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Memorials Honor Victoria Bush

Ken and Victoria Bush

Victoria Isabel Bush loved to dance.

Victoria began taking classes at age 7. It was a passion that spread to every part of her life, that brought her together with her husband, that she shared with her daughter and family and friends, and that she continued to do into her mid-60s.

“My mother was elegant, yet down to earth. She loved dance, especially ballet and ballroom dance. She and my father were fabulous dancers—people on the dance floor would just part for them,” said daughter Deborah Schanker.

Vicki and Ken Bush loved to dance—ballroom, flamenco, Argentine Tango, Salsa, Cha-Cha, you name it. In fact, they danced for hours on the night they met. And, throughout the majority of their 58-year marriage they danced together for 20-25 hours per week. From the moment they first took the floor on a blind date set up by Ken’s mother, “it just felt right,” Ken Bush said. In a whirlwind romance that could have only been scripted by the hands of fate, Ken and Vicki found themselves in love and partners for life.

Victoria Bush taking Flamenco lessons from Antonio Vargas.

Two children (David and Deborah), and four grandchildren later, they had shared their love of dance through example, surrounded by dance artwork—some painted by Vicki herself—and their devotion to ballroom dancing including Argentine Tango. Victoria (as she was called in recent years) also spent a weekend taking flamenco lessons from Antonio Vargas, world renowned flamenco dancer, in addition to regular lessons from Tamara Carson.

Vicki loved supporting the Ballet by attending performances at the theatre and other locations around town including parks around the city and even in Westport in the 70s and 80s. In fact, she and Ken had been subscribers since Kansas City Ballet started performances at the Lyric Theatre.

Victoria Bush working at Swanson’s on the Country Club Plaza.

Vicki definitely was easy to spot in a crowd. She looked like a model and was always dressed very fashionably. Having worked as the house model for Swanson’s and at the makeup counter at Saks, both on the Plaza, Victoria could have easily stepped off the pages of Vogue. Her beauty ran deep. The love that she had for her husband, family and friends was just as easy to spot. It shone through her.

When the time came for Vicki’s family to say goodbye, it was incredibly difficult.

Leaving a Legacy

In the midst of their grief, her family wanted to honor her in the best way they knew how. They considered their options. Then Deborah had an idea to direct gifts to Kansas City Ballet to honor her mother’s love of dance and the ballet. Her father immediately agreed.

Ken and Victoria Bush with their son David and daughter Deborah and their families.

“It’s such a nice legacy to leave for somebody who has that kind of love for dance,” said Deborah. “And just by letting people know this is possible, it can help.”

The Victoria Bush Memorial Fund was created and friends and loved ones were able to direct monetary gifts to Kansas City Ballet in honor of Vicki and her passion for dance.

Victoria Bush and daughter Deborah Schanker.

“Do you think mom would have ever thought to direct us to do something like this in her honor?” Deborah asked Ken. “Maybe she did,” Ken said while smiling.

If you would like to make a gift in honor of Victoria Bush, you may do so online or via mail (Kansas City Ballet, 500 W Pershing Rd., KCMO 64108). Please make sure to leave a note in the notes field or on your correspondence that says: Victoria Bush Memorial. The Bush family will be notified of your gift.

Setting Up a Memorial Fund

If you would like to learn more about setting up a Memorial Fund or Endowment Fund at Kansas City Ballet, please contact Kansas City Ballet Chief Development Officer Jennifer Wampler at 816.216.5585.

Want the Whole Love Story?

Read more about how Ken and Vicki met here.

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