'Water Flowing Together' film tells Jock Soto's inspiring story
Cates also included images from Soto's childhood growing up near Chinle, Ariz., traveling with his family to pow wows, Hoop dancing and, after seeing ballet on "The Ed Sullivan Show," studying at a Phoenix studio. Segments on his earliest years in New York showed him with the New York City Ballet's celebrated founder and choreographer, George Balanchine, who invited Soto to join the company at just 16 years of age.
Soto has been touched by Native people's reactions to the film.
"At a Navajo Nation showing, a kid stood up and thanked me for bringing my story to their attention. He said, 'We didn't know about you, and we're so proud.' A little girl--she must have been 8 or 9--came up to me and told me she took ballet classes." During the question-and-answer period after the Santa Fe showing, a Native woman in the front row began crying, Soto reported. "I gave her a hug," he said.