PATRICIA KLEKOVIC IRWIN

"[Edna McRae] was a teacher. You had to learn. There was no fooling around. So I learned an awful lot from her and it gave me a good foundation."

"You either go out and do it or you run away and never dance again."

Patricia Klekovic’s dance training began at a local dance studio in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and progressed when she won a scholarship at age 11 to attend the Edna McRae School of Dance. By 1965, she had been discovered by Ruth Page and was an integral part of her ballet companies and productions for many years, dancing lead roles in Camille, Carmen, The Merry Widow, and The Nutcracker, to name a few. Klekovic briefly danced as a principal in the Pittsburgh Ballet and returned to Chicago in 1975 to teach at Ruth Page School of Dance, where she still teaches today.

May 11, 2016: 

caucasian ballerina on pointe shoes holding flowers and smiling

"Anything that came from anyplace else was better. We were the Second City."

"You had a story and you could just put yourself into the story."