend.

Years later after moving back to the area to be nearer to her aging parents, Carol celebrating her birthday at a local restaurant when who should arrive with the large group seated just behind her? None other than Mikhail Baryshnikov. “That was a special birthday, my 40th. We already had tickets to see him performing with Twyla Tharp the next night,” she recalls.

But it wouldn’t be until Carol retired in 2018 that she would come back to the ballet in earnest, this time by joining the Ballet Guild. “I didn’t know anybody,” Carol remembers. “But through the Guild I met someone else who was new and we became friends.”

Since then, Carol and her husband Steve have been enthusiastic subscribers and have felt moved to support KCB as Bolender Society members.


As a member of The Bolender Society, Carol can support the art form she loves and help make sure others can enjoy it as well.

“My brain is wired to give back. I wanted to help people and that’s why I went into the medical profession,” Carol admits. “I certainly think as you get older you realize people support the organizations they believe in. I’ve been so blessed with a good life and career. You can’t take it with you. So, make the world a better place.”

So, did Carol ever thank that dancer who left her free tickets? “I don’t think I ever did,” she says. It’s a safe bet she would be happy to know that her gift was one of the steps that led Carol on her path to supporting Kansas City Ballet today.


Named for the beloved former Artistic Director Todd Bolender, who transformed Kansas City Ballet with his artistry and vision, The Bolender Society is Kansas City Ballet’s premiere philanthropic group. Members generously make a monthly gift of $200 or an annual gift of $2,500 or more. For questions or to become a member, contact Associate Director of Individual Giving Maya Collins at 816.216.5608.

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