Washington Ballet studio company dancer Mary Saludares

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I received this press release Saturday afternoon:



WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 21, 2009)– The Washington Ballet (TWB) announced today that Mary

Saludares, a 20-year-old member of The Washington Ballet Studio Company, passed away early this morning

in a tragic automobile accident while on tour in Harford, Maryland. The remainder of TWB Studio Company’s

tour has been cancelled, and the remaining dancers returned safely to Washington, DC today.

“No words can describe the pain of losing Mary,” said TWB Artistic Director Septime Webre. “She was not

only a beautiful dancer, but a radiant soul who emitted peace and joy. The entire TWB family mourns her

passing and extends its thoughts and prayers to Mary’s family.”

Saludares began dancing at the age of six under Sofia Elizalde and Raul Sauz at Steps Dance Studio in

Manila, Philippines. In 2006, she received the highest Royal Academy of Dance Award, the Solo Seal. She had

the honor of being the first Filipino entry in the 2006 Adeline Genée International Ballet Competition. In

2004, she received the Luva Adameit Award in the 1st NAMCYA Ballet Competition in the Philippines. She

later attended the School of American Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet's Release Time year-

round program. Her imprint on the TWB community was immeasurable. Students, dancers and staff alike

were touched by her joy, dedication and generosity. She was selected to join The Washington Ballet

Studio Company for its 2008-2009 season, achieving one of her dreams of moving from student to


Saludares is survived by her father, José M. Saludares, Jr.; her mother, Marissa S. Saludares; and two

brothers, Patrick Vincent Saludares and Bryan Joseph Saludares.

Students and staff are being offered grief counseling services. A memorial service is being planned for

early March in Washington, DC to honor Saludares. A private family funeral will be held in the Philippines

in the coming days. All other inquiries about the accident should be directed to the Harford County

Sheriff’s Department in Maryland.

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How tragic. Condolences to Mary's family and the members of the whole Washington Ballet community.

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Oh, no. How very sad. My deepest condolences.

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This is such a tragedy! My heart goes out to her family and friends.

I found the following touching tribute by her friend and former ballet school dance partner in the Phillipines:

Mary Saludares tribute from friend

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What sad news. My condolences to her family, friends, and the company.

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So tragic ... Mary was a beautiful dancer and a lovely young lady. I saw her dance in Fallen Angels and she was stunning. My son is an RT student at WSB and was a friend of Mary's. It is so very difficult for all of them. They are all numb. Classes were not held today and counselors were at the studio to talk to the company, faculty, and students. Such a sad day for Washington Ballet.

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